Recreation Support Program
Some children may need extra help to take part in camp programs. You can register for the City’s Recreation Support Program to have a facilitator support your child at camp. You can also have an external support person attend camp with your child.
Children may need support to attend camp if they:
- Have a physical, visual, hearing, developmental or intellectual disability
- Have attention or behaviour difficulties
- Currently receive support services or special education services at school or from a community agency
Is camp right for your child?
For some kids camp can feel fun, exciting, and free from the firm structure of school.
For others camp can feel too loud. There may be too many people, too much change, and not enough structure or quiet time.
The day camp experience is right for your child if they will enjoy:
- Being part of a group of 10 to 15 other children
- Spending time and eating lunch in a large room with about 80 friends
- Changing activities and rooms often, maybe every half hour
- Playing a lot of group games that involve running, throwing, catching, kicking balls, making crafts and painting
- Playing outside on a nice sunny day
- Singing songs and cheering for their team
The City wants to provide an environment that is safe, fun and welcoming. Making sure that everyone in the camp has the same understanding of needs, expectations and awareness is vital to ensuring an enjoyable camp experience.
We expect that everyone participating in camp will:
- Stay with the group and take part in activities
- Use acceptable language
- Follow all sign out procedures and not leave the program space without permission
- Not harm other campers or staff. Name-calling, hitting, spitting, kicking or any other form of harm is unacceptable.
- Touching or taking personal property without permission is unacceptable
If your child needs support at camp, complete their camp registration online or in person and then register for the Recreation Support Program and pay the fee.
A child requiring support must be supported at all times during camp. The facilitator is available for eight hours of support per day.
Register for Recreation Support
You must complete the form and pay all fees in order to complete registration. We cannot guarantee support will be provided until registration is complete.
As part of the program, the City pays half of the cost of the facilitator and the family pays for the other half. The family portion of the fee is approximately $350.
If your child needs to take any type of medication while at camp, you must also complete a Parent or Legal Guardian Medication Consent Form.
We will contact you to book a phone interview to gather additional information our staff will need be able to connect with your child for a fun and enjoyable camp experience.
On the first day of camp, your child’s facilitator will be at the sign-in table to greet your child.
About our facilitators
Recreation support facilitators are usually students with limited behaviour management training. Staff are not able to provide the same level of support as educational assistants or behaviour therapists. Facilitators can provide verbal prompts for going to the washroom and changing. They cannot lift or transfer the participant or administer medication.
We’ll try to keep the same facilitator with your child through the week but sometimes facilitators may change, for example if someone gets sick. For campers that register for the full summer or several weeks, a facilitator will spend two to three weeks with a particular child.
Facilitators have a 30 minute break each day. During their break, another staff person will be with your child.
All facilitators have their current Emergency First Aid, CPR B, and High Five certifications, as well as acceptable criminal reference checks. Facilitators have minimal behaviour management training.
All facilitators complete training which includes sessions on facilitating friendships, encouraging participation in activities and managing emergency situations.
Facilitators learn basic behaviour management, including a review of our hands off policy and redirection techniques. Facilitators do not receive training on how to physically stop or restrain participants. An individual who may require restraint holds or physical interventions requires an external support worker.
A support person can attend recreation programs for free if they’re helping an individual with a disability participate in the program.
A support person may be a family member, friend who is at least 14 years old, or an individual found through an organization.
A support person is fully responsible for the care, support and safety of the camp participant during all camp activities. They must stay with the participant at all times. They can encourage independence, socialization and participation in camp activities when appropriate.
Attending camp as a support person
Here’s some important information for a support person attending one of our camps:
The Camp Supervisory Team is made up of senior staff and/or a site leader, a camp coordinator, and full-time staff. The team can answer any questions you may have about support expectations or modifications to activities.
You must wear clothing that’s comfortable to play in, for example a t-shirt or tight long-sleeve shirt, athletic shorts or athletic pants, and running shoes. Be prepared for outside activities with sunscreen, a hat and a reusable water bottle.
Cell phones, photos and video
Cell phone use must be minimal and used for immediate work-related matters only. You cannot use your phone to record or take pictures during camp. If a parent is requesting pictures of their child, please have the parent speak directly to the full time camp staff on duty.
Signing in and out
Sign in and sign out procedures must be followed at all times. Camp participants must not leave the property without written consent from a parent or guardian.
Even with written consent from the participant’s parent or guardian, you must sign the participant out of camp with appropriate camp staff before leaving the property.
A participant who needs support can’t attend camp until their support person arrives. It’s not safe for the participant to be unsupported or unattended at any time, even for a few minutes. Communicate with the family of your participant if you’re running late or going to be away so they can make other arrangements.
If the participant you’re supporting needs a break, tell the camp leader. You and the participant can leave the program area for a little while, but you cannot leave the facility.
If the participant is swimming, you must be in the water with them within arm’s reach at all times to ensure their safety.
Campers over the age of 6 can take the deep end test. If they pass, they’ll get a green wristband they must wear while swimming. Any camper who gets a yellow or red wristband must stay in the shallow end of the pool and wear a personal floatation device and be within arm’s reach of you at all times.
Bring swim clothes to change into for swimming. These are clean clothes or a bathing suit that will only be worn in the pool. You can wear a clean t-shirt over your bathing suit. Remind the camp supervisory staff you will need a senior staff person to supervise your participant while changing into your swimming clothes. Speak with staff to plan this ahead of time if possible.
You must accompany the child you’re supporting to the washroom. If you’re leaving the group, always let a camp counsellor know where you’re going and how long you think you’ll be gone.
As an external support person you may not take any other campers to the washroom with you. Other campers in the group must follow camp washroom procedures.
Some equipment like fidget toys or adjustable balls may be available on site. Participants can use this equipment as a comfort to reduce anxiety or overstimulation.
Return equipment to the appropriate storage container after use. If equipment is broken or no longer safe to use, inform camp supervisory staff.
Participants can bring their own equipment or possessions, but be aware that other campers may want to see or touch items brought from home. The City is not responsible for any loss, theft or damage that may occur.
Treat the camp participant’s personal information with sensitivity and confidentiality. It’s inappropriate to share personal information about the person you support with anyone, including other campers. There are times when you may need to share some information with City staff if there is some kind of risk to the participant’s health and safety.
If you’re concerned about the behaviour of other campers, speak to the the Camp Supervisory Team or on-site recreation staff as soon as possible.
Any injuries sustained by either the camper or you as the support person must be immediately reported to the applicable supervisor.
Any instances of workplace violence or respectful workplace concerns must be immediately reported to the camp coordinator or full time staff.
In the event of an emergency situation, lock down or evacuation, follow the directions of the full time staff.
If you need additional support or other accommodations to participate in a recreation program, please let the instructor or staff know.
If you have any questions about accommodations or accessibility, please call 905-615-3200 ext. 8260 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.