When children go to camp, they are on their own, sometimes for the very first time in their lives. They have to decide what to wear, what to eat, which activities to participate in. Of course counsellors are deciding this with them, but in essence the campers soon learn that they can make decisions on their own and as a result they develop self confidence and become self-reliant.
As self-esteem develops from learning to be on their own, children continue to try new activities and also engage in one’s that they are familiar. In school, children do not experience success in the same way and can often think of themselves in a lessor light. Camp can be a school without failure because just having fun makes you a success.
Often parents call to say that they can not believe how their child’s grades improved as a result of camp. Or how they now clear the table or help out more around the house. A well directed camp will focus on trying to make every camper experience a success and it is that feeling of success that translated into self-esteem.
Of course one of the greatest benefits of a camp experience is that children develop social skills. In a camp setting, a good counselor will make sure that every camper is included in the activity and that each child interacts with the others in a positive way. They learn the give and take of group living, they learn how to work and even depend on others and more importantly that others will depend on them. Something as simple as clean-up, is not only there to get the cabin clean, but to foster a team atmosphere of working together which in turn results in friendships.
The obvious benefit of camp is that Campers make long lasting friendships. These friendships can often be more unique and extra special because campers are living with each other and see the true personalities. Because campers and staff come from all over the world, or even from a different school, children learn to see others from a different perspective. Children tend to be accepted for who they are and do not have to be as concerned with what they wear or what they are good at, or how they look. This is because in a camp setting, respect and caring ultimately win out over materialistic or short-sited objectives.
And of course, learning skills at each activity is a great benefit for campers. By being exposed to so many arts, sports and outdoor recreation programs campers have fun and develop self-esteem. They also learn skills that they can then pursue and enjoy for the rest of their lives. Because they have 30 different activities to chose from, each and every camper can feel special enjoying a craft, sport or outdoor activity. So as we tell our staff, yes camp does give children fun, friends and fulfillment
Summer camp can be such fun for children of all ages. Younger children normally start out going to day camps which are limited to a couple of hours away from home. As they get older, however, they may decide they want to go to an overnight camp. Is your child ready for overnight camp? How can you tell?
Children who have spent the night with friends are generally good candidates for overnight camp. They’ve already been able to spend time away from their parents and will be less likely to call home the day after camp begins to ask Mom or Dad to come pick them up. Of course, each child is an individual so you’ll want to take your child’s personality into consideration as well.
How long has your child spent the night away from home? Children who have spent two to three days with friends or family shouldn’t have any problems being gone that long for camp. And, since camp sessions range in length from one to eight weeks these days, you can choose a shorter camp session for a child who is new to overnight camping.
Christopher Thurber, clinical psychologist and author of The Summer Camp Handbook states, “Kids themselves are the best judge of when they are ready.” He continues, “When they show spontaneous interest in camp, that’s a good clue that the time is right.” In other words, if they bring up the topic of going to camp and mention they’d like to stay overnight, it’s a safe bet they’re up for the challenge.
Does your child have friends who attend overnight camp? Being able to spend time with friends they’re familiar with will also help your child be ready for staying overnight. They’ll want to be brave in front of their friends. Having people they’re familiar and comfortable with may make staying at overnight camp easier for their first year. After their first overnight camp experience, however, they may be willing and eager to try camp away from home and without friends.
Psychologists recommend telling your children it’s alright if they feel homesick when attending overnight camping for the first time. It is perfectly normal for children to think about home, wonder what’s going on without them and miss their family. The chances are that when they become involved in activities throughout the day they’ll be too busy to be homesick for long.
When it comes to knowing if your child is ready for overnight camp there are no hard and fast rules. Each child is an individual. A five year old who has spent the night with grandparents quite often might be able to attend an overnight camp for a week with no problem. The same isn’t necessarily the case for a twelve year old who hasn’t been away from their parents.
Talk to your child about going away to summer camp for a week or two and see how they react.
The Y Generation goes to camp: no electronics? WHAT!?
Children who attended summer camp in the past did so knowing they would have a week or so full of fun activities. Generation Y children of all ages, however, may have difficulties if they are sent to summer camp. Many of these children are dependent upon technology and feel they simply can’t do without it.
“Half of the battle is getting parents to buy into leaving these devices at home. These parents are younger and are used to having immediate access to their children. We ask them to trust us to take care of their children and contact them if the need arises,” states Sundeep Kaur, camp director of KCMV.
According to Sundeep Kaur, “I just attended a conference with Camp Directors from across the country. The rule across the board is that cell phones are not allowed.” Why are hand-held devices discouraged during summer camp? Campers who have their cell phone or other hand-held device which connects to the internet don’t get the full benefit of the camp experience. They are distracted by texting their school friends or accessing the internet that they aren’t able to make new friends.
In the past it was the older campers who were dependent upon cell phones, iPods, iPhones and handheld gaming systems. Now children as young as ten bring these items to camp and can’t understand why they’re not allowed to use them. Sundeep Kaur stated it is the junior high school students who have the most problem with the rules regarding technology devices. High school students understand the rules and now look forward to a time they can disconnect from the outside world.
Camps generally also discourage the use of the camp phone as much as possible. Part of the reason parents send their children to camp is to help them learn independence and self-confidence. Phone calls home are limited to emergencies so the campers will learn to lean on someone other than their parents. Not being able to call home for every problem encourages children to learn to solve their own problems and learn self-sufficiency. It also helps them turn to their camp counselors and build a trusting relationship with them.
WHY SEND YOUR KIDS TO CAMP?
There are so many good reasons to send a child to camp and I will make this piece short since the most important reasons are summed up quite easily.
Mark Diamond, Camp Manitou
Is your child ready for an overnight camp?
Frequently asked questions
We will seek to honour cabinmate requests as follows: campers are able to sleep with whomever they choose while attending any WCSYA Camp. There are no assigned partners. They are also able to choose where they would like to sleep in the assigned building and/or floor(s). We do sometimes separate campers based on age. Our buildings are all gender based.
About Our Activities
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there’s something for you! Our qualified staff will encourage you and ensure your safety. There are many options to choose from, and all equipment and safety gear is provided. Some activities we provide are the rock wall, high ropes, zip line, kayaking, paintball, bubble soccer, amazing race, suspension bridge, and many more activities.
Some activities have age restrictions:
-Challenge Course 8+
Always one of the most important parts of camp, we provide quality food, and plenty of it! We prepare home-style meals and everyone eats in Sangati Roop(everyone sitting together). All meals are 100% vegetarian- nuts are not permitted at the Campsite. If a camper has a food allergy, we make sure they do not consume it.We have vegan and gluten free options in all our meals.
Health & Safety
The health and safety of all our campers is of the utmost importance. It is mandatory that all of our Staff are First Aid certified. We have a well-stocked First Aid room where we treat campers. We also have 2 hospitals located 20-30 minutes away from the Camp Site. Our Staff go through a screening process (including a Criminal Record Check), and training beforehand.
If your child is unable to attend a WCSYA Camp for any reason and you have already paid, a one-year credit is applied. We will keep a note of the campers’ name. Camp fees cannot be transferred to any other camper. There are no refunds for any camp fees.
Does my child need a sleeping bag?
Your child can either bring a sleeping bag or a blanket. A fitted twin bed sheet and pillow are recommended as well.
What is Paintball gear?
Paintball gear is a thick hoodie and a pair of jeans that you don’t mind getting dirty (as they will be getting paint on them). These items work best when layered on top of other clothes. Paintball markers can bruise skin that is bare.
What does my child need for horseback riding?
Your child will need a long pair of pants that cover their whole leg. We recommend that the campers do not wear the same pants again during camp as some campers are allergic to horses. No shorts or crop pants are permitted at horseback riding.
What if my child gets sick or hurt?
Staff members are First Aid certified and are able to give the Camper the needed treatment if they are sick or get hurt. If the camper is injured, we take the child to the nearest hospital and we contact the parents on route to the hospital, or once we arrive and speak to the doctor.
What if my child is homesick?
If it the first time your child is away from home without you, then there is a chance that they will be homesick. If so, we do our best to ensure that your child doesn’t feel this way i.e. if they don’t know anyone, we pair them up with other campers, so they have someone to be with. If they miss home or their parents, we encourage them to try new things. We do your best to ensure that they do not feel homesick, by filling their days with fun activities. Most campers resolve their feelings within the first 24 hours of arriving. Some do not. We try our best to help them daily with being away from home.
Can my child call me?
Although our hope is that your child will not need to call home, they can if an emergency arises. Our suggestion is that you don’t encourage your child to call home. To contact a camper in an emergency situation, please call the camp office at 604-820-4000 or email email@example.com.
We have one phone line that is used primarily for emergency purposes. If we allow one camper to call home, then we get a line up at the phone. We limit the use of the phone for emergencies only.
Why can’t my child bring an electronic device?
Your child cannot bring ANY electronic devices to camp because in today’s day and age most kids spend their time playing games and looking at screens. At camp we show them that there is more than just the little screen they look at to have fun. It is also a way for them to get away from technology and learn more about themselves and grow as individuals. If your child brings an electronic device to camp, the camper will be fined $100. The electronic device will be confiscated as well. The fine must be paid prior to the device being returned.
We don’t have a kurta pajama or suit, where can I get one?
If your child doesn’t have a kurta pajama or a Suit, no worries, there are many places where you can get kurtas and suits from. A few locations are Kapara Mandi, located at 8166 128 St, Surrey, BC V3W 1R1, or Punjab Cloth Warehouse, located at 12725 80 Ave, Surrey, BC V3W 3A6
What kind of accommodation do Campers staying in?
Campers stay in dormitory style rooms with 2 twin beds or 1 bunk bed. Washrooms/ showers are located on each floor. Females/ males do not share buildings. Buildings are gender based. Each room has a desk, night table and an armoire as well.
WCSYA reserves the right to send campers home for inappropriate behavior at the parent(s) cost and without refund. The safety and security of our guests is always of the highest priority
Can I volunteer?
Yes, fill out the volunteer application at http://khalsacentre.ca/khalsa-centre-volunteer-application/ once you have filled out the application you will be contacted, and given further information at the camp, and if any documents are needed. An interview will take place prior to any commitments. A letter of reference is also available to all volunteers upon request. All volunteers must submit a valid Criminal Record Check with the vulnerable sector.
Who are the Staff?
The staff at one point were campers just like your children. Our staff are all giving training prior to camps starting. All of our staff have a Criminal Record check, our staff are trained in-house and we always have a certified staff member at our challenge course. For any Swimming activities we have a life-guard on site.
Is my child safe?
Your child’s safety is our number one priority. Our staff are trained to run each and every activity that is present at the camp site. We start each day with an Ardas for Chardhikala of our campers, Guru ji always keeps us all protected. We end each day with Sohila and Ardas and we believe that guru ji keeps us safe and protected at all times while at camp.
How much money should I send my child with?
Zero- no money. All food and activities are covered in your camper fee.
What should I bring to camp?
Please bring all items from the checklist located at: http://khalsacentre.ca/summer-camper-checklist/
Do you have to be Sikh to attend WCSYA?
No, we welcome campers from all backgrounds, -whether they attend gurdwara or not. We are a Sikh camp, and we do incorporate Sikh principles into all our programs and activities.
My child has never been to gurdwara? My child cuts his/her hair?
All are welcome, WCSYA serves hundreds of campers with widely varied backgrounds each year. We can’t wait to welcome your child to camp!
My child needs help to do their hair/patka/dastaar?
We have volunteers available to do all kes duties, we will even wash their wet hair in one of the large sinks in the langar hall.
Are the camps co-ed or girls/boys only?
Most of our camps are co-ed, our Kaur’s Junior camp is girls only, we have male and female dormitory, counselors are the same gender as the campers for each cabin.
Are these camperships available to attend WCSYA?
Those with financial needs are welcome to apply for a campership. We accept campers/guests regardless of the ability to pay. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating why you need a campership and we will call you back to discuss your application.
Please note we are a VEGETARIAN ONLY kitchen (no meat, no fish, no eggs). Alcohol and Smoking are also STRICTLY PROHIBITED.