Camp G.T.A. 2017 Report
||July 4th – August 11th (6 weeks)
|Total Registered Participants:
|Average daily attendance:
|Participant age range:
||5 years – 14 years
|Participants by grade:
|Grade 1 – 6
|Grade 7 – 8
237 youth registered for our day camp program, designed for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. Daily activities include arts, crafts, sports, swimming, field trips, drama, dance and creative writing. Many of the students in our largest cohort have been campers in our program for several years.
Leaders in Training
19 grade 7 & 8 students participated in our L.I.T. group, a comprehensive 6-week program where students practice and develop leadership skills. Each morning began with a group exercise class, followed by goal setting and planning activities. Most of our L.I.T. students are former day camp participants.
Our L.I.T. group also organized the camp Talent Show and Sports Day.
25 high school students volunteered over 1,000 hours collectively throughout the summer. The students supported daily summer camp activities and helped to maintain a safe and clean atmosphere for campers.
- Community Sports Day: Leadership students from neighbouring community programs (Alexandra Park and Scadding Court) came together for a day of teambuilding and sports activities at Ryerson Community School with our Leaders in Training students.
- Canada Summer Jobs: 8 Post-Secondary students were hired with the support of CSJ. Many of the Post-Secondary students hired were former campers or Focus on Youth students.
- TDSB Focus on Youth: 30 high school students were placed at our site as part of the TDSB’s Focus on Youth program, which provides summer employment opportunities for high school students to support at-risk youth and inner-city communities.
- Toronto Public Health: TPH Nurses supported our community by providing health and safety information to staff and the parent community while dealing with a potential head lice situation. They were able to provide support in multiple languages, and also provided small group sessions for our TDSB students who had concerns related to health and safety.
- Talent Show: Parents and community members attended annual talent showcase, organized by our Leaders in Training group and counselors.
- Camp Picnic and Fun Day: All campers enjoyed an outdoor picnic lunch along with live entertainment and games.
- Field Trips/Performances: Ontario Science Centre, Cineplex, Canada’s Wonderland, High Park, Mad Science Performance, Magic Show.
- Snack Program: Campers were provided with a daily nutritious snack.
- 6-Week Program: Feedback from the parent/caregiver community indicates that families would prefer the program to be at least 7 weeks in length. This would reduce the amount of time that students are not being engaged between the last day of camp and the first day of school.
- Minimum wage increase 2018: We are not sure how the increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour may affect student placements from Focus on Youth, as well as other staffing categories. Our current staffing numbers allow us to accommodate up to 250 campers.
- Head Lice: It was brought to our attention that some students at our camp were affected by head lice. As a result, there was a concern that action would be required to ensure that there wasn’t an outbreak. 250 staff and students were screened by trained inspectors, and the outcome was that only 2 students were found to have live cases of head lice requiring treatment.
- Administration Changes at Ryerson Community School: In June of 2017, the Principal, Vice-Principal and Head Caretaker all departed from the school. These key partnerships have been instrumental in ensuring that we have a great working relationship and connection to the school. We are working to rebuild these relationships with school staff.
Camp GTA has had a positive impact on this community over the past 7 years. We are proud that many of our senior staff and counselors are former campers and leadership students. The community has received our program positively, and I strongly believe we still have the support of the parent community although the administration change at the school has been a challenge.