For Parents & Caregivers
What can I do to prepare my child for camp?
If this is your child’s first time attending an overnight camp, it’s normal for them (and you) to be a little nervous about what to expect. Be sure to involve your child in the decision to attend camp and make sure you communicate with them throughout the process of registering and getting ready for their week with us. Talk to them about what they are excited about and build on those things. Visit our website as a family to view the photo galleries and you can always feel free to contact us directly if you have a specific question or concern!
What will my child do all day at camp?
A day at camp starts with waking up in the cabin and getting dressed and ready for the day. Campers are expected to tidy up their cabin before heading to the flagpole for some fun songs and games to get moving! Then a healthy breakfast, usually followed by time in the chapel where campers will sing and dance, watch some fun skits and learn about Jesus.
Late morning activities could include arts and crafts, a beach walk or more fun and games. At noon, it's back to the dining hall for a tasty lunch, followed by recreation rotations which may include swimming, canoeing, field games and more. We generally have a mid-afternoon break for some down time and a trip to the tuck shop for a tasty treat!
While we get ready for a homecooked and hearty dinner, the staff usually have something prepared to get us laughing and having a good time; maybe a "fashion" show or "talent" competition. After dinner, we hit the field for everyone's favourite: WIDE GAME! Then we head back to our cabins for mug-up/dessert and to get dressed and ready for campfire! Younger campers will then head back to their cabin for the night...but first some quiet time to reflect on the day and visit with our new friends. Older campers usually have one last activity planned; whether some time for deeper conversation topics and special late night games.
A good night sleep and then we start all over again!
There is always something fun to do and new challenges help us to grow! While all campers are encouraged to participate in every activity through the day, no one will be forced to do something they are not comfortable with. Our staff works hard to encourage and include every child.
What are the staff to child ratios?
At Camp Sunrise, we operate with a 1:8 ratio, being 1 responsible adult to 8 campers. This ratio is used for everything from travel to camp to overnight supervision, activities and mealtimes. We always ensure that there is one dedicated staff for every 8 children. That being said, there are also usually others working with campers throughout the day. We have on-site behavioural specialists and a camp first-aid attendant on-site at all times, plus senior staff such as our Program Directors, Bible Director, Camp Manager and facility staff.
How do you deal with homesickness?
Sometimes, even the bravest of camper can feel a little bit of homesickness during a full week away from the familiar. When this happens, we do our best to comfort and encourage campers. Talking about all the fun they are having at camp and about activities that a child is looking forward to is usually enough to take their mind off of feeling upset. Most new campers will feel a little homesickness during the first day at camp, but quickly get caught up in all the activity...and then reach the end of the week and are sad to go. If a child is feeling particularly sad about being away from home, we may arrange for a call home. Campers are always allowed to contact home if they need to, however we find that, hearing a voice from home can re-enforce the feelings of sadness that are a normal part of this new experience. Our staff is well trained to help children in these situations...many of them have been campers themselves and understand what homesickness feels like. If your child evers begins to feel inconsolable and is not comfortable staying at camp, we will call home immediately and make arrangements with the parents directly.
My child has allergies. Can you accommodate special diets?
If your child has a special dietary need or allergy, please let us know in your application as soon as possible. If a severe or life-threatening condition exists, please make arrangements to contact Camp Sunrise directly. In most cases, our kitchen is able to accommodate special diets and allergies but we need to have advanced warning to prepare. If your childs particular need is something that we cannot accommodate, we will contact you to discuss options.
What sorts of meals will my child eat at camp?
All camp meals will be prepared fresh with quality ingredients and Canada's Food Guide standards in mind. A salad bar, complete with fresh greens, vegetables and condiments will be available with every lunch and dinner. For our summer programs, we focus on healthy comfort food that kids are familiar with...and delicious!
Meal time is a chance to relax and enjoy time with new friends. Children will be seated at the same table with a leader and other campers from various age groups to offer a "family meal" atmosphere. Leaders pay close attention to ensure that each camper finds something healthy to enjoy at every meal.
How do I register my child for camp?
All registrations for The Salvation Army Camp Sunrise Summer Programs will be handled through local Ministry Units (Salvation Army Churches, Family Service Centres, etc). Please contact your local Salvation Army or visit our Registration page to find the Ministry Unit in your community.
Is there financial assistance available for my family?
The Salvation Army is pleased to be able to offer financial assistance to all campers based on need. Programs such as "Send A Kid to Camp" and other local initiatives help to make sure that all campers have an opportunity to attand Camp Sunrise. For more information on how to access these programs, please contact your local Salvation Army Ministry Unit.
Will my child need extra money while at camp?
Holiday/Teen Camps: Our Tuck Shop is where campers can purchase snacks and treats every afternoon. Registrations for Holiday Camp and Teen camp include the purchase of 2 items/day at Tuck. If your child would like to bring extra money to purchase souvenior items on the last day of camp, they can bring money and turn it into the camp at registration. We ask that campers do not keep money and/or other valuables with them in their cabins as we cannot ensure their safe keeping.
Other Camps: Campers may bring extra money but will be asked to turn it in to camp staff at registration where it will be logged and locked up for the remainder of the camp. Campers who have turned in money can use it to create a tab at the tuck shop to purchase snacks and souveniors. Remaining money will be returned to the camper prior to leaving Camp Sunrise.
Is there medical staff on-site?
Camp Sunrise employs a "Camp Nurse"/trained emergency First-Aider full time throughout the summer. The "Camp Nurse" is available to dispense prescribed medications, apply basic firstaid treatment and will help as needed in any medical emergency situations. The nearest walk-in medical clinic is a 5 minute drive from Camp Sunrise and Sechelt Hospital is approximately 20 minutes away from the camp by car. As well, all Camp Sunrise staff have basic first aid and CPR training. The camp is also equipped with a basic medical centre and meets all of the BC Camping Association Accreditation Guidelines.
Are the staff trained? What kind of people will be looking after my child at camp?
Camp Sunrise staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds, ages and skill levels. Every staff member is required to have all background checks completed and to participate in various forms of training (such as child abuse prevention and first aid) prior to arriving for their first day at camp. Also, every staff member participates in a week long intensive Staff Training program at the beginning of each and every summer. This training includes program related training (recreation specific, FoodSafe and kitchen handling, Bible and Faith based training, etc), team building experiences as well as specific training regarding working with children and dealing with many behavioural situations that they will experience through the summer.
Our hiring process means that we are able to get to know our staff quite well before the summer and to give a clear understanding of the mission, vision and values of The SalvationArmy Camp Sunrise.
Our staff are great people who are committed to helping each and every camper have the best possible experience at Camp Sunrise!