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Camp Cambria

A camp for kids living with childhood arthritis

photo to supplement event

August 25, 2020


After consulting with members of the pediatric rheumatology community, we’ve made the decision to not proceed with Camp Cambria in 2021. This was a very difficult decision, but with many unknowns regarding COVID-19, the vaccine rollout and the uncertainty around what provincial restrictions will be in place this summer, we simply couldn’t put the health and safety of our campers at risk. We look forward to seeing our campers in person in 2022!

Camp Cambria is a six-day overnight retreat for Ontario children and youth ages 8-17 who are living with arthritis.

Why send your child to Camp Cambria?

From the beginning, the focus of Camp Cambria has been to provide a place where children with arthritis can come together and participate in fun, barrier-free activities in an environment where their medical and social needs can be supported. 

Our campers get the chance to meet and interact with other children and volunteers living with arthritis. They are given an opportunity to increase their independence, learn new things, engage in social activities and meet new friends. In addition to a wide range of crafts, sports and water activities, the camp also offers the chance for children and youth to learn about their disease and discuss coping skills with peers just like them.

With a mixture of new and returning campers, Camp Cambria promises a life-time of memories and lifelong friendships!

Check out the fun from previous year's Camp Cambria by looking through the photo album!



To qualify for selection, the following criteria must be met:

  1. A confirmed diagnosis of arthritis.

  2. Covered by OHIP, Ontario's health care plan, or private health insurance. Proof of an Ontario Health Card or private health insurance is REQUIRED for camp.


Families will be able to apply online using our secure registration website. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note: Registration will be online only.  Registration can be accessed from the Arthritis Society website ( or the Camp Cambria website (

Please note that an application does not guarantee a spot at camp. All applications will be reviewed and officially confirmed via email from Helen Anderson at the Arthritis Society within 2-3 weeks of receiving an application.

When all 140 spots are filled, we will start a wait list. Even if the camp is full, we still encourage interested families to apply.  Cancellations are common throughout the year.
Families unable to apply online may contact Helen Anderson at the Arthritis Society for assistance.


  • Proof of OHIP or private health insurance

  • Up-to-date immunization history

  • Details related to medications (including strength, dose quantity, does form, time of day, etc.)

  • Information on health history / allergies

  • Camper favourites

Please note that applicants will not be able to make updates to their profile once applications have been submitted. If a camper’s medication changes or there are changes to the camper’s health history, families are advised to contact Helen Anderson to receive access to the medical section of the online registration form.


Camp Cambria is free of charge to qualified families. 

Living with childhood arthritis can put enough of a strain on a family’s time, energy and financial resources. With that in mind, the costs for this camp have been covered thanks to the generosity of Cambria, and in particular the leadership and vision of the Davis family. We thank them for their incredible support!

Health/medical considerations

Our medical staff team consists of six registered nurses and one social service worker. These professionals are available 24 hours a day to care for the campers and staff and are an essential component of the Camp Cambria family. All medications are kept and administered by the camp nursing team.  No medications are permitted in the cabins.  All medication times are accommodated at camp. Whether your camper is newly diagnosed or is approaching adulthood, our medical staff team work tirelessly to ensure your camper will get the most out of the camp experience.

The camp medical team is responsible for overseeing the total health care of the camp. In the event of an injury or illness that needs further attention, the camper will be taken to a local hospital. The camp medical team will make recommendations to send campers home, if necessary. If your child needs to be sent home due to safety, behavioural or health concerns, you will be contacted to come pick up your child. The Arthritis Society cannot provide transportation home. Unfortunately, the camp’s staff are not able to provide oversight to a child or teen who is threatening self-harm, and parents or guardians will be contacted to immediately pick up the camper to ensure their safety.

If you are a dedicated, caring and enthusiastic registered nurse and are interested in working at Camp Cambria, please contact Helen Anderson, Senior Manager, Education Services, at or 416-979-7228 Ext. 3599.


Head lice and communicable disease are a common occurrence among children and spread rapidly. For this reason, we have a proactive head lice and communicable disease management protocol in place to prevent outbreaks. Please check your child for lice or nits before arriving to camp. Mandatory lice checks will be conducted once the campers arrive at camp. Any child with lice, nits or a communicable disease will not be able to attend camp.


Our counselors are trained to recognize the symptoms associated with homesick campers. Efforts will be made to console campers and assist them in developing coping strategies. The following strategies will be used to address homesick campers:

  • Encouraged not to call home until 48 hours have passed
  • If a camper is still homesick after two nights and reasonable efforts by camp staff have been exhausted, parents may be contacted to pick up their camper.
The Arthritis Society does not provide transportation home for homesick campers.
Camper Information


All campers will arrive at Camp Cambria on Tuesday, August 25 and depart on Sunday, August 30.

The Arthritis Society provides bus transportation to and from Camp Cambria from four cities:

  • Toronto
  • Ottawa
  • London
  • Hamilton

You can arrange to have your camper take the bus, or you can drop them off at the camp location: Camp Timberlane (1612 Dudley Road, Haliburton, ON K0M 1S0).

Please note: Changes to drop off and pick up locations cannot be made after August 1, 2020

If your camper needs to be picked up early from camp, please inform the Camp Director.

More details on bus transportation and the arrival and departure processes will be provided by email in July / August 2020.


Balanced meals are prepared and served by the food service staff for each meal. If your child has any special dietary needs that were indicated on their registration forms, these needs will be met at camp. If a camper refuses to eat for an extended period of time, the camper will, unfortunately, be required to leave camp in order to ensure their health and safety.


A packing list will be provided via email by Helen Anderson, Senior Manager, Education Services, in June 2020.


Your child will be staying for six days and fives nights in cabins with trained counselors and kids around their same age. Each day they will participate in activities that usually include a water activity, indoor activity or a fun physical activity. In the evening, kids enjoy more activities or events such as campfire songs, stories and much more!

All camp programs follow a philosophy that allows participants to define success individually, giving them the opportunity to choose the level at which they challenge themselves.


Join our Closed Facebook Group; Camp Cambria Ontario. This group is created by the Arthritis Society to keep family members informed about all things camp related.

  • Where is the Camp located?

    Camp Cambria is located about 2 and a half hours north-east of Toronto, near the town of Haliburton at Camp Timberlane. We rent a beautiful 1100-acre site on a private lake.

  • What is Camp Timberlane?

    Camp Timberlane will be the host camp for Camp Cambria. Camp Timberlane was established in 1958 to create a community kids can become part of a family, develop new skills and connect the nature.

  • How will my child get to camp?

    We will be providing bus transportation from four locations across Ontario - London, Hamilton, Toronto and Ottawa. You also have the option to drop your child off at the camp location.

  • Where do campers sleep?

    While at camp, campers and staff are housed in cabins equipped with electricity and with bathroom facilities. There are designated shower buildings for boys and girls. Ninety-five percent of Camp Timberlane’s cabins are newly renovated, complete with pine interiors, hardwood floors, covered porches and ceiling fans.

  • What is the camper to staff ratio?

    We have a 3:1 ratio on site of campers to staff members. Within the cabins, the ratio is 10:2.

  • What is the make-up of your campers?

    Camp Cambria campers range in age from 8-17 and include children & teens with a confirmed diagnosis of arthritis. We have boys and girls that come from across Ontario. Campers are placed into cabins based on their age group and gender.

  • What activities are offered?

    All of our camp activities are planned with a view to teaching skills, building confidence and improving self-esteem. We achieve this by carefully structuring all of our activities to ensure success. Teaching is done by skilled instructors who can modify the activities as needed. Activities offered include waterskiing/tubing, high ropes, rock climbing/bouldering, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, archery, land sports, arts and crafts, and more!

  • How do you deal with homesickness?

    Our experienced staff members help camper's transition into the camp schedule. Most campers are so busy having fun at camp they don’t have a chance to think about things they are missing at home. When a camper does become homesick, we work on letter-writing, or another task to help them connect with home, but we also direct them right back into the camp schedule, so they can focus on having fun. We also have a social service worker on-site 24/7 to provide support to each camper.

  • How do you accommodate dietary needs?

    We offer a low sugar, low-additive diet, which consists of breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks during the day. The meals at Camp Cambria are made by a catering company that caters to dietary needs that include, but are not limited to: lactose-intolerance, gluten-intolerance, vegetarian, and vegan.

  • How are medications administered?

    Camp Cambria has a full medical centre that will staff six full-time nurses. All medications will be kept and administered by the camp nursing team. All medication times will be accommodated.

  • Can I contact my child while at Camp?

    Camp Cambria is a great opportunity for kids to be fully immersed in camp their experience. For some, it may be their first time away from home and they are building their independence and confidence. For this reason, family and friends are not able to contact their children while they are at camp. If there is an emergency and you need to reach your child, please contact Christine Bilsky, Education Specialist, Education Programs and Services at 289-675-8015 as she is at Camp Cambria for the entire week and will be able to assist you in these rare instances.

  • Can my child have cell phones or electronic devices at the camp?

    Camp Cambria is unplugged! No electronic devices will be allowed at camp. If the campers would like to capture memories at camp, they will be allowed to bring a disposable camera or, if you wish, a small, inexpensive digital camera. PLEASE NOTE: CAMP CAMBRIA AND THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS AT CAMP. BRING AT YOUR OWN RISK!

  • What should we pack for camp?

    An extensive packing list is available under the Camper Information section. This packing list will also be provided via email by Christine Bilsky, Education Specialist, in June 2020.

  • Is there a camp store/tuck shop?

    There will be no camp store or tuck shop at Camp Cambria. Everything your child needs should be packed ahead of time or will be provided at the camp.


The heart of the camp – that’s the best way to describe our wonderful volunteers. Every year, the Arthritis Society recruits, screens and trains volunteers from all over Ontario and the United States to create a magical week for our campers.

The Arthritis Society aims to create a safe and healthy experience for each camper and volunteer. We have designed mandatory training to ensure all volunteers feel comfortable in their positions at camp. This includes training from rheumatologists, social workers and occupational therapists on what it is like to live with childhood arthritis. Many of our volunteers live with arthritis and create endless opportunities for campers to learn and relate to others living with arthritis.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of our many camp positions, submit an application today!

Volunteer at Camp Cambria

Learn More about Camp Cambria

For More Information:

Helen Anderson, Director, Information and Support, Arthritis Society, 416-979-7228 ext. 3599.

Camp Cambria