My Child Hasn't Had Their 4th Birthday Yet, Can They Still Attend?
No. Unfortunately, there are very strict guidelines with which Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue must comply for the management of children in an outdoor setting. These are government regulations. All campers MUST be 4 years old at the start of their registered program. Should paperwork be filled out with incorrect information, such as the child's age, we will have no choice but to remove the participant from the program. A refund will not be issued to those that provide false information.
How long is the Camp day?
The regular full-week day camp runs from 9 am to 4 pm. Extended Care is available commencing at 7 am and closing at 6 pm. Extended care must be prearranged. After 6 pm, a rate of $1 per minute will be charged and is due upon arrival. As an outdoor education centre, we do have nighttime programs running onsite that staff are required to participate in.
Please note that before and after camp programs are not typically structured programs like those we conduct during the day. Campers are provided with the option of free play, to watch an animal-related movie, visit our library or do a craft.
Is transportation available to and from Camp?
No, we do not have the option for busing at this time.
What is the structure of a typical day?
Each day is very different, please check out the program page of the camp you are considering and review the list of different themes and possible activities. Our focus is for campers to spend as much time as possible outdoors hiking and learning about nature. Campers will interact with our animal ambassadors, however, for the health and well-being of our animals, they do need to have some time off during the day.
What are campers required to bring with them each day?
All campers must bring their own packed lunch, 2 snacks, and beverages. Water is available at the camp. All campers should ensure that they pack sunscreen and a hat in the summer months. All campers MUST wear close toes shoes – running shoes. We do not allow campers on-site in sandals, flip-flops, or crocs.
PLEASE NOTE – If your camper has a nut allergy please contact us before registering. Also please refer to our Nut Allergy Alert Page.
For Winter Camp Programs please ensure to pack clothing according to the clothing guidelines provided in your camper package.
How many campers are there in a group?
Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue has 10 unique programs for kids ranging in age from 4-16 years old. Our overall camper-to-staff ratio varies based on the age from 6:1 to 10:1 for older campers. Senior staff members are constantly interacting with camper groups, providing on-going supervision and direction to staff every day. Due to the nature of our activities and work with animals all programs have a limited number of spaces available each week.
My child is allergic to peanuts. Is the Camp a PEANUT FREE program?
We ask that campers do not bring any peanut or nut-based products to the camp. Please note our camp takes at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue which houses many animals that have nuts in their daily diet. Although we do not allow children to bring nut products into our space, there may be nut products on-site as part of many of the animal’s daily diets. If your camper has a nut allergy, we recommend you speak to our program operator prior to registering for camp, and read our Nut Allergy Alert page.
Can the Camp accommodate children with special needs?
We are happy to integrate children with special needs, working with animals is a great experience for all children. Each child’s individual circumstances will determine whether Soper Creek Wildlife Nature Centre is a good camp choice; if our program is a good fit, we encourage parents to send support staff their child is familiar with to camp with them. Camp is an excellent way for children of all abilities to grow and learn, and being exposed to a broad range of people with different skills and talents is a rewarding and enriching experience for any child. Parents of a child with special needs are asked to call the camp directly to discuss the inclusion of their child at camp.
Unfortunately, as an outdoor facility with natural pathways, we are not wheelchair accessible. It is simply impossible to groom the forest to make it so, as we do sit on protected land. We do offer a wide variety of animal-based workshops that take place in our shelter which can be accessed by wheelchairs. Should you wish to speak to someone about this please do not hesitate to reach out.
How important is camper safety?
Safety is always #1 at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue. Due to the nature of our camp and our daily interaction with animals, we take camp safety very seriously. We continuously evaluate every aspect of camp, including arrivals, departures, exposure to elements, staff qualifications, activities, and animal interaction.
Are campers always supervised?
Campers are supervised at all times, and work directly 1-1 with a camp staff when interacting with the animals.
What are your COVID 19 Policies and Procedures?
Our staff have been working on amazing programs all year round and can’t wait to share them with you. Due to the new regulations that have been put out by the Ministry, we have had to make some changes as to how the programs can run. If you would like to check out the Ministry’s website you can find the 3-page document that we are using as a reference for what needs to be done here.
Each group will have no more than 10 campers. This means we will have 1 staff member to 10 children of the same age range (unless specified for the program you enrolled in). If you have siblings or friends that you would like to keep together please ensure you have filled this out on the online registration form. There is a specific section called same group request.
Each group of 10 will have its own activity station for the day. We have broken up the property into various stations. The government guidelines state that each group always be 6 feet apart from each other. Our groups will be hundreds of feet apart and not be interacting with each other, not even for lunchtime. These stations will be their home base for the day. Each night the stations are sanitized which allows the groups to rotate to a different home base the next day.
An example: Living with the Land on Monday (located in the picnic shelter) will then rotate to the Regions of Ontario home base on Tuesday (located in the forest).
Due to these changes, we have had to remove the weekly themes and cover each theme in a day. This helps us ensure all of the equipment is not shared amongst groups and that we can clean them each night. But not to worry if your child is registered for multiple weeks the programs will be different each week!
In an effort to keep physical distancing as outlined by the government, each child will have their own 6 ft picnic table or activity space. The tables have been painted in different colours and your child’s first name will be placed on the table. This workstation will be theirs for the day they are at the specific station and disinfected at night. At this workstation, they will keep their bags, eat snacks and lunch as well as perform activities like crafts and experiments. Each child will have their own physical space, unless parental consent is given, for siblings living in the same household to be at the same workstation.
Workstations will be disinfected prior to and following: snacks, lunch, and activities.
INDIVIDUAL HAND SANITIZERS:
Each workstation will be equipped with its own hand sanitizer and craft material.
At the present time, we are not allowed to offer any form of animal exposure. But as you all know this is a very fluid situation that we are in. This may change in the next few weeks but due to the fact that animals can get COVID and it is considered zoonotic, the government has said no exposure to animals. Campers will be able to see the animals and learn about them but are unable to enter into the enclosures with them.
DROP-OFF & PICK-UP
Kiss & Ride style, just like at school.
Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue has made changes to our main parking lot to accommodate a kiss and ride style camp drop-off. 3 staff will be managing cars as they come down the road, helping you to navigate through the marked area.
You will be greeted at the drop-off location by a single staff member wearing gloves and a mask. They will electronically look up your child’s chart on our tablet. Prior to your child getting out of the car, your child’s temperature will be taken via an electronic laser on their wrist and recorded. This is what we do to measure the animal’s temperature as well! So don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt and is non-invasive. Any child with a fever, or who exhibits flu-like symptoms will be sent home and not be able to participate in the program.
Parents will be asked to complete an electronic safety checklist certifying that to the best of their knowledge, no one in the immediate family is sick, has had COVID-19, or has been exposed to the virus. This will be read to you and checked off by a staff member to reduce touching surfaces.
This form will be filled out for each camp session, regardless of your child is in multiple camp sessions. If your child is in a weeklong program, then it needs to be submitted on the first day of camp - Monday. Should anything change for yourself, your family, or your child while enrolled in any camp, it is mandatory that you keep your child home and advise Stefanie MacEwan immediately.
Once we have all of the information that we need, we will point your child to the next counselor who will take them to their assigned leader and space.
As camp programming starts promptly at 9:00 am we do ask that you drop off anytime after 8:30. Staff will be available from 8:30 – 8:58 am for drop-off. Should you request early drop-off (before 8:30), the process will be similar, just with fewer people.
We cannot stress this enough: We do leave the kiss and ride location at 8:58 sharp, to ensure campers are taken to their activity station for the day to start programming.
End-of-day pick-up will be very similar, as the children will be waiting. Please do not get out of your car, we will bring them to you. This policy is what has been outlined by the Ministry and we have to adhere to it.
WASHROOM TRAILER WITH RUNNING WATER AND SINKS:
We now have washroom facilities with full running water and A/C. To ensure that all children have the access to washing their hands we have rented a portable washroom trailer. This two-stall trailer is maintained weekly by a third-party company. Each stall has its own sink with running water and soap and even air conditioning. By providing this, we can ensure that all children can wash their hands as many times as needed. This is in addition to the hand sanitizer they have at their work station.
Washroom trailers will be disinfected after each group's use to ensure that they are safe for the next group.
We are not able to supply or apply sun lotion, or bug repellent to children. We are happy to provide them with reminders but staff cannot physically apply on the children.
Staff will be wearing masks when in close contact with your children but during normal activities and programming, they will not be worn unless the staff member chooses to do so. We do not recommend sending your child with one, and the Health Department has made many statements stating that children wearing masks will cause them to touch their face more than normal. If a mask is damp, wet, or dirty, it is deemed non-usable. Trust me these kiddies are going to be dirty at the end of each day!
The most important thing about camp is having fun and building memories. We here at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue are looking to ensure that your child is in a safe environment but also that they are having the time of their life. We can’t forget that children need adventure and pure joy in their life. I promise you that will never change!
LIMITED SPACES AVAILABLE
To ensure childrens' safety and physical distancing, we will have limited spaces for all summer programming.
Registration is on a first-come basis and we will not be holding sessions outside of these times.