Camp Kelso 2020

Welcome to Camp Kelso 2020!

Camp Kelso is an outdoor day camp, much like Ways of the Woods, but it will be based on the "social circles" concept, which was developed by the Province of Ontario, so that children from the same households, families and even friend groups can play together, while keeping their distance from others. Campers will be registered in groups of four to six, known as a “Camp Kelso Circle," and these groups will stick together throughout the week.

We tried to keep as much of Camp Kelso the same as Ways of the Woods as possible, but there will be some changes. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer busing, extended care and the lunch program this year. Also, instead of spending each day at a different park, campers will spend their entire week at Kelso Conservation Area, but there will still be lots of activities for your child, even just at one park! 

In order for us to manage campers, groups and activities under the Public Health requirements of daycamp operation, we have also reduced the camp programs that we will be offering to two: 

Multisport Camp (Ages 4-15)  

Campers will spend an action-packed week at Kelso, taking advantage of everything that the park has to offer, like hiking and biking, swimming and boating, archery, high-ropes, low-ropes and even the climbing tower! Groups are limited to 4-6 campers, with one counsellor.    

Mountain Bike Camp (Ages 8-15)  

Campers will spend their week learning about technical skills, bike mechanics and trail maintenance, and of course, exploring the mountain bike trails at Kelso with multiple rides each day! Whether your child is just starting out or looking for a challenge, instruction will be catered to the skill level of the group members. Groups are limited to 4-5 campers, with one counsellor. (In order to take part in this camp, we ask that campers be riding a 24” wheel bike, at minimum, with both front and rear handlebar actuated brakes. Backpedal/skid brakes will not be appropriate for this camp. If your child does not have a bike, we do also offer mountain bikes to rent for an additional cost.)

Camp Kelso General FAQ

Why did Ways of the Woods have to be cancelled if Camp Kelso is so similar? 

We made the decision to cancel Ways of the Woods 2020 because we could not provide the kind of experience that our campers and their families are used to within the Ontario Ministry of Health Guideline—busing campers to different parks and usual camper-to-counsellor ratios are just a couple of examples. However, we did feel that we could provide a lot of fun activities that Ways of the Woods campers have to come love, so Camp Kelso 2020 was developed.  

When does Camp Kelso run? 

Camp Kelso runs for one week at a time, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm, starting on July 13 and ending on September 4. Individual days are not available through Camp Kelso 2020 at this time.

How much does it cost? 

Multisport Camp: The first four campers in a Camp Kelso Circle are $332.50 each per week ($1330 for four campers). Additional campers within the same circle are $299 each, up to a maximum of six campers.   

Mountain Bike Camp: The first four campers in a Camp Kelso Circle are $332.50 each per week ($1330 for four campers). Additional campers within the same circle is $299 each, up to a maximum of five campers.   

How do I register? 

First, you will need to form your Camp Kelso Circle! Once you have confirmed the 4-6 children who will be in your circle and the chosen the kind of camp that your children will attend, you need to identify one parent as the “Circle Captain” who will make the online registration for your circle. (The Circle Captain Parent does not need to attend camp.)

  • Step 1: Confirm the campers that will be in your Camp Kelso Circle.
  • Step 2: Choose your camp: Multisport (6 camper maximum) or Mountain Bike (5 camper maximum)
  • Step 3: The Circle Captain registers and pays online for a group of four ($1330) to secure a spot
  • Step 4: The Circle Captain will be contacted by Visitor Services for more information.

Visitor Services will get in touch by phone to obtain the necessary information (names, email addresses for circle families, additional camper payment, etc.) for all campers, so Circle Captains should be prepared to provide this information. Please note that you may need to transfer money between the parents in your Camp Kelso Circle in order to share the cost. Tax receipts will be provided for each family, as required, by Conservation Halton/Camp Kelso.

Who can be a part of my Camp Kelso Circle? 

Groups can consist of a minimum of four campers, up a maximum of five or six campers, and we ask that you choose other children from your “social circle.” This can include your household, immediate or extended family members, close friends or neighbours, with whom your child already plays and interacts with.  Group members can be between the ages of 4 to 15, and activities will be adjusted to account for a diverse age range. There will be no interaction between groups and counsellors will work to ensure that groups are 10 metres from each other at all times.  

I have fewer than four children to form a Camp Kelso Circle. Can I still register? 

Unfortunately, this is not an option right now, as children are not currently permitted to interact with others from outside their “social circle.” If restrictions from the Province change in this regard, we may be able to provide this as an option later in the summer. 

The campers that I am sending have a wide age range. How will this work? 

Though we do recommend sending campers that are similar in age, we can accommodate any age range. With the reduced camper-to-counsellor ratio, we can focus activities on the ages, interests and abilities of your campers.  

What policies and procedures are you following to keep campers safe? 

We are closely monitoring and implementing guidelines of the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Ontario Camps Association.  

What changes and precautions will be taken to keep campers safe? 
  • Small camper groups will be assigned to a single counsellor for the entire week 
  • Daily temperature checks will be mandatory for staff and campers 
  • Contactless pick-up and drop-off with designated areas for each group 
  • Physical distance of 10 metres between groups will be required at all times 
  • Physical distance of 2 metres between counsellors and campers will be required at all times 
  • Where physical distancing is a challenge, counsellors will be required to wear a mask 
  • Indoor areas will be avoided as much as possible, except in extreme weather 
  • When indoors, groups physical distance and building capacity limits will be required
  • Most equipment will be assigned to a group for the entire week and will not be shared 
  • Equipment that must be used by multiple campers will be sanitized between uses 
  • Frequent touch surfaces, such as bathroom areas, will be sanitized multiple times per day 
  • Washrooms and changerooms will be limited to one group at a time  
  • Handwashing will be mandatory before and after following lunch, snacks and activities 
  • Hand sanitizer will be made available at all facilities 
  • PPE will be provided to counsellors with their first aid kits  
What activity-specific changes and precautions will be taken to keep campers safe? 

Activity instructors will show campers how to use equipment and will observe them doing so. If the instructor does need to assist a camper, the instructor will be required to sanitize their hands and put on a mask. We will also be adding precautions for these specific activities: 

  • Boating – Paddles will either be assigned to groups and/or sanitized in between groups 
  • Swimming – Campers will bring their own towels to camp and home in a separate bag  
  • Archery – Equipment will be assigned to groups and/or will be sanitized between groups  
  • Vulture’s View Climbing Tower - Equipment will be assigned to groups and/or will be sanitized between groups 
  • Escarpment Walk Aerial Course - Equipment will be assigned to groups and/or will be sanitized between groups 
  • Mountain Biking - Physical distancing will be maintained on the trails. If needed, rental bikes will be assigned to one camper for the entire week, and sanitized between weeks. 
What about lunches and snacks? 

Lunches and snacks will need to be packed and sent with your camper each day, and campers will eat with their group only. Groups will eat at a different location each day, and any surfaces (ie. picnic tables) will be sanitized. In the case of extreme weather, campers may need to eat indoors, but groups will be physically distanced to comply with public health requirements around building capacity. 

Why are you not offering busing services? 

Bus capacity is usually 60 campers, but public health guidelines have reduced this number to 12. The cost for busing, however, has not changed, and including this service would make prices inaccessible for families. 

What if there is an emergency and the counsellor need to physically interact with a camper? 

Counsellor first aid kits will include masks and gloves for emergency situations, along with specialized first aid kits. 

I would feel more comfortable with increased distancing. What should I do? 

Please contact us and tell us what you need.  

Camp Kelso Mountain Bike FAQ 

What if the campers that I am sending are at a wide range of bike ability levels? 

Though learning outcomes are usually best in a group of similar skill levels, our PMBIA (Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association) certified instructors can accommodate any range of skills. For instance, when selecting a trail for the group to ride, the trail will always accommodate the lowest level of ability within the group. We operate under the principles of “challenge by choice,” so your camper will be reminded, repeatedly, that they only need to push themselves as far as they want to! 

My camper has never tried mountain biking but wants to learn. Can we sign them up? 

We do recommend some level of comfort on a mountain bike and experience on a trail before committing to a week of camp. We currently offer introductory lessons with qualified instructors who can help introduce your child to mountain biking in a way that is the most safe and supportive, so you might consider signing up for a lesson first. (Mountain Bike Lessons start July 6)