Are the activities for boys and girls?
Absolutely! When selecting themes for each summer, we strive to ensure activities appeal to all campers. Themes are based on the interests of campers 5-13 years old, based on movies, tv shows, computers games or the latest craze amongst kids. All our activities are created with both our male and female campers in mind but we recognize that some parents express concern over themes such as “transformers” which may be perceived as a “boy” theme. However, the actual activities during this week are robotics which should appeal to both boys and girls. We encourage parents to discuss the actual activities with their children rather than focussing on the theme if they feel it is not gender neutral. It is also important to note that while all activities relate to the weekly theme, more importantly, they are STEM based. If your camper is interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math they will enjoy their week with us.
What is your policy for special needs children?
We try very hard to accommodate special needs children where we can. There is no strict policy regarding special needs children as several factors depend on our ability to provide an environment suitable to them. Suitability and capabilities vary from site to site. Therefore, if you have a special needs child and they wish to come to STEM Camp, please contact us and we will review each case independently. Unfortunately we are not able to offer 1:1 care for special needs campers.
What ages can a camper enrol in in-person camp?
Children between the ages of 5-13 are eligible to enrol in in-person camp.
What are the Summer Camp hours?
Our camp program operates from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. each day. Drop off begins at 8:30 a.m. and pick up is between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. We also offer early drop off starting at 8:00 a.m. and late pick up until 5:00 p.m. The fee for this is $6 each per day (or $12 per day for both early drop off and late pick up) as we have to have at least 2 staff to monitor the campers at all times.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day starts with a group activity during the half hour drop off period. Then campers are sorted into their age appropriate groups and their counsellor starts the first group STEM activity related to the theme. A break is scheduled mid-way through the morning before campers engage in another group activity before lunch. The afternoon is different where campers have the ability to choose different small group activities based on our weekly theme. There are scheduled breaks throughout the day for kids to run around and get some exercise. Since it is the summer we do as many outside activities as possible dependent on weather such as rain and heat.
What about lunch and snacks?
Campers bring their nut free lunches and snacks to every location unless it is posted on our website that a lunch option is available. Please review our Allergy Statement. Note that STEM Camp is a nut aware camp in that we ask parents to provide nut free food for their children. Be aware, however, that some nut food products may be present at STEM Camp.
No snack program will be available during the pandemic.
Do you administer medication?
There is at least one staff member at every site that has their First Aid and CPR certification, however, STEM Camp counsellors DO NOT administer medications (unless it is an emergency such as the use of an epic pen). If your child needs medication throughout the day please arrange for a parent or a designate to come and do so. Also, please ensure this information is communicated clearly on the application form when enrolling your child.
Do you have any subsidies for low income families or single parents?
As a not for profit, STEM Camp does not have a formal subsidy program as our fees are already at cost. We suggest parents contact their local service clubs and agencies to enquire about existing summer camp subsidy programs. A call to your local MPP and MP offices could also provide some ideas as to funding.
Are there lots of activities for the kids?
Yes! Each year we continue to add more and more activities and options for the counsellors to ensure the campers are always busy! For a description of some of our upcoming activities for 2020 be sure to view our Parents Guide to Activities.
Do you group the kids by ages?
As much as possible, yes. This depends on the location and the support of that location by the local community. In locations where STEM Camp is completely sold out it is much easier to divide the campers into more groups. In locations where there are a smaller number of campers coming, we can’t afford (as a not-for-profit organization) to employ multiple counsellors for a limited number of campers. We try our best to bring STEM Camp to smaller towns but rely heavily on parents supporting us to be able to break into more groups. During a pandemic changes may be made to groupings to allow for cohorting to take place. This will be handled at camp level.
How do we know where to drop off and pick up our children?
We post this information on the location pages as soon as we receive it from our partner sites. In the case where STEM Camp is located at a university or a college this information can take a while to be forwarded to us as they have internal procedures they must follow to make drop off and pick up as seamless as possible for parents. An email is sent prior to the start of each STEM Camp week to all enrolled parents with this information.
What is the Convenience Fee?
It is 3% of your registration fee to cover transaction expenses. This is a non-refundable fee and it is only applied at registration.
Sometimes special guests visit various locations to augment our programming. As guests are booked they will be announced on our website.
NOTE THAT NOT EVERY LOCATION AND EVERY WEEK WILL HAVE A GUEST – THERE ARE NO GUESTS ALLOWED DURING A PANDEMIC.
Ratio of counsellors
Typically 7:1 across our sites depending on funding through Canada Summer Jobs grants – some variations apply. If volunteer CIT’s (Counsellors-In-Training) apply they are most welcome as well. Each camp location has a Lead Counsellor, an Activity Coordinator and regular counsellors.
Where do you get your counsellors?
Counsellors come from three groups: teachers who want to do something in the summer, graduates of Teacher Colleges across Ontario and university and college students looking for summer employment (a few secondary school students are hired each year as well). Each counsellor has a background in at least one of the STEM areas and experience working with children. A recent Vulnerable Sector Police Check are mandatory requirements for all counsellors and there will be at least one counsellor present at each camp location with their First Aid certification at all times.
Do you offer a March Break Camp?
We may be running an in-person March Break Camp in a few areas however, that greatly depends on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will definitely be offering virtual sessions over March Break (March 15th to 19th) regardless provided there are no regulations prohibiting us from doing so.
What locations are you running for the summer of 2021?
Provided we are able to do so you can find a list of our intended summer locations here.
Where can I review your COVID-19 related policies and procedures?
Our Return to Camp Guidelines is an excellent resource for parents interested in our new policies and procedures relating to COVID-19. A copy of this document will be provided to parents upon registration, to staff and site contacts. The document was prepared by a doctor, two nurses and two elementary school teachers and vetted by legal and insurance bodies. Download the most recent copy.
What payment methods do you accept?
Payments are made by e-transfer sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy of your statement will be emailed to you after enrolment with the exact payment amount required.
What happens if my child comes to STEM Camp and doesn’t like it after the first day? Do I get a refund?
No. As a not for profit we operate very “close to the line”. The costs for the activities for our camp are very high and we cannot afford to offer refunds under this circumstance. We suggest that parents evaluate their situation closely prior to enrolling their child and that should a situation occur where the child indicates they are not “having fun” or “didn’t learn anything”, strongly encourage them to try their best the next day. Children often focus on one thing during the day they did not like but in actuality they had 10 other positive things happen. Another suggestion would be to discuss the situation with the Lead Counsellor on site as there is often more to the story.
What is your refund policy?
STEM Camp is introducing its “NO RISK REFUND POLICY” in 2021 as a result of the pandemic. Families can obtain a full refund (minus the convenience fee) for ANY reason if that request is made by email to email@example.com by the end of May, 2021. As of June 1, 2021 no cash refunds will be granted for any reason (with the exception that the government prohibits day camps from operating), however, full summer camp credits will be issued. You may also switch your week at any time for another week provided spots are available. It is important to note, that the refund policy applies to new enrolments received on or after February 1, 2021 and does not apply to sessions that were carried over from the summer of 2020.
Do I get a refund if the government makes an announcement that day camps are not allowed to open?
Yes. In (what we feel will be an unlikely event this year) the case where STEM camp is forced not to operate because of a government order, families will receive a full refund (minus the convenience or processing fee) for summer camp, including those families who rolled over from a previous year.
Do you offer half day programs? Can my child enrol for 3 of the 5 days in a week?
Unfortunately, we do not offer half day enrolment or part time enrolment. While it is your choice to only send your child for half a day or a few times a week, there is no price discount. The full enrolment fee will apply.
Are all your sites air conditioned?
Not all of the facilities we use are air conditioned. If this is important to you, please check with Head Office to see if a facility is air conditioned. The activities your children are involved in are of an academic nature and not strenuous. We will conduct activities under shade trees or in front of fans if it is hot but will not be refunding due to the weather being hot in the summer. All of our facilities do have adequate heat for the winter.
I have a credit on my account, can I use this for in-person sessions?
Absolutely, give us a call at 519-475-6600 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are interested in using your credit towards an in-person session and we will apply your credit and send you an update statement.
How long will my credit remain on my account?
Your rollover credit from the summer of 2020 will remain on your account until August 27, 2021 at which point any remaining balance will be considered a donation.
What is required to bring to camp?
The following list comes directly from the 2021 Parent Handbook. Parents receive a copy of this document attached to their registration email after enrolment. Make sure to bring…
- Lunch, Snacks, Water Bottle
- Facial covering
- Laptop or tablet
- Pencil case containing basic school supplies (pencils, erasers, scissors, markers/pencil crayons)
- Weather appropriate clothing
- Closed toe and heel shoes must be worn to comply with camp safety rules
- Bug spray
- Hat and sunglasses
Will camp be cancelled if my city/town is in lockdown?
Not necessarily, STEM Camp is classified as a daycare/summer camp and may be permitted to operate in a lockdown zone provided our site partner is willing to host us.