Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

About OCA Accredited Camps

OCA Accredited Member camps adhere to over 600 health and safety standards, in areas such as Management and Administration, Human Resources, Campsite, Facilities and Equipment, Health Care, Food Service, Transportation and Programming. Accredited camps are visited every four years by trained OCA Standards Visitors to ensure compliance to the standards. This year, however, the OCA Board of Directors made the decision to push back Standards Visits one year for all camps, and camps are on a five-year cycle. To read more, see below.

All camps are unique! They differ in their programming (from “traditional” camp activities like canoeing and camp craft, to robotics and photography), type (day and/or overnight), location (urban, rural and remote), number of sites (one site or multiple locations), populations served and more. One area in which they don’t differ is in their alignment with OCA’s core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, inclusiveness, caring and openness.

Not all camps are accredited by the Ontario Camps Association. Look for the Accredited Member logo on a camp’s promotional materials and you can trust the camp to be safe for your children.

OCA Accreditation Disclaimer

The regular OCA accreditation process requires adherence to a list of safety and operational standards, and the OCA arranges accreditation visits of each accredited camp once every four years in order to ascertain adherence to the accreditation standards. In addition, certain standards deal with the facility or location of the camp program. Due to the pandemic, no accreditation visits are taking place in 2020. Click here to read full disclaimer.

COVID-19 Camp Questions

Below is a list of COVID-19-related questions you may have about camp this summer. The OCA recommends you contact your camp directly to discuss their policies and procedures.

  1. What has your camp done to ensure a clean and safe environment for my child?
  2. How does cohorting work?
  3. Can my child be in the same cohort as their friends/siblings?
  4. What is your screening procedure?
  5. Can I visit my child at camp?
  6. Is my child expected to wear a mask while at camp? Who will provide the mask if required?
  7. If a member of our family comes into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, can my child still attend camp?
  8. What happens if someone in the cohort develops symptoms of COVID-19?
  9. How will meals and snacks work at camp to ensure safety?

Camp Decisions (e.g., Refunds, Closures) and OCA’s Role

As an accrediting body, the OCA has the responsibility to provide our camps with professional standards, resources, guidance and advocacy. The OCA, however, has no mandate or responsibility to advise or instruct camps to operate or to close.

All decisions regarding operations (including refunds and credits) and/or closures are properly made by camps’ governance, in accordance with organization mission, principles and practices; by factual science and information; and, under the direction of all relevant government bodies and Public Health. For all questions related to refunds, credits, cancellation, etc., contact the camp directly.

Alternative Programming

The Ontario Camps Association does not accredit backyard camps or rent-a-counsellor programs. To read OCA’s statement on these programs, please click here.

Day Camps in 2020

Day Camps operating in the summer of 2020 will adhere to OCA’s 2020 Standards for health and safety, OCA’s COVID-19 Summer 2020 Standards and also the Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps. On May 19, 2020 the Government of Ontario announced that overnight camps in Ontario will continue to be ordered closed throughout the summer. To see a list of OCA accredited day camp programs for summer 2020, please click here.