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We will try to answer your camp related questions here, but if you still need assistance, please contact us.

 

Life at Camp

 
Campers rotate throughout the day to the different activities relative to their camp session. Read the camp descriptions to learn more about which activities are featured in each of our camp programs.
The campers sleep in our lodge, Conestoga covered wagons or in cabins that sleep 8-14. All have mattresses and electricity. Campers attending in August are encouraged to bring extra blankets due to cooler weather. Please click here to read more about our summer camp facilities.
The amount of time campers spend with horses varies depending on the type of camp they are registered for. Read more about our Horsemanship Program here
Meals are provided for all overnight campers. Day Campers should pack a nut-free lunch and snacks.
Circle Square Ranch has an experienced team of cooks who prepare delicious and nutritious meals during camp with a variety of healthy snack options at Canteen times. Campers with particular dietary requirements are encouraged to consult with camp prior to their arrival. A sample menu from a previous session can be viewed here.

Yes. To help reduce lost and found items we ask that all possessions brought to camp be labelled. We attempt to help care for the camper’s clothing, but often considerable amounts get left behind. Clothes will be accessible at sign-out at the end of each camp session.

We will retain lost and found for one month following camp. If not claimed by then, we will donate appropriate items to a local charity. Medication will be disposed of within two weeks following the camper’s week of attendance. Calls to the camp regarding lost and found will be handled as time permits. We can only look for labelled items. Any found items will be sent C.O.D. (at your expense).

Campers are encouraged not to bring valuable clothing or possessions. Circle Square Ranch is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.

We take photos of what is going on during the week for all overnight camps. Pictures from your week of camp will be available online. To see them, go to our camp photos page and click on “Sign-in for weekly camper photos”. You will then be prompted to choose the album for the week your child is at camp and enter in the password provided to you when you drop off your child.

We will do our best to post as many photos as we can, two or three times during the week. We think it is important for you to remember that while photos can be a great insight into what is generally happening at camp, a single snapshot should not be used as an assessment tool as to how your campers are doing at camp.

Circle Square Ranch is a nondenominational, Christian camp that promotes the teachings of Jesus Christ. We welcome children and youth of any faith and race, encouraging young lives to grow spiritually, mentally, socially and physically.

Your child will have a devotional time during the day plus an evening campfire for overnight campers that will focus on predetermined topics as laid out in the Circle Square Ranch general program. These are times of introduction to Christian values and beliefs presented through small and large group discussions, skits, songs and Bible study.

Circle Square Ranch is owned and operated by InterVarsity who has been operating summer camps and year-round outdoor educational programs since 1929. We operate nine summer camps across Canada under the names of Pioneer Camp and Circle Square Ranch.
Campers are put into groups with other campers registered in the same type of camp program. Sleeping accommodations are split by gender. Day time groups for both overnight camp and day camp (with the exception of girls only weeks) will likely be co-ed. We aim to put campers in groups with other kids their age.
There will be a spot on the online application to indicate the names of friends or siblings your child would like to be with. We know how important it is for your campers to spend time with their friends at camp, and we will make every effort to honour your requests. There may be times that groupings are influenced by COVID guidelines (for example if we are required to keep households together). We aim to put campers in groups with other kids their age.
We anticipate that campers may need to be assigned to one cohort for the week (both in their cabin and travel group). Please ensure that your child’s requested cabinmate/groupmate is registered for the same type of camp as your child (eg. Horse Lovers with Horse Lovers, Discovery with Discovery, Discovery Junior Division with Discovery Junior Division , Explore with Explore etc.).
 
 

What to Bring

 
Click here to find your what to bring checklist.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Campers should bring enough clothing for their one week or two week camp session. Please label all clothing and luggage! (Labels or indelible markers)

*Circle Square Ranch is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.

Please do not bring chewing gum, electronic devices (cell phones*, iPods, mp3 players, portable game systems, etc.) or inappropriate reading materials as they are not permitted at the ranch and, if brought, will be held in the office for the week. Do not bring anything valuable to camp, as occasionally things do get lost or broken.

 

Absolutely no alcohol, drugs or tobacco are permitted at camp. Campers who fail to cooperate with this may be sent home. Circle Square Ranch is a non-smoking facility. Please discuss this with your child prior to camp should you consider this to be a concern.

 

*Please see camp specific information pages for policies on cell phones & electronic devices for Teen Week, Crew Camps, and LIT campers.

Days at camp are very busy and technology can sometimes get in the way of creating meaningful experiences and developing new friendships. Campers may also lose or break their phones while they are at camp. If your child regularly uses their cell phone for an alarm clock or camera, we recommend bringing a cheap camera and alarm clock instead.

 

*Please see camp specific information pages for policies on cell phones & electronic devices for Teen Week, Crew Camps, and LIT campers.

Overnight Campers & Extreme Day Campers: The Canteen is a camp store that is open daily for campers to independently purchase a snack or a souvenir. The Canteen includes things such as chocolate bars, slushies, chips, candy, granola bars, yogurt, fruit and pop. If you’d prefer, you are welcome to send snacks from home as long as they are nut-free. Canteen money can be paid in advance when completing an online registration. Any unspent money greater than $2.00 will be returned to your child on the last day of camp.

 
We suggest a weekly amount of $20-$40 for Overnight Campers and $15-$20 for Extreme Day Campers.

 
Explore Day campers: New for 2022, Explore Day Campers who have purchased the “Daily Canteen Option” will get to choose 2 items from the canteen daily each afternoon (eg. Popsicle treat, chips, juice, chocolate bar, candy). If you’d prefer, you are welcome to send an afternoon snack from home as long as they are nut-free.

 
*Please note: Regular camp fees do not include canteen purchases, clothing and souvenirs.
We have theme meals for Discovery, Horse Lovers, Equestrian and Leadership Camps. Click here to access the theme meal calendar.
 
 

Arrival and Departure Days

 
We are unable to take early registrations, sorry about that.
Yes. At sign in, please record the names of the individuals who you permit to pick up your child. Staff may ask for identification prior to releasing campers.
With the exception of the LIT program, we are unable to offer weekend stayovers for campers attending consecutive sessions.
 
 

Communication during Camp

 

Telephone:  We do not encourage campers to use the telephone. In case of emergency calls, to or from parents, the camp director or office staff will relay messages as quickly as possible. If a child is homesick we will work with them to overcome it, however if they need to talk to their parent we will certainly have them call.

Email Your Camper:  Email credits can be purchased allowing you to send one-way emails to your child. Click here to go to our camper email page for instructions on how to email your child or how to purchase an email credit package.

Internet:  While we understand the importance of staying in touch, Circle Square Ranch does not offer internet access for campers. All electronics are requested to be left with parents or left with the office for the duration of the camper’s stay. This is to prevent loss and to give the camper the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful surroundings God has given us.

Parcels & Mail:  Your camper will enjoy hearing from home while they are at camp. There is a daily ‘Pony Express’ for camper’s mail delivery. There will be a drop box at registration where you can put mail (letters and small nut free parcels) for your child. Please indicate your child’s name and what day mail is to be delivered on the outside of each parcel. Mail can also be sent through Canada Post, keeping in mind that it may take longer to arrive than expected due to our rural route location.

*Any mail received after the camper has left will be returned to sender.

We do not encourage parents and family to visit during the week. If a child is homesick, a visit by family is usually not helpful. As well, other campers who are feeling homesick and are aware of the visit may request similar privileges and in most cases, this is not possible and can be upsetting. We encourage family to spend as much time on arrival as they feel necessary.
Our friendly atmosphere and understanding staff help campers overcome the natural fears and concerns of being away from home. Getting kids involved in the program and making new friends helps to overcome the fears associated with leaving home and their family. It is our goal to make their stay at Circle Square Ranch as enjoyable as possible. The camp director will spend time with any homesick child and, if necessary call the parent to discuss an action plan.
 

Our Caring Staff

 
As part of InterVarsity, we believe that summer camp offers a tremendous opportunity for children and teens to grow and mature emotionally, socially and spiritually. At Circle Square Ranch, campers are respected as individuals, challenged and encouraged in all aspects of life, and given the opportunity to experience and develop authentic relationships with peers and leaders. Skill development, social development, personal and spiritual growth are all intentionally fostered by staff and have been hallmarks of the InterVarsity Camp experience since 1929. Finally, and equally importantly, we want every child’s experience to be tremendously fun.
*The information below reflects our regular camper to staff ratios. Due to COVID-19, there will likely be adjustments to these ratios. We will update the information below as we know more.

 

The overall camper to staff ratio is four to one. A cabin or wagon of 6-9 campers has a cabin leader and, if space permits, a co-leader. Two leaders are responsible for each travel group of 12-16 and there are instructors at each activity that they attend. Trained leaders supervise all activities.

The camp directors have more than 30 years experience working with Circle Square Ranch as well as numerous years experience in the area of youth ministry.

 

Our summer leadership team consists of individuals with previous camping experience as well as specific skills and training in their area of responsibility.

Staff members & volunteers are required to submit an application, references, current police check, pass an interview, and complete our staff training.
Circle Square Ranch is happy to partner with support services provided by community agencies, or welcome you as a Parent Volunteer in order to assist your child at camp. If you or a support worker will be attending camp alongside your child, please contact the office to discuss requirements (eg. Police checks, references, etc.). Alternatively, our sister camp Pioneer Camp Ontario, has a special needs program that may also be a great fit for your child.
 
 

Health and Safety

 
In most of our camp programs, campers will swim daily in our swimming pool. The middle of the pool (the deepest area) is 5′ and the 2 shallow ends are 3’5″.

 
Pool safety is taken very seriously, and there are 2-3 lifeguards on duty at all times in addition to supervision provided by camp counselors. To enter the pool area, campers need to either be wearing a lifejacket, or pass a swim test.

 
In order to pass the swim test, campers must:

  1. Swim 2 widths of the pool continuously. Head must submerge at least one time, and breath must be taken after each submersion.
  2. Tread water for 1 minute. Ears must be out of the water and swimmer must stay in one spot.
 
If a camper requires a lifejacket, we will provide one. Our pool is also regularly inspected by the Brant County Health Unit.
Yes. Because a high level of care for campers is so important to us, the operation of all activities and facilities where campers could potentially experience injury is governed by our risk management manual. This manual clearly details required supervision levels, equipment checks, and operating guidelines to ensure the safe participation of all campers. As well, campers and staff alike are trained to recognize and respond to signals in case of an emergency. This emergency procedure is practised in a drill early in every session.
There is a qualified medical person on staff, available 24 hours a day. Our leadership staff are trained in First Aid and CPR. We are 15 minutes away from a medical clinic and Brantford General Hospital.
All required or as-needed medication brought to camp must be signed in to the camp nurse on arrival day. This includes vitamins, puffers, and over the counter medications. If you want your camper to carry their puffer or epipen with them, please bring a second puffer or epipen to be left with the nurse. Due to the structure of our program, Circle Square Ranch requests that medications required throughout the year be sent with your child to camp. (eg. If your child takes a medication to help them with focus and routines at school, continuing to take it while at camp will help your child have a successful week).

 

Medication and forms will be handed to the nurse in a clear plastic bag (labelled with the camper’s name and date of birth) during “curbside” drop-off. The nurse will look at the medications and instructions and ask for clarification if needed.

 

Medications that are to be given daily must be accompanied by the “Routine Medication MAR” form, and should be in a blister pack (many pharmacies will create these free of charge) or a clearly labelled pill box organizer. If you bring a pill box organizer, please also bring the original medication containers for check in. Original containers can be taken home with the parent after checking medications in with the nurse.

 

Medications that are to be given as needed (PRN) must be accompanied by the “PRN Medication MAR” form. Please be sure to follow the instructions on these forms so that we can provide excellent health care for your child. These forms can be found here.

All campers must provide a valid health number and completed medical information on application. Out-of-province campers must have medical insurance.

Details regarding medical/behavioral concerns are to be communicated in writing. Please call to discuss any concerns/special needs by phone.

When completing your online or paper application, please indicate if your child has food allergies or requires a modified diet (i.e. vegetarian). When notified in advance, we are able to accommodate most vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-friendly diets for Overnight Campers. If your child has a complex allergy, please contact the camp office to determine if dietary restrictions can be accommodated.

 

InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch will make every effort to accommodate allergies; however, we cannot guarantee that there will be no trace of an allergen in food served. We strive to be a nut free facility and do not knowingly serve foods containing nuts. We sell only nut free products in our store.

Although Circle Square Ranch cannot guarantee to be entirely peanut-free, we neither serve nut products nor use them in food preparation.
Overnight Campers will have a lice check during sign-in. Campers with lice or nits will need to return home to remove all lice and nits before being allowed to return to camp. While we understand that not all nits are “live” there is no way for us to determine if a nit is live or not, and as such no nits may be present. To make the process run more smoothly, we recommend that campers come with their hair down or in a simple ponytail.

 

Day Campers will not have a lice check, but will wear a polypropylene bouffant hairnet during each helmeted activity to reduce potential transmission.

We provide approved riding helmets, which all campers are required to wear when horseback riding. Campers may bring their own approved riding helmet. No bike helmets please.
 
 

Registration & Camper Fees

 
For overnight camps, camp fees do not include transportation to and from the ranch, canteen purchases, email credits, or camp t-shirts. Many of these can be purchased as an add-on to your camp session. You are welcome to add them to your cart, or contact the office for fees and details.

 

For day camps, camp fees do not include transportation to and from the ranch, lunch, canteen purchases, or camp t-shirts. Many of these can be purchased as an add-on to your camp session. You are welcome to add them to your cart, or contact the office for fees and details.

For overnight camps, camp fees do not include transportation to and from the ranch, canteen purchases, email credits, camp t-shirts, or weekend stayover between sessions. Many of these can be purchased as an add-on to your camp session. You are welcome to add them to your cart, or contact the office for fees and details.

 

For day camps, camp fees do not include transportation to and from the ranch, lunch, canteen purchases, or camp t-shirts.). Many of these can be purchased as an add-on to your camp session. You are welcome to add them to your cart, or contact the office for fees and details.

Cancellation Policy:

 

1. If camp capacity numbers are reduced due to Government COVID restrictions, and camp has to reduce enrolment in registration:

Priority registrations will be given by date of registration; those who have registered first will retain their session of preference. Once we have reached our weekly capacity for camper/staff onsite, a waitlist will be set up and the applicant will be placed on it. If there are sessions that are not full and that your child is eligible to attend, your registration can be moved to one of those sessions.

 

2. In the event a camp session is cancelled due to a COVID outbreak, there are government mandates to shut down camp for all or part of the season, or camp is cancelled due to any other reason, the camp will issue a refund for the value of the fees of the unexpired term.

 

3. If parent/guardian/participant chooses to withdraw their camp registration, regular cancellation policies will be in effect:

 

Day Camp Cancellation Policy: If you cancel more than three weeks prior to the start of camp, you will receive a full refund less a $30/week administration fee.

 

Overnight Camp Cancellation Policy: If you cancel more than two weeks prior to the start of camp, you will receive a full refund less a $75/week administration fee.

 

All Camps: If a cancellation occurs after the cut-off dates listed above, you will get NO REFUND except for medical reasons with a note from a doctor. In that case, you will get a full refund less the administration fee. No refund will be made for dismissals due to disciplinary action, late arrivals or early departures. If a child/participant is unwell while at camp and it is determined that withdrawal from camp is required, the camp will credit the family the value of fees for the unexpired term.

 

If camper is unwell with COVID, the following will apply: The camper may return when symptoms are gone, a COVID test is negative, and depending on availability, the family can use their credit to rebook the child in an alternate session. If this is not possible, the camp will issue a refund for the value of the unexpired term.

Yes, we have a scholarship program available for many of our overnight camps. For more information, click here
We accept E-transfers, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa/Debit cards, and cash payments. Payment can be also be made by cheque if paid at last 1 month before camp session begins. Please note that a camp spot will not be held until we have received a deposit.
Yes! When registering for camp, a deposit is required to hold the camper’s spot and the remainder is due June 1st.

 

Deposit amounts are as follows:

  • Day Camps: $75
  • Crew Camps: $150
  • Discovery Camps: $200
  • Horse Lovers Camps: $250
  • Equestrian Camps: $300
  • LIT: $100

 
 

Waitlists

 
If a session only allows you to waitlist, that session is currently full. Please add your child to the waiting list right away to increase the likelihood of them attending camp this summer
Yes, we do have wait list, and you do not need to pay to put your child on it. To add your child to a wait list, please click here. Please be sure to add your child to the wait list for each session you are interested in registering your child for, as each session has its own individual wait list.

 

If there are any openings for a session, we will contact families in order of the date they were added to the waitlist. We will notify you how long you have to decide if you would like the spot before we offer it to the next person on the waiting list (approx. 48 hours, unless it is very close to session start date).

Yes, you can register your child for a session AND waitlist them for another session.

 

If an opening occurs in your waitlisted session, we will notify you and give you the opportunity to; switch to the newly opened session, keep your original session and add the second session, or pass on the newly opened session to the next person on the waiting list.

It can be hard to predict the likelihood of a waitlist opening up.

 

Waitlist openings are dependent on either:

  1. An already registered family cancelling their child(ren)’s spot
  2. Our ability to increase our capacity.
    • Capacity is dependent on a few factors such as staffing, program availability (i.e. horse availability, pool capacity, etc.), capacity limits (i.e. covid related), and other factors.
 

Generally, the higher up on the waitlist your child is, the more likely they are to get a spot at camp. Occasionally people further up on the waiting list are no longer interested by the time we receive cancellations or are able to increase our capacity, so just because your child’s name is lower on the waiting list doesn’t mean that you won’t be contacted.

 

If we do have any openings, we will let you know right away and you can decide at that time if you would like to proceed with a booking.

One of our office staff will contact you by phone or email if there is an opening. We will notify you how long you have to decide if you would like the spot before we offer it to the next person on the waiting list (approx. 48 hours unless it is very close to session start date).
Camps are filling up quicker each year. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to watch for when registration opens for next year so that you can register as early as possible. Our registration typically opens mid-November.