On this page, you will find OCA’s Accreditation Disclaimer, OCA’s 2020 Standards, OCA’s COVID-19 Summer 2020 Standards, OCA’s Backyard Camps and Alternative to Day Camps Statement, a list of day camps operating in 2020, public health resources, and frequently asked questions for parents.
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.
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.
In addition to OCA’s 2020 Standards, day camps that are operating this summer will follow the below additions to the standards that have been made specifically for operations during COVID-19.
OCA Backyard Camps and Alternatives To Day Camp Statement
The OCA is founded on the understanding that running a camp is a complex and risk-filled operation. The OCA exists to support and accredit camps to meet high standards of addressing the multitude of risks that camps can face. OCA Member camps know that a scandal or tragedy in any camp hurts the entire industry, and therefore we all have a stake in how camps in Ontario are run.
With the constraints placed on both overnight and day camps this summer, the OCA is concerned about a proliferation in less formal “camp” arrangements arising as substitutes. These are expected to take the form of backyard or driveway camps, or rent-a-counsellor programs. While the OCA recognizes the efforts of those trying to meet the need created with the restrictions on camps, the OCA believes that many of these programs may fall short in their levels of management and organizational infrastructure and/or risk management expertise to run safe and effective programs given the numerous risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the kind of thoughtful rigor that the OCA accreditation process provides, these non-accredited programs raise risks for campers, families, staff, volunteers and potentially for the industry as a whole.
Further, the OCA urges its member camps to be cautious about providing these camp experiences themselves and in particular, developing any relationship with these newly-formed programs, including referring campers and families, or lending support for rent-a-counsellor programs that are not directly under member camps’ supervision. For any member camp who does choose to have a relationship, the OCA strongly recommends being very clear on the restrictions in place, seeking legal advice and advising insurers. For any of these programs that intend to run child care programs instead of camps, the OCA additionally recommends that they review the restrictions on childcare in place and the differentiation between childcare and recreational programs as outlined in the Child Care and Early Years Act.
If OCA Members are aware of any programs that are planning to operate, please help them by sharing these documents so they can ensure they are meeting all Ministry and occupational health and safety recommendations.
- -Public Services Health and Safety Association: Precautions When Working in a Day Camp
- -Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps
- -Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Guidance: Summer Day Camps French Version
- -Lifesaving Society: Guide to Reopening Pools and Waterfronts
Camps Operating in Summer 2020
OCA Accredited Member camps that are operating in the summer of 2020 are listed below. These camps are adhering 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.
- –Camp Can-Aqua
- –Camp Cherith Lanark
- –Ottawa Senators Hockey Camps: Bell Sensplex & Richcraft Sensplex
- –YMCA Northumberland Day Camps
- –YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region: Camp Otonabee
- –Crestwood Valley Day Camp
- –Camp Cricket
- –Earthbound Kids/Camp Treetop
- –Evergreen Adventure Camp
- –Camp Green Acres
- –The Pine Project: Summer Day Camp
- –RMHC Toronto Camp
- –Variety Village Camps
- –Ways of the Woods Summer Camp (Camp Kelso 2020)
- –Whitchurch Riding Academy
- –YMCA GTA Day Camps
- –Great Moose Adventures
- –Saddlewood Riding Camp
- –YMCA GTA: Pine Crest
- –Winning Techniques
- –YMCA Northeastern Ontario: Day Camps
- –YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka
Each region/municipality has its own Public Health Unit which provides COVID-19 guidance or guidelines for camps operating this summer.
Ministry of Health
York Region Community and Health Services Department
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Toronto Public Health
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Department
- –SAMPLE COVID-19 Memo for Parents of Children Attending Summer Day Camps
- –COVID-19 Checklist for Children’s Day Camps
- –COVID-19 Active Screening Tool
- –COVID-19 GUIDANCE: SUMMER DAY CAMPS
Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
- -About OCA Accredited Camps
- -COVID-19 Camp Questions
- -Camp Decisions (e.g., Refunds, Closures) and OCA’s Role
- -Alternative Programming
- -Day Camps in 2020