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Camp FAQs

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How will my child get to camp?

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Camp Davern is 1 hour from Ottawa or Kingston and 3 hours from Toronto. Parents are welcome to drive their child to camp on the first day and pick them up on the last one. This is a great way to see the camp and meet the staff.

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What are the cabins like?

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A traditional camp to the core, we are proud of the simplicity of our cabins on each residential side of the camp. Camper cabins are equipped with 5 bunks and sleep up to 8 campers and 2 counsellors each. Each cabin is conveniently situated close to a general washroom facility.

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What are your safety protocols at the waterfront?

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All waterfront areas are strictly supervised and closed when not in operation. Camp Davern ensures all staff supervising on the water are certified with their National Lifeguard (NLS) and we adhere and excel on the standards for waterfront supervision presented by both Red Cross and our provincial camping association. When not in use, our waterfront area gate is closed and clearly marked to ensure campers don’t enter in prohibited times.

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What is the weekly schedule?

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Each session consists of 10 regular programming days and four special days. On regular activity days, campers rotate between two majors in the morning and two electives in the afternoon followed by a period of free time. Our special programming days are a highlight of the camper experience. These days include Themed Special Days and Team Colour Challenges.

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Is my child required to have a certain swimming ability?

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Swimming is a big part of the camp experience. However, your child is not required to perform at a certain level. Providing your child is comfortable in the water, they would be able to participate in boat sports. Depending on your child’s level of swimming, they may be restricted in some water sports. Swimming lessons are strongly encouraged for children who are weak swimmers. PFDs are required to participate in all our boat activities.

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Is Camp Davern an accredited camp?

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Davern is accredited by the Ontario Camps Association and the Canadian Camps Association. We maintain their operating standards as well as others recommended by applicable governing bodies such as the Red Cross, Ontario Ministry of Health, and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

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How will my child choose activities?

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In the mornings at camp, each cabin is scheduled to participate in the major camp activities as a group. Electives are picked daily after lunch by the camper.

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What sort of medical facilities do you have?

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The health centre at Camp Davern is simple yet effective. Our health centre staff oversee the administration and storage of all camper medication as well as all first aid supplies. In addition to residential rooms for our health staff, the centre is also equipped with camper sleep rooms in the event that a child needs a quiet nap or is feeling ill.

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Can I visit my child at camp?

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Parents and families are welcome to visit camp any time during the off season. We ask that parents not visit during camp sessions as it causes more harm in the development of independence than we feel it’s worth. As a result, Camp Davern only has visitation days for campers enrolled for 4 weeks. These are to be scheduled with the camp director.

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Is the lake water cold?

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We have found our electricity bills skyrocket when we heat the lake. So, the lake is brisk but beautiful. The temperature of the lake varies by the temperature of the air. We love swimming and kids swim all the time!

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Do any activities have age restrictions?

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While some activities do have age restrictions, we work hard to ensure that alternative programs are offered. Often, restrictions are due to safety and skill levels. For example, our Outdoor Living Skills program is for campers 12 and up. This is due to the use of carving knives and fire skills taught.

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Does Camp Davern have any religious affiliation?

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While structured religion is not part of our program at all, Camp Davern welcomes all faiths.

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Where do the campers come from?

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Campers at Davern come from across Ontario and the world. We welcome campers from a wide range of countries.

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Are there any wilderness camping and adventure trips?

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Camp Davern is proud of our expedition and out-tripping programs. Campers all participate in trips ranging from 1-10 nights.

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How can I communicate with my child?

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While at camp, you are able to communicate with your child via mail or email. Campers can communicate through traditional snail mail.

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How are campers assigned to cabins?

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Campers are assigned to cabins based on gender and age. At Davern we work diligently to ensure that all cabin mate requests are supported to ensure kids are able to experience cabin life with their friends.

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Is there any required clothing?

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Davern does not require specific clothing, but we ask that clothing not display any derogatory comments. A full packing list for camp will be provided in the spring in our Family Resource Guide, or click on our “What to Pack” page under the “Camp Life” option at the top of the page.

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What are the camp counsellors like?

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Awesome. The staff team at Camp Davern consists of committed, motivated and energetic young adults who are passionate in their work supporting the campers of our community. Each staff member specializes in a program and excels in the instruction of that skill.

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How are the camp counsellors hired?

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All Davern staff undergo detailed screening, interviews and reference checks. Police and background checks are also a standard practice to ensure the safety of our campers. Camp Davern is proud to adhere to the standards outlined by the Ontario Camps Association in regards to staff screening and hiring.

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Are cell phones allowed?

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Camp is an opportunity to take a break from big data, internet connectivity and screens. We encourage families to send their child “electronic free”. Campers who arrive with a cell phone will be asked to check it in at the office on the first day of camp. The phone will be returned at the end of their stay st Davern. Any phones found at camp that have not been properly checked in will be confiscated and donated to a local charity.

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