What is the child to staff ratio for you Reptile Camp?
As of this year our camper to staff ratio is 4:1 when registration is at capacity for any given session. Most city run camps are 10:1! We feel we need more staff and LIT’s to make the camp more interactive with the animals!
At Reptile Camp what is the girl to boy ratio?
We tend to have 2 girls to every 3 boys campers on an average week.
How does transportation to camp and to trips work?
Drop off and pick up to the camp is the responsibility of the parents. Drop off is between 1-3pm on the Sunday, and pick up is scheduled for 11:00am on the Saturday with a 2 hour family program scheduled to complete our week together.
What is the real level of danger of animal’s encounters?
With any animal encounters there an inherent risk and for this reason we keep a very low camper to staff ratio to increase supervision and safety. All encounters are with experienced and trained staff and are only open to campers who we feel are prepared and capable to take part in a safe manner. Since the first year of camp in 2006 we have never had an animal related injury occur.
Do you welcome and meet special needs campers?
We are more than happy to meet any special needs of any potential campers as we believe everyone has the right to participate in our programs. We have excelled in the past working with many individuals that have physical, mental or behavioral disabilities and have been able to accommodate them into having an amazing camp week. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s needs or specific issues in regards to this camp program please feel free to contact us ahead f time so we can come up with a plan for success.
Is Reptile Camp wheel chair accessible?
Yes, all of our programs can be completed and performed in fully wheelchair accessible areas. We also find no problem in the accessibility of the buses that we take to reach of our trip destinations and all locations are also wheelchair accessible.
Is your staff trained in first aid or have other accreditations?
Yes, it is a staff requirement that all first aid and CPR accreditations are up to date. All staff have current police clearance forms. All of our staff has High 5 Training, and a Project Wild Certificate. We also have staff with extra accreditations such as degrees, diplomas, certified teaching certificates, and UMAB (Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviors). On all trips our staffs are required to carry a fully packed first aid kit in each group. The safety of our campers is our primary concern.
Are all of your staff police checked?
Yes. Staff is not able to work in our facilities without an up to date police clearance form that has been issued within a couple months prior to start of camp. The safety of our campers is our primary concern.
Where can I find what my child needs to bring everyday to camp?
On our “What To Bring To Camp” page.
What meals can we expect at Reptile Camp?
Reptile Camp provides 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and we follow Canada’s Food Guide to ensure a healthy diet and happy campers. Part of our curriculum now is focusing on life skills such as meal planning, prep, cooking and cleaning. Each child at camp will have the opportunity to choose a meal and take the lead to prepare it with the guidance of our staff for the entire camp!
How much down time is there during the day?
Our camp has a very busy schedule to provide as many experiences as possible with the 1 week program for each participant. This camp will never (and has never yet) have someone say they are bored! We transition from program to program and topic to topic frequently to keep our campers engaged and the participation level high!
What type of guest speakers do you bring in on base days?
Our guest speakers vary every year and offer a very wide range of subjects. Our guest speaking segments have involved some of Canada’s most prestigious breeders of exotic songbirds and snakes, Mountsberg Wildlife Centre, Green Venture, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sciensational Snakes, Scales Nature Park, Parrots Club of Southwestern Ontario, Hands on Exotics, Jungle Cat World Wildlife Centre, Creature Quest and more!
Where are the camp programs taking place?
Our Camp property is over 8 acres and we have a wide variety of natural space that we utilize for most of our programs. We are located at 2021 South Shore Rd, Bonfield (Rutherglen), Ontario P0H 1E0. We will also spend some time each week in some Provincial Parks that are very close by including Algonquin Park, Mattawa Provincial Park and Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.
How do you ensure my child’s safety in public?
We have a great camper to staff ratio of 4:1 and we only accept 6 to 8 campers a week so that we can really concentrate on getting the most out of each camp week. We feel that these low numbers allow us to be more adventurous that some camps while our supervision and quality of care is paramount. We also believe that we have more of a family environment and movement in the camp sector.
What if my child has a fear of a specific animal at camp?
We always promote the attempt to get past the fear of any animal based first around learning about the animal and gaining a respect through their knowledge. Campers at any time have the ability to not take part in the handling or work with an animal if they feel the experience is too much for them. Often children that come to camp with a fear of a specific animal leave camp at the end of the week without it, and sometimes that animal actually becomes one of their favorite!
How vigorous is your staff training?
Our staff training is a fairly vigorous, manual-based, structured training program. Our training program totals 5 days, in which we cover and refresh such things as proper animal handling, animal knowledge, Animal care and zoology tasks, policies and procedures, first-aid and CPR, common camp scenarios, managing groups of kids, team building, programming and more.
Is every session and/or year follow the same curriculum?
No, all session and vary in trips, guest speakers and programming. We keep it new and fresh so returning campers can continue to earn and grow, and have an amazing experience just as much as a camper at our program for the first time!
What have you done each year to better the camp for my children?
We have made it our goal to focus on what we can do to better our program and to further the level of education of our campers. Our camp continues to grow and evolve and we look forward to seeing our results every year with happy children who have had an amazing experience.
What if I need to drop my child off a day before the scheduled time or have to pick him or her up a day later than the scheduled pick-up?
We do have an extra day care available for an extra fee. Simply send your request to us and we will accommodate you. Often if a camper is dropped off a day in advance they will be involved in setting up the camp week and assisting our staff with a private animal care tour! We will always work with you, your family and everyone’s busy lives to make our program available to everyone.
How do I register my child for Reptile Camp?
We can take registration by mail, or email and payment can be made by check, e-transfer or paypal! For more information please look at “Registration” on our reptilecamp.ca webpage
Is Reptile Camp fully insured?
Yes, we are fully insured. Many camps are operating right now without sufficient insurance or even without insurance at all! We carry 2-5 million dollars liability insurance (depending on the activity), the same or more than most camp and some zoological facilities!
If an emergency comes up at home how can I get a hold of my child while he/she is at camp?
Our Summer Camp Director carries a cell phone at all times. This phone number will be given to you on the first day of camp, in case any situations arise. The camp director also has email access during the course of the day, even while we are on field trips! Our “office” is also open daily to take phone calls and can also relay information to our director, our staff and our campers.
Do Campers need to bring money with them?
Campers will not be in need of any money while at camp; however they will have opportunities to purchase items. These items could be a specific snack or drink while we are on field trips, or a souvenir. In all cases the campers will be supervised. We are not responsible for any lost money! Our staff can safeguard your child’s spending money for the day, if you choose. It is recommended that any money given to campers for the week is signed in with staff for safe keeping and monitoring.
What if my child cannot, or does not want to participate in a certain activity at camp?
Your child will not be forced to participate in any activity in which he or she does not feel comfortable participating in or is physically unable to. For safety and proper supervision, it is required that your child be present at all activities. We will always try to involve everyone in every activity and rarely have any issues with campers refusing to participate.
What are the accommodations and facilities like for the Reptile Camp residential program?
We have a large property where our director’s house is located, including our sports complex, animal facilities, camp ground and natural spaces. Our camp will utilize all structures and acreage of the property at points during the week, however “Reptile Camp” has its own camp ground clearing consisting of cabins, bunkies, a fire pit, picnic tables, bbq’s and everything we need for a wild experience.
Have a question and don’t see it here? Send us an email on our Contact Us page! We may even decide to post it here for future parents!
Looking forward to meeting you at camp!
Yours in adventure,