Summer 2016 Applications will be available to download here, on January 5, 2016.
Based out of Camp Merrywood, the out-tripping adventure program is designed for campers aged 12-18 years who would like to experience outdoor camping in true wilderness. Together, campers and counsellors will plan their trip, taking into consideration food, equipment, safety and the route (typically eastern Algonquin Park). Emphasis is placed on outdoor living skills, teamwork, fun, leadership and individual challenge. A maximum of 5 campers participate in this program with 4 staff members, 2 of whom have experience leading trips and have their wilderness first aid and swimming qualifications. The other staff will be there to assist with all of the personal care needs your child may have.
Campers spend the first day at camp planning, preparing and covering emergency procedures and then, they head out for an incredible seven-day canoe adventure.
Participants interested in this program must be able to demonstrate a reasonable level of independence with their daily living and be comfortable sleeping in a tent and canoeing. Campers do not need any prior experience to participate and most will not have had very much canoe tripping experience. Over the course of the trip, the participants will gain a great deal of knowledge and skills about canoe tripping.
Campers under the age of 19 years as of July 1 (of the camping year) and who are not a Crown Ward, are eligible to receive funding from Easter Seals Ontario. Families are asked to pay what they can, with a minimum payment of $175. The remainder will be funded by our generous donors.
- Between the ages of 12-18 years as of July 1 (of the program year)
- Registered with Easter Seals Ontario (Please note that the Incontinence Supplies Grant Program is a separate registry)
- Meet the criteria for participation in Easter Seals residential camps (please see our “Individual Camp” page for more information).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe?
Safety is always our primary concern. Our trip leaders have their Wilderness First Aid and Lifesaving qualifications, but more importantly, they have extensive training and years of experience in running safe tripping programs. Each trip takes a complete wilderness first aid kit with them. Through the use of satellite technology (satellite phone and a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger), trippers can be in contact with the camp and the nursing staff at any time.
What will we do all day?
Part of the day will be spent paddling. There will be plenty of time for storytelling, fishing, campfires, arts and crafts, environmental awareness, swimming and games.
What do I need to bring? Do I have to purchase expensive gear?
You probably have most of what you will need. Easter Seals will supply most of the gear that you will need including canoes, paddles, lifejackets, tents, sleeping pads, dry bags, cook kits, and more. Whenever possible, please try to send clothing made from synthetic fibres or polyester blends as opposed to cotton. Synthetic fibres are more durable and will keep your child warmer if they get wet. Once you have registered for a program, a packing list will be included in your confirmation package.
What is the food like?
Food is an important part of any trip and for some reason, it always tastes better on an out-trip. The food prepared on out-trip is largely dependent on the length of the trip. Perishables (meat, fresh fruits and vegetables) are used in the first few days and non-perishables (dehydrated foods, grains and pasta) are typically used more as the trip progresses. Meals are selected to provide the energy needed to sustain a high amount of activity throughout the day. A cook oven allows for the campers to make fresh cinnamon buns, brownies and other treats! Camp Merrywood is a nut aware camp and does not take any nuts or nut products on our trips.
How much does this program cost?
The cost of this program is $600. A minimum $175 (non-refundable) payment is required to process the application. Easter Seals Ontario does not receive government funding and all of our programs are funded by the generous donations from individuals, service clubs, businesses and foundations. Easter Seals asks families to contribute what they are able to towards the cost of this program.
Download Camp Applications here.