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Camp Ontario

A camp for kids living with childhood arthritis

 
photo to supplement event

August 21, 2022


Camp Tamakwa
Algonquin Park , ON


Registration Update: We look forward to welcoming our campers back in person this summer! We continue to closely monitor provincial health guidelines for summer camps and will make adjustments to our plans based on government recommendations, always keeping the safety of our camps as our top priority. Registration for Camp Ontario will open March 15, 2022. Please note:

  • This year, we will be prioritizing campers who have never had the opportunity to attend camp
  • Everyone onsite, including our campers, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Important dates:


Camp Ontario is a five-day overnight retreat for Ontario children and youth ages 8-17 who are living with arthritis. This year, Camp Ontario will be hosted at Camp Tamakwa, situated in the beautiful Algonquin Park. Camp Tamakwa is located by boat access only, but please be assured that the boat landing to and from camp is accessible.

Why send your child to Camp Ontario?

From the beginning, the focus of Camp Ontario 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 Ontario promises a life-time of memories and lifelong friendships!

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

Registration

We look forward to welcoming our campers back in person this summer! We continue to closely monitor provincial health guidelines for summer camps and will make adjustments to our plans based on government recommendations, always keeping the safety of our camps as our top priority. Registration for Camp Ontario will open March 15, 2022. Please note:

  • This year, we will be prioritizing campers who have never had the opportunity to attend camp
  • Everyone onsite, including our campers, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Important dates

  • Phase 1: Application
    March 15 – April 8, 2022
  • Phase 2: Conditional Acceptance
    April 22 – May 6, 2022
  • Phase 3: Final Acceptance
    Campers will be notified of their final acceptance no later than May 20

Please see our registration guide below for more information on this year’s registration process.

Qualifications

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.

How to register

Families will be able to apply online using our secure registration website. Please note: Registration will be online only. Registration can be accessed from the Arthritis Society website.

Please note that an application does not guarantee a spot at camp. All applications will be reviewed and officially confirmed via email from the Arthritis Society.

When all 130 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.

Your Registration Guide 

Costs

This year Camp Ontario will require campers to make a financial contribution towards the cost of their participation in camp. We have explored all options to cover the cost of our Ontario camp and are currently putting out an urgent fundraising appeal to help reduce the financial contribution required of camper families. At this time, we anticipate that families will contribute to camper fees using a tiered approach, where families will self-select one of the following amounts that they will pay: 

  Financial Contribution
Subsidized $500
Full Cost $1500

These financial contributions will be due during phase 2 of registration, which is the conditional acceptance period. During this time, families will be directed to pay the balance owing (a deposit if opting for a payment plan) by May 6, 2022 to complete camper registration.  

We will continue to offer travel bursaries to those who require additional support to attend camp and if the camp fees will present a challenge for your family, please contact us at camp@arthritis.ca. We will do our best to provide additional options for you.   

Medical considerations

Our medical staff team consists of registered nurses. These professionals are available 24 hours a day to care for the campers and staff and are an essential component of the Camp Ontario 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 Ontario, please contact camp@arthritis.ca.

Head Lice and Communicable Diseases

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.

Homesick Campers

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

Check out our Camper-Guide-2022 for information on all things camp - packing lists, activity options, policies & procedures! See below for a brief overview of some of the topics you will find in our Camper Guide 2022.

Check-In and Check-Out

All campers will arrive at Camp Ontario on Sunday, August 21 and depart on Thursday, August 25. The Arthritis Society provides bus transportation to and from Camp Ontario 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 Tamakwa (P.O. Box 10008 Huntsville, ON P1H 2H3).

Please note: Changes to drop off and pick up locations cannot be made after August 1, 2022. More details on bus transportation and the arrival and departure processes will be provided by email in July / August 2022.

Food Serivces

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.

Packing for Camp

Checkout our Camper Guide to view a detailed packing list.

A Day at Camp!

Your child will be staying for five days and four 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.

FAQ
Volunteer

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 Ontario

For more information please email camp@arthritis.ca or call toll free at 1-800-321-1433.

Thank you to our sponsor

Organon

SRF

WCF