Family Camp is a 5-day camp for families who have a child with a physical disability between the ages of 1 and 18 years. This camp gives families an opportunity to meet other families, have a family vacation in an accessible setting and to become familiar with overnight camping. Families will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of programs that are geared to various age groups.
Since 1979, Easter Seals Ontario has provided a family camp program, a unique camping experience for parents and their children with physical disabilities to relax and have fun at a fully accessible campsite.
Family camp provides families with the opportunity to meet other families, enjoy a vacation in a fully accessible setting and become familiar with recreational camping. The whole family can enjoy activities like crafts, games, archery, swimming and campfires, in addition to having lots of free time at the heated pools and other facilities.
During the 5-day camping program, parents are responsible for supervising and providing the medical needs for their children. However, supervision is provided during scheduled children’s activities so that parents can attend adult-only programs or just relax. Childcare is available in the evenings until 10pm.
Family Camp Eligibility
The child or youth with the physical disability must be between 1-18 years old as of July 1 of the camping year. Priority will be given to first-time families and then to all returning families on a first come first served basis. Youth who do not meet the criteria for the Individual Camping Program are encouraged to apply to Family Camp.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
The actual cost of Family Camp is $1,250 per person. Thanks to generous donations from the community and our fundraising efforts, the cost to the family is significantly subsidized. We kindly ask families who are financially able to contribute more than the minimum camper amount to allow Easter Seals the ability to send more children and their families to camp. Fees include all accommodation, meals, activities and equipment for the entire Family Camp Week.
Do parents have to attend activities?
No, activities are optional. Some parents choose to participate in all the programs while others choose to read a book.
Do my children have to attend activities?
We encourage your children to participate in the activities. If they choose not to, a parent must supervise them.
Can I attend activities with my child(ren)?
Yes, that is why we are a family camp!
Will the staff assist my family?
All campers will be supervised during scheduled program times by camp staff. Outside of structured program times, parents are responsible for supervising their children. Evening supervision is provided, allowing parents to enjoy adult-only programs. You can request additional assistance for morning and evening care. The amount of assistance the camp staff is able to provide is dependent upon the needs of the campers. Our staff are not trained in caring for tracheostomies, or respirators and they do not perform any suctioning.
What are the cabins like?
Families will have a fully accessible room to themselves with four stand-alone beds and share washroom facilities with others. The number of family members, the age of the children and any special requests will determine the cabin assignments. Linen and towels are provided. Side rails are available upon request.
Are there laundry facilities at camp?
Yes, there are washing machines and dryers available for families to use during their stay.
I sent my application back right away but was placed on a waitlist. Why wasn’t I approved?
Due to the limited availability and popularity of family camp, you may have been waitlisted for any of the following reasons:
- There was a high volume of new applicants. Priority for Family Camp is first given to new families and then to all returning families on a first come first serve basis. If there is a high volume of new applicants, even if your completed application with payment is in right away, you are not guaranteed a space as there may only be a few spots for returning families for that year. Please note: If you have been to any of Easter Seals Camp locations in the past, you are still considered a returning family.
- How soon your application was received. You may have sent in your application within the first week that the applications became available online, however, we often receive an influx of applications on the same day applications are posted. Please note: it is your responsibility to follow up with Easter Seals that your application has been received.
- Your child is not eligible. If your child will be 19+ as of july 1st of the camping year, they no longer qualify for family camp. Alternatively, your child may not be eligible if you have attended Family Camp in the past and have been told that your child meets the criteria to attend our individual camps. As Family Camp is limited, if they meet our individual camp criteria, they are no longer eligible for Family Camp.
A Typical Day at Family Camp
|7:00 am||Early morning fishing, swimming or another activity|
|8:00 am||Flagpole & breakfast|
|9:00 am||Morning activities begin|
|1:00 pm||Quiet time—activities in cabin|
|2:15 pm||Juice break|
|2:30 pm||All camp activity|
|3:30 pm||Family bonding time (pool open)|
|5:00 pm||Camper dinner|
|6:00 pm||Parent dinner/camper program|
|8:00 pm||Older camper evening program|
|9:00 pm||Parent program|
|10:00 pm||One parent back in cabin|