Since 1932 the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) has played an important role in promoting and encouraging summer camp. The OCA has and continues to be recognized as a worldwide leader in organized camping for children and youth. By choosing an OCA accredited camp, families can be assured that their children will be safe and well cared for. The OCA is the only organization in Ontario that requires camps to meet standards in order to be accredited. Member camps must adhere to the highest standards of safety, supervision and quality programming. All OCA camps must comply with all relevant provincial and federal government legislation and often go beyond these standards. Standards cover all aspects of camp including site, facility, health and safety, food service, water quality, program, transportation, management and staff hiring and training. The OCA continually reviews and revises their standards and camps are visited for re-accreditation on a regular basis.
How do I know that I have chosen an accredited camp?
The OCA logo identifies to campers, their families and staff that a camp is accredited. A complete list of accredited camps can be found here.
Why go to camp?
Camp is an ideal environment for children to experience, learn, grow and have fun in. They can experience canoeing on the open water, climbing a wall, shooting an arrow, living in a cabin with their peers in a natural setting, and singing around a campfire. They will make lifelong friends. Camp makes children more resilient and offers opportunities for manageable amounts of risk in a safe and secure environment (Michael Ungar – Psychology Today February 5, 2012). They learn to be caring, responsible, independent and respectful citizens.
Camp creates community. Children from all different walks of life come together. They live and play together every day and have so much fun. They try new things and learn to believe in themselves. They learn that everyone belongs and they see how everyone is treated fairly. They learn that fresh air, exercise and healthy food contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Children learn problem solving skills and how to be a good team member. They learn that everyone is good at something. Camp offers learning in a trusting environment without the pressures of school.
Recent research has shown that camp has a positive influence in the growth and development of young children (Canadian Summer Camp Research Project – Dr. Troy Glover, University of Waterloo). Camp directors and parents have always seen the incredible growth in children over the course of their stay at camp, and now we know it to be true.
Camp leaves each camper with a lifetime of memories, the most wonderful friends and experiences that will continue to shape and influence them throughout their life.