FAQs

Transportation

 

How will my child get to camp?

Transportation to camp is included in your registration fee. Campers get the bus at one of two pick-up locations: The Fluvarium in St. John’s or at the entrance to Deer Park on Salmonier Line.

Can I drive my child to camp?

If your child cannot take the bus – for example, if they are arriving late to camp or are getting picked up early – please let us know ahead of time. Taking the bus to camp is an important part of the camp experience so we encourage families to take advantage of bus transportation as much as possible!

Meals

What is the food like at camp?

All of our meals at camp are homemade with a focus on fresh, healthy, and local food. Meals are served buffet style and campers are able to get 2nd and even 3rd servings if needed. Snacks are served between every meal and before bed.

Breakfast foods include pancakes, oatmeal, toast, cereal, eggs, sausages, and fresh fruit.

Lunch foods include DIY meals such as tacos and sandwiches, soup, quesadillas, macaroni and cheese, and a salad bar with fresh veggies.

Dinner foods include homemade pizza, rice bowls, spaghetti and meatballs, hamburgers, stir fry, tofu, and salad bar.

Snack foods include homemade popcorn, baked goods, and fresh fruit.

Allergies and Dietary Concerns

 

How do you handle food allergies – peanut/tree nut/shellfish/etc.

As the Echo Pond Environmental Education Centre hosts thousands of school children every year, our kitchen is well versed in avoiding food allergens. We take allergies very seriously. All meals are made on-site so we have tight control over what food enters our kitchen. We also do not allow campers to bring their own snacks to avoid contamination.

Camp is located 1.5 hours away from the Janeway, so parents are encouraged to send their child with multiple EpiPen’s incase of an emergency. For more information on our emergency plans, please email us.

My child is a picky eater – can I send my own food?

We have had many picky eaters through our doors in the last seven years! Even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like at camp. Every meal involves a wide variety of food to choose from. Meals with lots of separate ingredients are served “deconstructed” so campers can choose what they’d like. For example, when we have stir fry the chicken, rice, veggies, and sauce are all served separately. If your child has complex dietary needs, please contact us before camp so we can arrange other meals.

My child has celiac disease/is gluten intolerant.

We take celiac and gluten intolerances just as seriously as nut allergies. Our kitchen has routines in place to keep gluten-free food separate. We have had children with celiac at camp in the past and they have enjoyed food alongside their peers with no trouble at all!

Sleeping Arrangments

Where will my child sleep at camp?

All campers and staff sleep in the Bunkhouse. The Bunkhouse has two wings, each with 4 camper rooms, a private staff bedroom, and a large washroom. 6-7 campers share each bedroom.

Can my child request a roommate?

Absolutely! There is a spot on the registration form to request a roommate. In recent years we have had large groups of friends attend camp together. We do our best to accommodate all roommate requests, but at the end of the day, we can only guarantee one.

My child is concerned about falling asleep at night.

This is a very common concern, especially among younger and first-time campers. Each camper room will be assigned a camp counselor. As part of the bedtime routine, the room counselor will go in, chat with them about the day, talk about what they’re looking forward to, do a guided meditation, read a book, etc. to help transition campers to sleep. For many kids, this is a very special camp tradition.

Homesickness

 

What happens if my child becomes homesick?

At Echo Pond, we view homesickness as a very normal part of the overnight camp experience. Any child can experience homesickness; even those who have been to camp for many years! Missing loved ones at home is extremely normal and we approach this feeling with compassion and understanding. When you register for camp, you will receive a “Homesickness Guide” with your registration packet. This guide goes into detail about our approach to homesick kids and how to prepare your child for dealing with homesickness at camp.

Most times we can successfully coach a child through a bout of homesickness. Unfortunately, there are a handful of times where a child is not ready to stay the night. In that case, we would make arrangements for the child to go home at an appropriate time. This is very rare, but it does happen.

Water Activities

What is your waterfront like?

We are located on a scenic pond that is perfect for swimming, canoeing, and trouting. Our waterfront is quite rocky, so water shoes (sandals, crocs, water shoes, etc.) are recommended for a comfortable swimming experience. Just make sure they won’t slip off in the water!

My child is not a strong swimmer, will they be able to attend camp?

Absolutely! We rope off a portion of the pond for swimming. There is lots of shallow water for a nervous swimmer to enjoy. We also have life jackets on hand and encourage campers to use them whenever they’d like!

My child is afraid of the water/canoeing. Will they be forced to participate in these activities?

Absolutely not. We never force a child to participate in an activity they are not comfortable with. During swim time, non-swimmers are encouraged to hang out with us at the beach with a book or craft. Non-swimmers also enjoy catching pricklies on the shoreline with buckets, dipping their toes, and hanging out with the lifeguard.

Canoeing is run as a choice activity, so your child is welcome to choose a different activity during that time.

Registration

I went to register my child but our preferred camp was already full.

If you are new to Echo Pond, you might be surprised by how fast camps fill up on registration day.

As a thank you for sending their children to camp year after year and spreading the word to new campers, we give our returning families priority access to camp. This means that if you are a new family, you might not get in to your preferred camp. If you do not get in right away, please add your child to the waitlist ASAP. There is always a little movement in camps after registration day and adding your child to the waitlist is the best way to get into camp.

Can I register my child for more than one camp?

We only allow campers to attend one session of camp per summer so more kids can experience camp. In rare occurrences where we cannot find someone on the waitlist to fill a spot at camp, we will offer that spot to someone who is already registered for camp.

When and how do I pay for camp?

Payment will take place in May. Our bookkeepers will send out invoices at the beginning of May and payments will be due by the end of the month. Payments can be made by etransfer to payments@echopond.ca or via PayPal.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes. Please let us know ASAP if you require a payment plan.

What is your refund policy?

If we can fill your child’s spot at camp, you will receive a full refund (minus a $25 administration fee). Refunds will be issued once the spot is filled.

Staff

What is your staff-to-child ratio?

Echo Pond is pleased to offer a 1:6 ratio! This low ratio allows us to provide all campers with a quality camp experience.

What type of people do you hire?

Our staff come from all walks of life! Most of our staff are teachers, educators, or education students. In the past we have employed artists, musicians, nurses, forest school teachers, scientists, and more!

What training does your staff receive?

Staff attend a rigorous training before camp starts. They take part in cultural and gender diversity training, trauma informed practices, emergency procedures training, etc.

All of our staff have their First Aid/CPR certification and a Vulnerable Sector Check.

Did we miss your question?

If you don’t see your question answered here, don’t hesitate to email us at summercamp@echopond.ca