Frequently Asked Questions from Parents
How is Camp Kirk different than other camps?
Camp Kirk is relatively small in size and boasts a large staff to camper ratio (29/36), providing an intimacy and supervision not found at most other camps.
The camp is a very nurturing environment where all programs are non-competitive and where we use a philosophy of "challenge by choice".
Where is Camp Kirk?
Camp Kirk sits on 110 acres just north of the village of Kirkfield, on Highway 48 approximately one hour and thirty minutes from Toronto.
Can children attend Camp Kirk for more than one session?
Yes! Children who wish to attend more than one session in a summer certainly can.
It is also important to note that many children return to Camp Kirk year after year.
Can my child phone home?
Generally, we discourage campers from calling home and encourage them to write letters instead, particularly if there is some degree of homesickness involved.
In our experience, telephone conversations can often be more detrimental than helpful.
Parents, however, are welcome to call their child's counsellors and/or the camp Director at their convenience.
What if my child is homesick?
Homesickness is relatively common, particularly with young children who are away from home for the first time.
Much can be done to reduce the chances or the degree of homesickness for a child.
The first step is for a parent to include the child as early as possible in the process of looking for a suitable camp and to talk openly about going away to camp.
The second step would be to validate as normal the fact that he/she may feel a bit sad at times and miss home, but at the same time, reassuring your child that both you and he/she will be fine and reunited after camp.
The staff at Camp Kirk are well prepared to handle homesickness and generally, homesick campers settle in quite well after a day or so.
What about medication? What if my child becomes sick while at camp?
First of all, we strongly recommend that your child is kept on his/her regular schedule of medication while at camp.
We have a well-equipped infirmary and a first aider on staff 24 hours a day.
This person is responsible for the management and the dispensing of all medications and takes care of all health related issues at camp.
A pharmacy and a medical clinic is available in the village of Kirkfield which is located 5 minutes from camp.
Should additional medical care be necessary, we are but 20 minutes from the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ontario.
My child is incontinent or enuretic (bedwetter). Can he/she still go to camp?
Absolutely. Your child should not be deprived of an overnight camp experience for this reason.
There may be several different causes, some physiological or some psychological, as to why your child has difficulties with bowel or bladder control or has bedwetting issues.
Although Camp Kirk does not offer treatment for either condition, it does offer a nurturing and supportive environment where your child will feel comfortable, at ease and well supported in dealing with these issues.
For sanitary and health reasons, the wearing of protective undergarments is necessary and they are provided at camp free of charge.
You and your child should know that he/she is one of many children who have similar challenges. Our goal is to give them the opportunity to enjoy a "normal" overnight camping experience, free of the stigmas and the teasing that so often accompany these issues.
What do meals at Camp Kirk consist of? How are they prepared?
Meals are very important at camp.
They are well balanced, nutritious and prepared on site by a qualified and experienced kitchen personnel.
A light snack is served in the evening as campers settle for the night and gather their energy for the next day's adventure.
My child is on a special diet. How will this be maintained at Camp Kirk?
We can certainly accommodate a vegetarian diet and most other dietary needs.
However, any other "special diet" would have to be reviewed prior to a child's acceptance to Camp Kirk.
Does Camp Kirk provide night supervision?
Two staff members are on "Night Watch" every night and continually check on campers throughout the night from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m.
They are stationed in the Dining Hall and are always available if need be.
What qualifications and training does the staff have?
For the most part, Camp Kirk staff are made up of university students at the undergraduate and graduate level and professionals in the field of education, psychology, social-work, outdoor education, etc.
They are hand picked and have shown a special interest in working with children with special needs and, where necessary, they are fully qualified.
Each staff member is required to participate in an intensive eight day pre-camp training session at the beginning of each summer.
In addition, police checks are mandatory and part of our hiring procedure for each Camp Kirk employee. On average, approximately 50% of the Camp Kirk staff returns from one year to the next.