> Camper FAQs

Camper FAQs

My Camper has never been away from home before – is camp recommended for them?

You bet!  Many new campers have never been away from home before.  What we recommend is that your camper first attend our new camper weekend.  This is a weekend at the end of June where new campers can come and try out camp. You can find the date for each camp's new camper weekend on the Camp Session Dates page.

Why should I send my camper to camp?

Your camper will have an opportunity to try new things, make friends, gain independence and responsibility in a safe, warm and supportive environment.  It will be a nice chance for you to get some respite knowing that your camper is having a great time!  Most importantly – your camper will have fun! 

What is the application process like?

On April 1st, we will post the applications for camp on our websites.  You will need to download and fill out the entire application.  There is a section that must be signed by your doctor.  The originals must then be mailed into our head office to be processed on a first come first serve basis.  See the Application Process section for more details.

Who is eligible for camp?

Our program is for children and teens aged 6 to 18 who have a disability. We also have Leader in Training and Young Adult Camps for people aged 19 to 29 who have a disability. Our campers have a variety of different abilities and needs.  We try to make our program accessible to many campers.  We provide support for kids who have spina bifida, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, Down syndrome, seizure disorder, hearing loss, visual impairment or vision loss, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, brain injury, muscular dystrophy, tourettes syndrome, angelman syndrome, qsteogenesis Imperfecta, prader-willi syndrome, and many other types of disabilities.  If you have a question about whether your camper is eligible or not, please get in touch with the Director of Camping (1-800-818-4483 or camp@eastersealsbcy.ca).  There is more information about eligibility here.

How much does camp cost families?

Regular camp costs $550 per week.

Leader in Training Program costs $650 per week. 

Young Adult Camp costs $750 per week.

There is no longer a registration fee. These fees are the total costs of our programs to families.

What if my camper needs 1-1 support?

In this case, we ask that you provide a personal support worker for your camper who can attend the whole session with the camper. 

Who decides if my camper requires a personal support worker?

This will be decided in consultation with the Camp Registrar in the pre-camp season.  You can give us a call at 1-800-818-4483 to chat with us before you apply. 

How many counselors will there be?

There are approximately 30 staff, including coordinators, counselors, programmers, and the healthcare team.  Each camper will be placed in a group of between 4 and 9 campers, with between 2 and 3 counsellors (always maintaining a 3:1 Camper to Counsellor ratio).

What is the procedure for when we get there?

Upon arrival, campers and guardians will check-in with the nurses and you will have the opportunity to discuss any medications or health-related needs. During check-in, you will be introduced to the two counselors responsible for the 'buddy group' that your camper will be in. Often there is a line up for check in as our health care team works to ensure they are properly prepared for each camper attending camp that week.  We ask that you are prepared that check in could take a few hours.  After, you may drop off the camper's luggage and help the camper settle into their dorm room. Goodbyes are said, and when you and the camper are ready, you may return home.

How long can I stay at camp?

Parents are expected to leave immediately after check-in and unpacking luggage to ensure campers have the opportunity to integrate themselves wholly in the camping experience.

What activities are planned?

 We have many activities available to choose from, including swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, rock-climbing, swinging on the big swing, relaxing in our snoezelen room, hanging out at the trampoline, road hockey, basketball, and camping in tents.

What happens if my child is unable to partake in some of the activities?

Our programs are designed to be accessible to a wide ranges of needs and abilities. Where possible, we may adapt our programs in order to ensure participation by everyone.  We always schedule multiple programs at the same time so campers can choose an activity that suits them.

What kind of foods are served?

 We offer flexible food options for campers with special dietary needs. We offer a lot of variety. As an example, breakfast may consist of a choice of cereal, pancakes, bacon, cream of wheat, fruits, juice, and milk. Lunch may be grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, soup, and there is always a choice of salad.  Dinner may be barbeque chicken, mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, or fajitas. We also offer preparation options such as pureeing.  Check out a sample menu.

Can we bring our own food?

Yes, while we try to cater to campers' dietary needs and give multiple food options at each meal for picky eaters, we recognize the need for certain foods that we do not have access to. Food will be given to counselors and stored in the kitchen area. We ask that you not bring food with peanuts or food that may contain nuts due to severe nut allergies present at camp. We also ask that you do not pack food in the camper's luggage.  Please let us know ahead of time if you are planning to bring your own food through the application form.

How many campers will be in a group?

A 'buddy group' typically consists of a group of six campers and two counsellors.

Who would I talk to if there is a problem during camp?

The camp coordinators are available during the camp session to talk to if there is a problem. If it is a health-related concern, the camp nurse may also be consulted. If it is an emergency and the coordinators cannot be reached for some reason, the Director of Camping is also available 24/7 to address your concerns.

What if I am still not sure this is the best program for my child?

Please give us a call at 1-800-818-4483 and we will be happy to discuss this further!  We also encourage you to check out the letters from families section.

How do I ensure things do not get lost at camp?

Firstly, do not send valuable items to camp, they only create problems and may be lost.  You should complete the clothing list that you will get in the confirmation package once you have been accepted in the camp.  Also, you should label all of your clothing with your camper's first and last name.  There are services out there like Mabel's Labels that will make affordable, durable and fun labels for you.

Do you have any other frequently asked questions that I can read?

Yep, we sure do!  Check out the list of questions for all campers.