Frequently Asked Questions from Parents
How is camper communication handled? Can campers phone home?
Campers can stay in touch with family and friends via letters and emails. Staff members can scribe notes if writing is not a camper’s strong point, and the option to have a note scanned/emailed home is always an option for speedy delivery.
Generally, campers are not allowed to call home. In our experience, telephone conversations can often be more detrimental than helpful- it can increase homesickness, and talking with parents can prevent campers from tapping into the support system at camp.Families, however, are welcome to call the Camp Director at any time to receive an update.
How do you approach homesickness?
Homesickness is quite common but there is much that can be done to reduce the chances or the degree of homesickness for a child.
The first step is for families to include the child, as early as possible, in the process of looking for a suitable camp. Talking openly about going away to camp, and the benefits it can bring.
The second step would be to validate as normal the fact that they may feel a bit sad at times and miss home, but at the same time, reassuring your child that both you and they will be fine and reunited after camp. Getting your camper busy in something they enjoy, and involving them in camp life is the best way to help bring their attention away from home.
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 happens when campers get sick?
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 health centre 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.
While we do not have a doctor on site, 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.
Do you have campers with bladder/bowel difficulties?
Absolutely. Your child should not be deprived of an overnight camp experience for this reason. 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.
You and your child should know that they are 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. In our Home Visit with your camper, we will go over our support system for campers with bladder/bowel difficulties.
What is the food like at Camp Kirk? Can my child stay on their special diet while at camp?
Meals are very important at camp. We provide 3 meals a day, as well as a light snack, served mid-afternoon and another again in the evening before campers settle for the night. They are well balanced, nutritious and prepared on site by qualified and experienced kitchen personnel.
We can certainly accommodate a vegetarian diet, as well as dairy/gluten free 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 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. They are stationed in the Dining Hall and are always available if need be.