Frequently Asked Questions 

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Program Information

What are your hours of operation?

All camp programs operate from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Campers can be dropped off between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., and picked up between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. Please have your child’s Ontario Health Screening completed upon arrival and be prepared to show your child’s ‘green screen’ to a staff member. The staff member will also take your child’s temperature. The Ontario Screening tool can be accessed here.

Please note:

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, before and after camp childcare and busing are not available for the summer of 2021.

Do you have extended camp care options?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, before and after camp childcare is not available for the summer of 2021.

What do I bring to camp?

Our camp days are busy! To ensure your child is prepared, please make sure the following items are packed:

  • Closed-toed shoes (preferably running shoes)
  • NUT FREE, litterless lunch and snacks (an insulated lunch bag is best)
  • Water (in a reusable container)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Backpack to carry everything in
  • Weather appropriate shoes and clothing

What do I bring on an overnight?

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we will not be offering any overnight camp experiences for the summer of 2021.

What are your counsellor to camper ratios?

In order to ensure physical distancing for the safety of campers and staff, all camp programs will operate at a 1:10 counsellor to camper ratio, with the exception of Explorers which will operate at a 1:8 counsellor to camper ratio, for the summer of 2021.

All camper groups will remain together as a single cohort for the entirety of the week.

What types of water-based experiences are available at each camp?

Swimming may occur at some of our summer camp programs. To ensure your child’s safety, he/she/they will be supervised by qualified lifeguards. In accordance with YMCA lifeguarding standards, swim tests will take place before any child is permitted to swim. If you would like your child to wear a life jacket, please let your child’s camp counsellor know.

For an outlined understanding of the unique water play experiences for each camp, please see below:

St. Andrew Catholic School – Splash pad located beside the school for all campers to enjoy

Palermo Public School – Splash pad located across the street for all campers to enjoy

St. Paul’s United Church – Campers will enjoy exciting water play activities, such as water balloons, on-site portable splash pad activities & our inflatable water slide

Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Campers will enjoy exciting water play activities, such as water balloons, sprinklers, and our portable splash pad activities

Please note:

* Inclusion of water-based activities in camp programs may be subject to change based on government guidelines.

How will we know what activities our child will be participating in when they are at camp?

We have many different forms of communication tools to ensure parents can be part of the camp experience!

  • Email – The week before camp, all parents will receive an email outlining important information about the upcoming session of camp
  • Phone Calls – The week before camp, all families will receive a phone call from their camp counsellor to introduce themselves, and answer any questions you may have
  • Family Newsletter – Families will receive weekly newsletters home from camp on Mondays outlining specific activities for the week. Please note that in the event of inclement weather, activities may be changed
  • Social Media – Keep up-to-date with what’s going on at camp by liking us on Facebook, and following us on Instagram and Twitter!

My child requires additional support. Whom should I contact?

If you are a family that requires 1:1 support for your child this summer please contact Rosie Lydon, Inclusion Specialist, for information on 1:1 availability.

Please note:

YMCA of Oakville will be accepting registration on a first-come, first-served basis. If the weeks of camp you are requesting are already full, we will work with you to attempt to find alternative arrangements until camps are fully booked for the summer. The YMCA will provide 1:1 support for each child for up to 2-weeks. 

My child lost something at camp. How do I retrieve it?

The YMCA of Oakville will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.

To avoid lost items, clearly label your child’s belongings and avoid sending any unnecessary items. Lost items will be kept on-site for child or parent pick-up throughout the week. On the Fridays of weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9, lost and found items will be transported to the Peter Gilgan Family YMCA for pick up.

Please note:

At the end of each month (August 4 and September 4), all unclaimed items will be given to a local charity.

What if my child doesn’t want to participate in an activity?

Our camp counsellors will work closely with their camper group to ensure activities meet the interest of all campers. Choice activities are always available for campers with varying interests.

Are lunches and snacks provided?

Lunches and snacks are not provided at our camp locations. Campers are expected to bring nut-free snacks and lunches to camp each day.

Camper Safety

My child requires medication. What information do you need from me to ensure they get their medication at camp?

If your child requires medication while attending our programs, please let us know.

Our ‘Medication Administration’ form will be sent to you in your pre-camp e-mail. This form needs to be filled out in its entirety.

  • Prescription Medication – Upon arrival at camp, please give the prescription medication, along with the completed Medication Administration form to the counsellor. Counsellors will give all medication to the On-Site Supervisor, who will keep the medication in a locked box. Medication will only be removed from this box at times when it is to be administered and to return it to parents. All medication must feature your child’s name, dosage and duration in the original package. Please let us know if there are any special storage requirements, or common side effects.
  • Epi-Pens and Inhalers – Any camper who brings an Epi-Pen or Inhaler to camp must bring it in a separate fanny pack/case. Epi-Pens and Inhalers will be kept with your child’s camp counsellor at all times. If you wish the Epi-Pen and/or Inhaler to remain with your child, please indicate this on your Medication Administration form.

My child will be absent today. Whom do I contact?

It is VERY important that we are notified of any absences. If your child will be absent from the camp program, please e-mail us before 8:15 a.m. Be sure to include the date, your child’s name, the program they are registered in, and the counsellor’s name.

Why do I need to bring ID when picking up my child?

The safety of campers is of utmost importance to us.

Only individuals whose names are listed on the registration form are able to pick up a child from camp. Camp counsellors will ask for photo identification to confirm the person picking up is on our registration list.

I am sending someone else to pick up my child today. Whom do I contact?

Written permission must be provided for any person not listed on the registration form to pick up your camper.

All children under the age of 13 must be picked up by a parent/guardian or identified emergency contact who is over the age of 16. Photo identification is required at pick-up on the first day of camp and each time a new person picks up your child.

I want to pick my child up early from camp, or will be dropping them off late. Whom should I call?

If you know in advance that you will be picking up your child early, please let the On-Site Supervisor know so they are able to have the camper ready for your arrival. If it is a last minute pick-up, please call the On-Site Supervisor while you are on your way.

Please note:

Some of our camp areas do not have strong cell phone reception. If possible, please ensure to provide the On-Site Supervisor with ample notice so your camper is ready for pick-up.

Summer days can be very hot. What do you do to ensure camper safety?

All camps have water and sunscreen breaks regularly scheduled throughout the day. On-Site Supervisors and Counsellors are trained to closely monitor the weather, and to increase the frequency of water & sunscreen breaks based on the weather and their campers. During very hot days, some of our regular programming may be substituted for additional water games and passive activities.

What qualifications do your staff have?

Our staff team is selected based on experience working with children and ability to role model YMCA values. Our staff prepare for camp by:

  • Providing the YMCA with a current Police Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening
  • Completing their Standard First Aid and CPR “C” certification
  • Completing pre-camp training focused on working with children, creating positive group experiences for all campers, programming and relationship building.

Which staff/volunteers will my child be interacting with, and what are their roles at camp?

  • Counsellors – Responsible for the physical and emotional safety of all campers in their group. Counsellors work closely with children each day and ensure a positive camp experience.
  • Program Support – Responsible for ensuring the camp environment is free from hazards, ensuring all equipment is disinfected regularly, and providing additional support to counsellors as needed.
  • On-Site Supervisors – Oversee the daily operations of the camp location
  • Administrator – Provide registration and office support to the camp community
  • Camp Supervisor – Oversees all camp programs operating through the YMCA of Oakville

What will happen if my child becomes sick or injured at camp?

If your child comes to camp sick, or becomes sick while at camp, you will be contacted to pick up your child. If we cannot reach you, the emergency contacts indicated on your registration forms will be contacted. Children with any type of communicable disease, including vomiting, diarrhea or fever, must be kept home from camp until symptoms have not been present for 24 hours. A doctor’s note may be required prior to the camper returning in some instances.

Please note: 

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms listed in the Ontario Screening Tool, they will not be able to attend camp. If they begin to display any of these symptoms while at camp you, or an emergency contact, will be contacted, to pick up your child. Halton Public Health recommendations must be followed in order to return to camp.


How do I register?

Registration for camp can be completed online. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to offer in-person registration this year. If you are having difficulty registering, please e-mail us.

At this time, the YMCA of Oakville is optimistic that we will be operating summer camp in 2021. As the effects of COVID-19 are rapidly evolving, please check here for updates regarding all YMCA programs.

Please note:

  • Families applying with Halton Region Financial Assistance must complete the Regional Subsidy Form
  • First Day of Registration Notice: All camp registrations are processed in sequential order from the date and time the completed form is submitted. 

I am regionally subsidized. How do I register?

You must provide your current CSF30 (Halton Region Subsidy Letter) and completed financial assistance form (to fill the form and attach your your CSF30, click here). Once registration is processed, we will be in contact for any parental contribution payments.

Please note:

Failure to provide a current CSF30 will result in an inability to process your registration. 

Do you offer financial assistance? How do I apply?

Yes, the YMCA does offer up to 2-weeks of Financial Assistance for all eligible camp families. Please e-mail customer service your most recent Notice of Assessment and proof of marital status when asked.

A member of staff will reach out to you to confirm registration and payment information after you complete and submit the registration form.

Please note:

Completed financial assistance forms will take up to 5 business days to process. Receiving incomplete forms will result in a lengthy delay in processing your application. 

My child requires 1:1 support. How do I register?

If you are a family that requires 1:1 support for your child this summer please contact Rosie Lydon, Inclusion Specialist, for information on 1:1 availability.

Please note:

YMCA of Oakville will be accepting registration on a first-come, first-served basis. If the weeks of camp you are requesting are already full, we will work with you to attempt to find alternative arrangements until camps are fully booked for the summer. The YMCA will provide 1:1 support for each child for up to 2-weeks. 

My child’s birthday is in the fall. Can they register for a program even if they don’t turn the specified age until after the summer?

As long as your child is turning the published age by the end of the calendar year, they will be allowed to register for the program. Due to the age limits set on the programs, you may not be able to complete this registration online. Please e-mail customer service if you require any assistance.

I would like to register my child with their friend. How do I do this?

There is a “friend request” section included in the online registration. Please fill out the friend’s name and our Camp On-Site Supervisor will do their best to accommodate requests. Children must be similar ages to be grouped together.

I have been put on a waitlist for a program. How will I know if I have a spot?

In the event that a program you selected is full, you may be placed on a waitlist. Should a space become available, the first person on the waitlist will be contacted by our Camp Administration team via e-mail. To accept the space, you must respond in writing within the given time frame. If the team does not receive your response within the time frame, you will be removed from the waitlist and the next entry on the list will be contacted.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellation requests must be made in writing. Requests received a minimum of two-weeks prior to the first day of the camp program will be refunded, less $25.00 per session. Requests received within two weeks of the first day of the camp session are not subject to a refund.

You will be refunded to the same method of payment you initially used to register. Exceptions will be made for medical reasons, for which a doctor’s note is required. Program transfers are accepted pending availability. Refunds will not be issued if a participant is sent home for misconduct.

Please note:

Registrations occurring within 2-weeks of the start of a program will not be subject to any refund.

Can I swap one camp week for another camp week, or another camp program?

If you are unable to attend the week your family originally registered for, you can swap your camp registration for another week of camp or another camp program that has availability.

How do I pay for camp?

Camp fees will be collected in full by credit card. Please refer to payment schedule for payment dates.