I have questions about…
- General Camp inquiries
- Camp Hours, Schedule, locations, etc.
- Lunch Program
- Transportation - bus times & locations, parent pick-up & drop off etc.
- Staffing, group sizes, volunteering.
- Medical concerns
- Swimming / Waterfront programs
- Pricing, Refunds, etc
What camp is going to be best for my child?
Ways of the Woods camps are broken out into offerings that target age, and interest groups. We would recommend that you first consider your child’s age, and then look to see which programs may be of most interest to them. View a full listing of our camp streams.
How old does my child need to be to attend camp?
Ways of the Woods offers camps for children as young as 4 (kinder), and as old as 15 (C.I.T). View a full breakdown of offerings is available.
What activities will my camper be participating in each day?
Each camper’s week may be slightly different based on weather, age, energy level, interest, etc. We have provided a listing of the major activities available at each park. Some activities are age specific. We suggest that you pack your camper in order to be prepared for any of the listed activities for their location. View the Park Rotation.
What do I need to pack for my child to go caving?
The caves we explore are safe, ventilated, and will be staffed heavily. We ask that you send your camper with a bike or skateboard helmet, as well as a headlamp. We have a few extras for those in need.
What are the Ways of the Woods Camp hours?
Camp runs Monday through Friday (including holiday weeks). Programmed time starts daily at 9:00 am, and wraps up at 4:30 pm.
I need to pick up my camper early, what should I do?
Please contact our WOW team by phone at 905 878 5011 ext 1256 so we can confirm the details with you.
I need to pick my camper up after regular camp hours, what should I do?
Extended supervision is available for an additional 20 minutes at Kelso, as well as at our final stop of each bus route. Extended Care is available for $30 per child.
How do I know what location my camper will be using each day?
Our daily schedule can be seen at Park Rotation Schedule. All campers will arrive and depart, or be dropped off and picked up from, Kelso each day.
I see multiple parks listed next to each camp… does this mean you run a specific program at several locations?
All of our camp streams are based at Kelso but will visit various locations throughout the week to experience all that our parks have to offer. Visit our Park Rotation page for more details..
I have decided to drop my child off at camp. Where do I drop them off each day?
All camps use Kelso as the hub. Please drop your child at Kelso by 8:50am.
My camper is participating in the Lunch Program. What are they eating each day?
A schedule for the Lunch Program is available for your consideration. This schedule may vary minimally based on availability, etc.
My camper has nut allergies, is your Lunch Program nut free?
As an outdoor program that uses public areas, Ways of the Woods is not able to declare itself nut free. Nuts have been avoided intentionally as primary ingredients in our food selections; there are however items which have not been formally declared “Nut Free” or “Nut Allergy Safe”.
My camper has special dietary requirements. Can your menu be made to accommodate these needs?
Our Lunch Program is designed to cater to the masses. As such it is difficult to ensure to accommodates all the possible needs our various campers may have. Where reasonably possible we will do our best to work with you. This may include swapping out one snack for some additional amount of another. It may however be difficult to meet the needs of all campers. Please feel free to contact us to discuss whether the lunch program is a fit for you and your camper.
I would like to use the Lunch Program but my camper does not like a specific item on your menu. Can you change that for us?
Where possible, we will assist your camper in skipping a certain snack while packing their lunch. We will substitude an additional snack that is being offered on the same day in those cases. We will not be able to substitute out entire lunch options or days from the menu though; in cases where your camper has very specific wants or needs we would suggest that you send them with supplementary options.
My camper has a big appetite! They never seem to be able to get enough food. Will the Lunch Program be enough food for them?
Our Lunch Program has been designed to suit the average camper. If you feel your camper may need a couple additional snacks each day, we would recommend that you send these with them. Pack items that can be added to their lunch bag when they arrive each day.
My camper needs a lot of assistance to ensure they eat their meals each day. Will someone be able to help them with any packaging, or to monitor that they are eating what is provided?
Our counselors do their best to assist all campers with these efforts. Breaks are taken in the am, at lunch, and pm where campers are given instructions to have a snack, water, lunch, etc. Wherever possible our counselors will also assist with anything that they are reasonably able to when it comes to accessing lunch options.
My camper is using the Lunch Program. Do I need to send them with Anything?
All campers are requested to bring a reusable water bottle. We would ask that Lunch Program participants do the same. In addition to this, campers only need to bring things they may want. This might include a few dollars for tuck shop type snacks, or some additional snacks that go beyond what is in the Lunch Program.
Do I need to return the Lunch Bag that is provided?
The Lunch Bag is yours for the week, and to keep! We would ask that you please empty it each night, wipe it out if required, and then return it to camp the next day in their backpack. At the end of the week it is yours to keep. They may bring it back if they come for additional weeks; but we will be happy to supply another for that week if they wish.
Does your camp provide Busing?
Yes, busing is included! We offer stops in Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Acton and Georgetown. Pick up and drop off locations are available (HERE)
What time do buses pick up and drop off campers?
Visit our Busing Schedule page for all of the details. We recommend that parents be at the stop 10 minutes prior to busses arriving.
I have missed my bus, what should I do?
If you can safely arrive at another pick-up location on the same route, you may do so. Otherwise, drop your child off at Kelso by 8:50am. View our Busing Schedule page for stop locations. If you are unable to make it to Kelso on schedule please call our WOW team at 905-878-5011 x256
Can I make changes to our bus route or stop?
Your camper is booked on their bus for the duration of the week and must ride the same bus each day.
If you would like to pick them up or drop them off at a different stop along the same route we can easily accommodate this. Simply show up at your desired stop at the designated time. Due to bus capacity limitations, and for the safety and security of all of our campers we CAN NOT accommodate changes in routes or different routes for different days.
If you are unable to make your stop or prefer to drop off or pick up your camper on a particular day we can accommodate this at Kelso but YOU MUST contact us at 905-878-5011 x1256 to confirm the details.
Prior to your camp starting (before Thursday at noon the week prior to your camp) we may be able to accommodate changes to your route based on availability. Please call 905-878-5011 x1256
It is more convenient for me to drop my child off at camp, is this possible?
Yes, campers can be dropped off at the Kelso Visitor Centre between 8:30 and 9:00 am. You will need to pick your camper up at Kelso by 4:30pm. After care is available at Kelso until 5pm if needed ($20 additional fee/week).
Can I provide permission for my camper to walk home from the bus unsupervised?
If you did not already indicate this when you registered please contact us at 905-878-5011 x1256 so that we can update your camper profile and alert the bus monitors.
I am unavailable to pick up my child and need to send someone else, what do I do?
If your camper needs to picked up by someone other than the listed primary or secondary contacts approved for pick up on their file please contact us at 905-878-5011 x1256. As this is a potential security issue you must call us in advance and we will e-mail you a form which you must fill out, sign and return to us.
What sort of supervision will be provided while my child is at camp?
Ways of the Woods has an outstanding team of camp staff. Our counselors work in teams, a senior counselor with greater experience and certification will typically work with any junior counselor we hire. This ensures that every group has a great camper to staff ratio, and that our staff are always in a setting where they can continue to learn to be the best they can be! Each camp is supported by a Summer Camp Supervisor, a Summer Camp administrator, and our Summer Camp Manager.
What is the supervision ratio at camp?
Ways of the Woods strives to maintain camper ratios for our staff that allow our counselors to work as closely as possible with your camper. Our Primary programs are offered at an 8:1 ratio. Our Junior Camps are offered at a 10:1 ratio. Our Senior Camps are offered at varying ratios, but are typically a 10:1.
How can I become staff with Ways of the Woods?
Ways of the Woods hires exceptional young people who are passionate about providing a truly awesome summer camp experience to our campers. Staff must be at least 16 years of age (jr counselor). We offer a variety of positions based on experience and certifications. View summer camp job postings.
I would like to Volunteer at Camp, is this possible?
Ways of the Woods offers a great transitional approach from being a camper, to eventually working at Camp. Our Counselor in Training Camp (C.I.T) is offered twice per summer and is a required step for anyone wishing to volunteer at camp. Once you have attended a C.I.T camp, you may return as a C.I.T for any portion of the remainder of the summer in a volunteer capacity.
My Child has allergies; can you accommodate them at camp?
Ways of the Woods is an active, outdoor camp. We will unavoidably come in contact with a variety of animals, grasses, and plants. Providing your child’s allergy does not limit them from coming into contact with these outdoor settings, we will be happy to work with them this summer. If your child has food allergies, you may speak with our Food & Beverage Supervisor to discuss any meals or snacks provided during our overnighter program.
Is Ways of the Woods a Peanut Free camp?
Though Ways of the Woods is happy to try and accommodate any camper with allergies, we are not able to list ourselves as a peanut free camp. Our outdoor settings are enjoyed by thousands of other individuals through the year, and our other campers do bring bag lunches, trace amounts of allergens may be present at a variety of locations.
My camper is taking medication while at camp, what information does the camp staff require?
When registering, we ask that you describe any specific medical concerns you or your camper may have. This would include information pertaining to medication routines, current injuries, allergies, etc.
I forgot to give you some details or the medical information has changed since we registered, what do I do?
Contact us at 905-878-5011 x1256 so that we can update your camper profile.
My Camper is not a swimmer. Can they avoid Swimming as an activity?
Swimming is one of our Camp’s most popular activities. Our Waterfront at Kelso is fully lifeguarded, and is located at a sand beach with graduated depth markers. Non swimmers are required to wear a PFD at all times. Our staff will work with non swimmers to introduce them to the water and ensure they are closely supervised while at the beach. In addition to the camp staff, the Kelso Beach is overseen by lifeguards that are specifically assigned to camps. If you are certain that you do not wish your camper to swim, you may indicate that to our registration staff, however they will be required to visit the beach with their group while the other campers swim.
Is your Boating activity supervised?
Boating is done at Kelso where we have our Lifeguard staff on duty, as well as first aiders and rescue boats at our Boat Rental beach. All participants wear proper pfd’s while on the water, and our camp staff join them on the water to supervise more closely. Campers boat in groups and carry all the require small pleasure craft emergency supplies they may need. The Kelso reservoir is limited in size and has no water way exits, so campers cannot leave the supervised area.
The Jr. and Sr. Guard Camps mention Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross content. Will my camper earn certification?
Yes, campers enrolled in these programs will earn the corresponding certifications providing they are able to complete the content to the required standards. Each camp provides far more hours than required by the courses themselves, so campers will have time to learn, develop, and hone their abilities. A full overview of the specific content for the Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross can be found by visiting the Livesaving Society website.
How strong a biker does my child need to be for bike camp?
The Ways of the Woods bike camp is intended for campers with some existing off pavement bike experience. We recommend that campers be comfortable riding on grass, gravel, and on bike trails. Campers will build skills pertaining to riding up and downhill, as well as navigating trail features like rock, roots, bridges, etc. This is NOT a camp for new riders, but being an expert is most definitely not a requirement. In order to ensure a fun and safe environment for all of our campers we reserve the right to move your camper into a group that is better suited to their ability level or recommend an upgrade to a rental bike if theirs is not suitable for our trails.
What type of bike do I need for bike camp?
We ask that campers be riding at minimum a 24” wheel bike with both front and rear handlebar actuated brakes. Coaster brakes (backpedal / skid brake) will not be sufficient for this camp. We also offer a full rental fleet of purpose Devinci mountain bikes in a variety of sizes if needed.
What other equipment will I require for Bike Camp?
A proper bike helmet, riding gloves and some way to carry water on the trail (a hydration back pack is best) are the only required equipment. Other equipment you may appreciate would be shin / knee guards, and spare tube to fit your wheel size.
Can I leave my bike at Camp for the week?
Yes, campers in Bike Camp can leave their bike at camp during their week of camp. It will be locked up overnight, so there will be no access to the bikes once camp hours are over.
How should I get my child’s bike to camp?
We recommend that campers in bike camp get a ride to camp on Monday morning with their parent or guardian. They may ride the bus home that day, as their bike can stay on site. Similarly parents will want to pick their child up on the final day of camp in order to transport their bike home.
How is behaviour dealt with at camp?
Ways of the Woods puts great pride in offering a positive and memorable experience for all of its campers. In situations where campers are having difficulty contributing to this positive experience, our staff follow a well-planned behavioural policy. This graduated behaviour policy is available upon request, but focuses on helping our campers learn from mistakes and discover how to best contribute with their group. Behaviour that risks safety or injury of any camper is taken quite seriously. Campers who are having a difficult time with behaviour may find themselves removed from their group, dealing with their guardians and camp staff, or in some situations may find themselves being asked to leave camp. In any case, guardians will always be consulted and kept aware of how their children are doing at camp. For the full camp policies on behaviour, click here.
How is bullying dealt with at Camp?
Bullying is not tolerated within any Ways of the Woods Camp. Behaviour that is deemed to be bullying will result in immediate contact being made with the campers guardians. Campers who bully may need to leave camp for the day or week.
If my camper is asked to leave camp, do I receive refund or credit?
No. Campers who lose their privilege to be at camp due to behaviour are not entitled to refund. Their spot in camp was held at registration and we are unable to fill space in camp mid week.
What is your Refund policy?
We have considered every option imaginable, but the unfortunate reality is that summer camp, in the usual format, is just not possible at this time, so Ways of the Woods will not be happening for the summer of 2020… at least, not in the way we are all used to.
So, what happens to your camp registration? You have a few options.
- You can donate your registration fee, either in full or in part, to the Conservation Halton Foundation, so that it can be used for future education and restoration programs, and receive a tax receipt.
- You can receive a credit in the form of a gift card that can be used for anything at the Conservation Halton Parks. (This credit does not expire.)
- You can receive a refund in the form of payment that you used to make your reservation.
Whatever option you choose, please understand it will take us some time to process. If you would like a refund, you don’t need to do anything—you will receive it automatically. If you would like to a credit or to make a donation, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the name of your camper and the option that you would like.