Accommodations & Staffing

Where do the campers stay?
Campers stay in cabins with 8-12 campers and 2 or 3 cabin leaders. The cabins are carpeted, have built-in bunks and vinyl-covered foam mattresses. They are equipped with electric fans and screened windows. There are central washrooms and shower rooms close at hand.

What is your staff:camper ratio?
We have 10-12 year-round staff, and 40-45 summer staff that are here for 10 weeks serving in the kitchen, on maintenance, as lifeguards, and running programs. We also have a team of 35-50 volunteers come for each week of camp of our children's and youth camps to help with the program, lead worship, host the week, and to serve as cabin leaders. That makes our total staff:camper ratio about 2:3 for our youth camps, and closer to 1:1 for the younger camps.

What are your staff qualifications and screening processes?
All of our staff and volunteers that work with children submit themselves to yearly reference and background checks, including regular criminal record and vulnerable sector screening. They also sign our Statement of Beliefs & Character and Abuse & Harrassment Policy that clearly state our expectations and our policies in place for child protection .
Our staff have appropriate training for the areas they are serving in, such as NLS and Bronze Medallion for lifeguards, Food Handlers Certificate for all those working with food, and St. John's Ambulance First Aid training.

Health & Safety

What do you do to keep kids healthy while at camp?
We strive to serve nutritious, balanced meals that kids love. Fresh fruit and juice are served at every breakfast, fresh vegetables and salads are available at every lunch and dinner. Treats are available in our tuck shop, but for campers 7-12, daily limitations are placed on what they can purchase. Teens are given more decision-making responsibility.

We watch hydration and sun exposure, especially with younger campers. We encourage parents to send a refillable water bottle, hat, and sunscreen with their child.

We constantly try to be vigilant against the spread of germs through encouraging thorough hand-washing. Our regular cleaning routines keep our washrooms and common surfaces like light switches sanitized daily, and cabins are cleaned thoroughly and mattresses sanitized between each camp session. If there is any threat of contagion, we increase the frequency of sanitizing routines, and provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers, while isolating anyone who is sick as care is provided (see below).

What happens if my child gets sick?
We have a nurse or doctor available during all our children's camps to monitor children's care, and deal with everyday situations. In case further medical attention is required, our local hospital in Bancroft is only 10 minutes away, with a well-equipped emergency department. An adult staff member will accompany and remain with any child who needs to visit the emergency department. We will keep in close contact with parents by phone if a trip to the hospital is warranted.

All parents are asked to check their children for fever or other flu symptoms before sending them to camp. If any flu symptoms arise just before camp, please keep your child home – if symptoms subside, they can join the camp in the first couple of days. If they don't, a full refund is available. At registration, routine screening is done to determine if anyone has had recent symptoms. For any child that becomes sick while at camp, they are immediately isolated from the rest of the cabin while their symptoms are monitored by the nurse. Arrangements will be made for parents to pick them up if necessary.

My child is on medications. How will that be handled at camp?
Medications are handed in to the camp nurse upon registration. Please send medications clearly marked in their original container. Puffers may be kept by the teen campers at the discretion of the nurse/doctor. The nurse will dispense meds at the appropriate times each day. No medications are kept in the cabins for kids ages 7-14. Older teens may keep meds on them with approval and monitoring of the camp doctor and cabin leader.

My child has a food allergy. Will they be able to come to camp?
We make every effort to work with children with food allergies or vegetarian diets. For children with a gluten allergy, please send special bread with your child, as they are not readily available in our area. For nut allergies, our kitchen and dining room is a completely nut-free zone. In the tuck shop, we avoid nut products, but not all products we carry are made in a nut-free facility. We ask all campers and staff to respect the safety of others by not bringing any nut products on the grounds. This includes almond milk, for those avoiding cow's milk.

Do you ever have head lice at camp?
Occasionally head lice show up at camp. Campers are checked for lice at registration for campers up to age 12. If lice or nits are found, the parent must make arrangements to deal with the situation immediately before the child can be admitted to camp. In the case of a child arriving on the bus, the child will not be admitted to the cabin. unless a volunteer is available to administer treatment at the parent's expense, and monitor through the week to insure successful treatment.

Contacting my child while at camp

I have a home or cottage in the Bancroft area. Can I come and visit my child during the week?
It can create difficulties when some children have a visit from parents and others don't. Children who know that their parents are close by often struggle more with homesickness. Please talk to the camp director at registration if special arrangements need to be made.

Can I contact my child through the week?
We strongly discourage parents from contacting their child by phone, as there are logistical problems, it disrupts the camp program, and may increase homesickness. Mail and emails received are delivered at lunch each day. There is a new email tool for parents to use through the online registration system. You may also leave mail at the registration desk upon registration, in a regular envelope. We discourage parents from leaving gifts or treats for their child, as it creates disparities among the campers. Exceptions are made for birthday presents. If your child's birthday falls during camp, or you need to change travel arrangements, please call the camp office from 8:30 – 9:00 am so that we can contact your child during breakfast to have them talk to you.

What if my child is homesick?
Our camp directors are experienced at working with children struggling with homesickness. We long for kids to work through that and have a positive camp experience. If there are particular concerns, we will ask the camp director or cabin leader to contact you, and work together with you so that your child can have a successful time at camp. That may involve setting some short-term goals to aim for, such as arranging for a call home after breakfast the next day. We will not encourage your child to 'tough it out' on their own.

What if my child leaves something at camp?

If your child's belongings don't make it home, we will make every reasonable effort to locate them, but they may have made it into someone else's car by mistake, and may not be retrievable. We daily encourage campers to identify and claim items left around camp, but things still get left behind. It's very helpful to mark your child's clothing and belongings before they come. Please call or send us an email if something important is left behind – the sooner we hear, the greater the chance of finding it. We will contact you if it is found. If you can't make arrangements for it to be picked up, we will mail it to you at your expense. Items unclaimed at the end of the summer will be donated to a local charity later in the fall.

If your child has lost an item, please click here for our online Lost & Found Form.

Camp Activities

What kind of activities will my child be involved in?
A typical day includes a morning 'chapel' time that may include songs, games, skits, & teaching. The balance of the morning and early afternoon includes cabin rotations through activities on the waterfront (boating, tubing, fishing, swimming), crafts, archery & riflery, mini-golf, low ropes, or other games. There may be special electives and theme games, and a camp fire to end the day.

My child isn't a strong swimmer. Will that be a problem?
Our beachfront is very shallow and safe. In our Explorer and Adventure camps, (ages 7-12), lifeguards assess swimming ability at the beginning of camp for safety purposes, so they can monitor campers in the 'deep' end of our buoyed swimming area. Our waterfront programming is fun & relationally-oriented, not instructional – i,e. we're not working toward swimming or canoeing badges. Children who are not strong swimmers, or even non-swimmers, will still be able to enjoy the waterfront programming in fun and safe ways.

2018 Discount Program

Family Discount: $50 will automatically be applied to the second and subsequent registrations from your family.

Early-Bird Discount: Pay in full by March 31, 2017. Enter the coupon code earlykids18 to get $25 off kids' summer camps.  Enter the coupon code earlyfam18 to get $50 off of Family Camp registrations.  Does not apply to Explorer Express session or trailer park.  Discount only applies to summer camp registrations.

Bring-a-Friend Discount: Earn $100 off your child's camp registration for each new-to-JOY friend that registers for summer camp. Enter coupon code newfriend18 and submit friend's name(s) in the text box.  Does not apply to siblings or sponsorships. Discount only applies to summer camp registrations.

Bring-a-Friend Family Camp Discount:  Earn $100 off your family's summer camp registration for each new-to-JOY family that registers.  Enter coupon code newfamily18 and submit friend's name(s) in the text box.  Does not apply to siblings or sponsorships.  Discount only applies to summer camp registrations.

Note: Do not enter Discount Coupon Codes when 'camp codes' are requested. Enter Discount Coupon Codes under the 'cost summary' section of your registration.