LAST UPDATED: January 2023
Welcome to Circle R Ranch PA Day Camps!
As a camp that has been operating since 1966, we are delighted that you have chosen to be part of our camp family! We hope that you and your camper are excited about the coming day camp, 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!
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.
Day Camp Information
LUNCHES AND SNACKS – No Food Service will be provided in 2023. Campers are to bring their own lunch, as well as morning and afternoon snacks. Please no peanut products and other nut products as we may have severe nut allergies.
Campers will be outside and active for most of the day meaning that they may be hungrier than usual, so be sure to pack a hearty, nutritious lunch, 2 nutritious snacks, along with a refillable water bottle. We suggest that you send lunch and snacks in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack.
Please always plan to arrive at your designated bus stop 5 – 10 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 morning 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 (519-471-3799) at least 30 minutes before their pick up time to make other arrangements.
At the end of the day, campers will remain on the bus if the designated parent/guardian has not arrived. Campers can be picked up at the last bus stop. 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, notify the camp office if someone other than the person designated on the camp forms will be picking up your camper(s).
Circle R Ranch believes that camp programs begin and end on the bus! Each day, our staff members will be on the bus ready to sing songs and spend time getting to know your camper(s).
Times below are approximate. This will likely be similar for 2023 and final times will be emailed 1 week prior to your camper’s session.
Masonville Public School – 25 Hillview Blvd.- 8:00am / 5:45pm
Old North Public School – 940 Waterloo St.- 8:10am / 5:35pm
Wortley Public School – 301 Wortley Rd – 8:25am / 5:20pm
Southwest Optimist Park – 682 Southdale Rd. – 8:40am / 5:05pm
Oakridge Centre – 760 Hyde Park Rd.(by the CIBC) – 8:55am / 4:50pm
Byron Northview Public School – 1370 Commissioners Rd W (bus loading zone on Stephen St) – 9:05am / 4:40pm
Drop-Off & Pick-Up at Circle R Ranch
Please arrive at camp at 9 am for drop-off, and 4:15 pm for pick-up. We will have a check-in welcome area with a senior staff member when dropping off your children and a pick-up system in place in the afternoon.
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. Our Health Care Director will administer these medications, while in the presence of a Circle R senior staff member
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, homeopathic/herbal supplements, etc. 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, Advil, allergy relief 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.
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 25 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.
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
Horseback Riding Program 2023
Please note horseback riding is weather dependent. We are unable to ride in extreme weather conditions such as thunder/lightning, severe wind and rain, and during the colder months when the ground is frozen, snowy, or icy. We understand how exciting and special the riding program is and we to our best to ensure the campers get to ride.
Horseback Riding Helmets
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. If you choose you may send your own properly fitted and ASTM-SEI approved riding helmet with your child (helmet can stay overnight at camp). Circle R provides ASTM-SEI approved riding helmets for campers and staff. Please note that bicycle helmets are NOT approved for horseback riding.
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, 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!
PA Day Camp Equipment List
- Please dress for the weather! It is up to you to ensure the camper is prepared to be outside all day. The weather can be harsher in the country so please be sure to pack layers and items that will ensure maximum comfort while playing outside all day.
- All campers need to wear long pants, to protect their legs while riding. Riders must wear boots or shoes with a 1.5 cm heel following Ontario Camps Association Standards. Please measure from the sole to the bottom of the heel.
- 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 rigors of camp life!
- Bring clothing that is appropriate for physical activity and the informal atmosphere of camp.
- 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 unlabeled and unclaimed clothing and equipment will be donated to local charities in need of such items.
PLEASE MARK CAMPER’S NAME ON ALL BELONGINGS.
(YES, ALL BELONGINGS, EVEN SUNSCREEN).
You can help minimize lost and found this year! Especially due to COVID, we need secure labels on all items, especially hats and water bottles. We highly recommend Mabel’s Labels for labelling everything and anything. They are dishwasher safe, laundry safe, and have fast and free shipping. Although the labels are extremely secure, they are not permanent and can be removed as needed. They are especially wonderful for hats and water bottles where permanent markers rub off or are not the best for labeling clearly.
Pack belongings into a backpack that can be easily carried by your child on their shoulders. Campers have a cohort home base where they will be able to leave their backpacks once they arrive at camp.
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, Stereos, MP3 Players, video game consoles, etc.
- Cigarettes, Matches or Lighters
- Money (we do not have a Tuck Shop)
- Knives or Firearms
|THINGS TO BRING TO CAMP EVERYDAY|
|Lunch and 2 snacks (for mid morning and mid afternoon)|
|Long pants for riding|
|Cold weather gear as needed (warm hat and extra mitts/gloves and socks)|
|Boots with a 1.5 cm minimum heel for riding|
|Rain jacket and rain pants|
|Reusable Water Bottle|
|Running Shoes (for active games)|
|Waterproof Sun Screen (minimum SPF 30)|
|Riding Helmet – Must be ASTM-SEI approved (helmet can stay overnight at camp rather than carried back and forth each day)|
|Bandana (to wear under riding helmet)|
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.
“Happy Trails” and see you at camp!