Welcome to Circle R Ranch Summer Camp!
As a camp that has been operating since 1966, we are delighted that you have chosen to be part of our summer camp family! We hope that you and your camper are excited about the coming summer camp season, and we understand that you may have some questions about preparing for camp. Our commitment is to make the entire camp experience enjoyable as well as a successful venture into personal growth and development.
This package is designed to answer your questions, and to share other information that is important for you to know. Please share this information with your camper. Children who come to camp prepared for the experience are able to get the most from their time at camp!
A note on camp 2021. There is so much we don’t know right now surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate this summer being different than any summer that has come before. We will continue to work hard to follow and enforce the health recommendations from our local health unit. These protocols are fluid, in that they are ever-changing and may need adjustment leading up to camp, or even mid session. We are committed to communicating these changes to our camp structure along the way and keep you updated as we learn more and are given fresh guidance.
We sincerely appreciate the confidence that you have placed in us by selecting Circle R Ranch for your camper. Our entire staff is enthusiastic about the coming summer and we will do everything possible to ensure that your camper has a safe, happy and enriching experience with us.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments regarding the enclosed information package and/or the summer ahead.
Joan Russell (Spindle)
Nigel Tracy (Taiga)
Jeremiah Riehl (Uznea)
Coty Robinson (Element)
Leah Riehl (Aqua)
Cathy Tandy (Loon)
Day Camp Information
PLEASE NOTE: There are some important changes that we have had to make this year because of regulations and guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic and camp. Much is unknown and we will be sending out regular updates to this document, as well as the packing list of what to bring. Please read through with an awareness that some details may need to change based on guidance from our local health unit.
No Food Service 2021
Because of regulations in indoor space capacities we will not be offering Food Services this summer of Day Camp. Campers must bring their own lunch, as well as a morning and afternoon snack. Please no peanut products as we may have severe nut allergies.
Bus transportation is included as part of the day camp fee. Please plan to arrive at your designated bus stop no later than 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Every effort is made to ensure that buses run on time. Please be aware that if you miss your bus, you will be responsible for transporting your child to the next available bus stop, or directly to Circle R Ranch. If your child will not be at his/her designated bus stop, please contact the camp office 30 minutes before their pick up time to make other arrangements.
At the end of the day, campers will remain with staff until the designated parent/guardian arrives. Please note that written permission can be forwarded to the camp office if your camper is able to walk home from the bus stop alone. For safety reasons, please notify the camp office if someone other than the person designated on the camp forms will be picking up your child(ren).
Circle R Ranch believes that camp programs begin and end on the bus! Each day, our staff members will be on the bus to sing, play games, and spend time getting to know your camper(s).
Drop-Off & Pick-up at Circle R Ranch
If you are driving your child to and from camp, please arrive at camp between 8:45 and 9:00am for drop-off, and between 4:15 and 4:30 p.m. for pick-up. Please check-in with a senior staff member when dropping off and picking up your child(ren).
It is extremely important that you follow the guidelines listed below in order to ensure your campers’ health and safety.
1. It is the policy of Circle R Ranch that all camper medications (prescription or otherwise) are kept in the Health Centre.
2. Epi-Pens: If your child has a potentially fatal allergy, please send TWO Epi-Pens to camp. Anaphylaxis Canada suggests that at least two doses of epinephrine be available at all times because a second dose could be required 10-20 minutes after the first dose if the reaction continues. Also, please send a hip pack so your child can carry one Epi-Pen at all times. The backup will be kept in the camp Health Centre.
3. Inhalers: Inhalers that are used regularly can be kept by our Health Care Staff who will make sure that your child takes it on a regular schedule as specified on your health form. If your child uses an inhaler “as needed”, please send along two—one to be kept in the camp Health Centre and the other to be carried by your child. Again, we recommend sending a hip pack for easy carrying.
4. All prescription medications must be sent to Camp in the original container, with dispensing instructions written in English.
5. Our Health Centre contains over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Gravol, Advil, Allergy Medications, etc. If there are any of these “over the counter” medications that you do not want us to administer to your child, please inform us in writing on the camp medical form.
6. In recent years, campers have arrived at Camp with a variety of non-prescription, complimentary supplements such as: homeopathic supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements or herbal supplements. Our policy for these products is as follows:
· These supplements must be stored at the Health Centre
· Campers must visit the Health Centre and administer these medications themselves, while in the presence of a Circle R senior staff member
First Aid Treatment
If your child becomes ill or injured while at camp, immediate care will be provided. If further medical attention is required, we are only minutes away from the SW Middlesex Health Clinic and only 15 minutes away from hospitals in both London and Strathroy. It is highly recommended that campers have an up to date tetanus shot as they will be around animals and in the outdoors. If there are any medical changes between the time you send in the medical form to us and when your child comes to camp, please inform us in writing.
Communicable Diseases- COVID 19
Prior to camp we will have to have a detailed COVID-19 screening process in place to make sure no camper or staff bring the COVID-19 virus into our community. Communication about this process will be sent out closer to the summer. If your child has been in contact with anyone suffering from any communicable disease immediately prior to attending camp, please notify us and keep them at home until you have obtained advice from a medical professional. The impact of a contagious outbreak at camp could be significant.
All of our water systems are approved by and registered with the Ministry of the Environment, and are in compliance with Regulation 170/03. Our drinking water is tested regularly in accordance with Reg. 170.
With continued concern and awareness of the health risks resulting from time spent outside under the sun, there are a few things that can be done to minimize the risks of exposure while at camp. Please send the following items to camp with your child:
· A good sun hat (to cover the ears and the back of the head and neck)
· Waterproof sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30
· Refillable Water Bottle
All staff and campers are required to wear a helmet while participating in our horseback riding program. American Society of Testing and Materials– Safety Equipment Institute (ASTM-SEI) approved helmets are mandatory for all riders under 18 years of age for horseback riding (Ontario Bill 12) at all riding establishments. You may choose to send your own properly fitted and ASTM-SEI approved riding helmet with your child, however Circle R does provide ASTM-SEI approved riding helmets for all campers and staff. Please note that bicycle helmets are NOT approved for horseback riding.
All riders need to wear long pants, to protect their legs and boots or shoes with a 1.5 cm heel. Rubber boots are great to pack for use as riding boots and work well for rainy weather as the corral area can get muddy.
Clothing and Equipment
· Label all clothing with your camper’s full name, with a permanent marker (including footwear).
· To help your camper recognize clothing that has been lost or misplaced, it is often helpful to have them help with packing for camp.
· Camp clothes receive rough treatment—don’t send anything that might not stand up to the rigours of camp life!
· Bring clothing that is appropriate for physical activity and the informal atmosphere of camp. Given potential health concerns, we discourage sun tanning and therefore recommend bathing suits that cover more and expose less!
· Rubber boots are a good alternative for use as riding boots and are essential for rainy weather as the corral area can get muddy.
· If clothing or equipment is left at camp, and it is labelled, we will contact you to arrange its return. One month after camp, all unlabelled and unclaimed clothing and equipment will be donated to local charities in need of such items.
Things NOT to Bring to Camp
Circle R Ranch strives to create a simple and relaxed lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We believe that time away from video games, TV, the internet and the fast paced world of electronics helps place a greater emphasis on what camp is all about—making friends, connecting with the natural world, and increasing self awareness and self-esteem. For these reasons, please do not bring any of the following items to camp:
· Cell Phones, Video Cameras, or Digital Cameras
· Stereos, MP3 Players, etc.
· Cigarettes, Matches or Lighters
· Money (we do not have a Tuck Shop)
· Knives or Firearms
Photographs and videos are taken by Circle R staff throughout each session of camp for use in camp slideshows, and may be used for marketing purposes. These photographs and videos will become the property of Circle R Ranch and will not be sold to any external parties. Please contact the camp office with any questions or privacy issues.
Circle R Ranch staff are a very dedicated group of young adults (teachers, university, college and high school students) who are carefully selected for their skills, leadership abilities and sincere interest in the growth and development of children. There are program specialists in the areas of horses, aquatics, canoeing, arts and crafts, environment and other land based programs. Many of our staff have attended Circle R as campers and often are graduates of our Leadership Training programs. All of our staff participate in an intensive training program prior to camp and many attend other related training events and workshops to enhance their preparation for working at camp. Our overall camper to staff ratio is approximately 1:3 in Day Camp.
The well known term “Homesickness” is being replaced in camp literature with “Home-Loneliness.” This change reflects that it is quite natural for a child to experience minor pangs of loneliness (as opposed to being ‘sick’), especially if it is his or her first time away from home. This change of perspective also helps us to train our staff to be empathetic, nurturing and supportive with campers that have these feelings. Our counsellors are trained to detect signs of home-loneliness in campers and to approach the situation with sensitivity, and to effectively help the camper work through these feelings. Campers feel a great sense of accomplishment when they learn how to be away from home. In fact, early camp experiences have been linked to greater success in post-secondary education because of the ability to live in a community setting that is away from home!
There are a variety of reasons that kids experience home-loneliness. Campers with little experience being away from the comforts and the familiarity of home, and children who have been dealing with major changes at home often experience these feelings. Additionally, children who generally have trouble with new situations, are very attached to their parents, and/or thrive on the predictability of their home routines may also have more difficulty adjusting to camp life. On the other hand, sometimes it is the least likely child who becomes home-lonely. We recognize how very important the care and interaction provided by our counsellors and staff is in ensuring that the atmosphere at camp is welcoming, nurturing, enjoyable, and of course, busy and packed with fun, action and adventure!
How you can help your camper prepare for being away from home:
· Be positive and enthusiastic when discussing your child’s stay at camp. Be confident that they will have a great time and meet new friends. If you have serious concerns or issues, please discuss them with us, not your child.
· Keep stress at home to a minimum before the beginning of camp, so your child arrives relaxed and happy, rather than feeling rushed with last minute packing and organizing.
· Discuss potential home-loneliness with your child. Assure him/her that it’s perfectly normal to miss home a bit while away. Discuss ways of coping: get involved in games with friends, write a story, or spend some time with a counsellor or other staff member.
· Finally, express confidence in your child’s ability to deal with all types of situations! Recall other instances during which he/she successfully overcame a difficult problem. Camp provides an excellent venue to develop problem-solving skills, and your confidence in your camper’s ability to make it through the session is important!
Parent Visits and Phone Calls
A valuable outcome of a camp session is gaining a sense of independence. In our experience, parental visits or contact during camp can be very disruptive to this process. We ask that parents do not plan a visit or tell their campers that they will call/visit during camp so that false expectations are not created.
If you have important information that needs to be relayed to your camper while they are at camp, please call the camp office and we will arrange to convey the information to them. Due to the number of campers attending Circle R Ranch, campers are not permitted to use the camp phone unless there is no alternative method of conveying important information. On those occasions, the call will be initiated by a Circle R senior staff member.
Behavioural Guidance Policy
Before camp, parents and caregivers should discuss behavioural expectations for camp. Camp offers an excellent venue for learning problem-solving skills, and subsequently, campers are involved in each step of the resolution process when problems occur. If behavioural problems arise, we follow this procedure:
· The camper works out a solution with his/her counsellor and other group members
· If further intervention is required, a senior staff member will be involved in the problem-solving process. The camp director may also become involved at this stage.
· If behaviour problems persist, the camper’s parent or guardian may be contacted to ask for guidance, and be involved in the resolution process
· If behaviour issues continue, and are negatively impacting the camp experience of other campers (including, but not limited to, violent conduct), a camper may be sent home.
Campers may be sent home without warning for certain behaviours that include, but are not limited to: possession of alcohol or non-prescription drugs, smoking, or violence/aggression toward another camper or staff member. These decisions are made at the discretion of the camp director. Fees for a camper sent home for behavioural reasons will not be refunded.
At Circle R Ranch, we are aware of the severe negative emotional consequences associated with bullying. Our camp’s philosophy is based on cooperation, learning new skills, taking responsibility and developing respect for self and others. Unfortunately, persons who are bullied may not have the same potential to get the most out of their camp experience. Circle R addresses all issues of bullying seriously and trains staff to promote communication with their campers so both staff and campers will be comfortable alerting us to any problems during their camp experience. We believe every person has the right to have the best possible experience at camp!
Thank you for reviewing this important information package! Circle R Ranch remains committed to ensuring the best possible experience for all campers. Please do not hesitate to contact the camp office if you have additional questions, or would like to further discuss any information contained within this package.
Summer Day Camp Equipment List
PLEASE NOTE: This is a general list of what to bring to camp and we will be sending out an updated list to include relevant items closer to the camp session, based on the recommendations of our local Health Unit.
PLEASE MARK CAMPER’S NAME ON ALL BELONGINGS WITH A PERMANENT MARKER, LAUNDRY PEN, OR SEW IN NAME TAGS
Pack belongings into a day pack or knapsack that can be easily carried by your child on their shoulders
|THINGS TO BRING||TO CAMP||HOME FROM CAMP|
|Long pants for riding|
|Shorts for hot days or active programs|
|Boots with a heel for riding (could be rubber boots or light hikers)|
|Rain jacket and pants (or rain poncho)|
|Running Shoes (indoor shoes for rainy days or for active games)|
|Long Sleeved Shirt or Sweatshirt (for cool days and protection from mosquitoes)|
|Rubber Boots (for those rainy or muddy days—also make great riding boots)|
|Sun Screen (minimum SPF 30 – waterproof is best)|
|Swim Suit and Towel – please bring every day, even if your camper is not scheduled for swimming, as some of our activities may include water!|
|Day Pack or Knapsack|
|Riding Helmet (Must be ASTM-SEI approved)|
|Bandana (to wear under riding helmet)|
|Sandals (strap on type only please – ‘flip-flops’ are not suitable for Ranch use!)|
See you at camp!