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. As long as the weather co-operates, all campers swim and participate in riding or horse activities daily with the exception of some of our specialty camps. Overnight campers participate in fun camp games & free time after dinner and finish the day with a fun and meaningful campfire.
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.
Each full day of camp, Discovery campers will ride for one activity period, Horse Lovers will ride for two activity periods, and Equestrian campers will ride for three activity periods. Day Campers & Junior Campers will spend a period each day at the barn riding and taking part in horse care activities. Week 9 Extreme Day Campers who have purchased a riding add-on will spend two hours a day riding. Our specialty Boys Camp and Leadership Development camps (252 Crew, Route 4:13, LIT) do not feature daily riding, but they will have the opportunity to ride recreationally at least once during their camp session. Discovery Camp offers trail or level riding programs, optional barn & tack care, and optional horse science classes. Horse Lovers & Equestrian Camps offer a level riding program. All other campers ride in a non-level recreational riding program.
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.

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 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.
 
 

What to Bring

 

Beside all the normal, camp clothes, there are extra items to bring depending on your child’s camp session. Click here for camp specific packing lists & information. We will also send you a confirmation package once registration is complete. 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, Route 4:13, 252, 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 package for policies on cell phones & electronic devices for Teen Week, Route 4:13, 252, and LIT campers.

Yes, the Canteen is a camp store that is open daily for Overnight & Extreme Day Campers to independently purchase a snack or a souvenir. Parents of campers in our Explore Day Camp program can pre-order afternoon snacks from the canteen for their child. An order form will be emailed to Explore Day Camp parents 1-2 weeks before the camp session begins to give you time to think through your options.

 
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 or it can be brought with you to camp. Any unspent money will be returned to your child on the last day of camp. The Canteen will also be open on registration and sign-out day for your child to buy souvenirs.

 
We suggest a weekly amount of $20-$40 for Overnight Campers and $10-$20 for Day Campers.

 
*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. Check back in June for a list of the theme meals for your week of camp.
 
 

Arrival and Departure Days

 
We are unable to take early registration. If you have any questions regarding registration day, please contact us. If there is a pressing matter, please contact the office to see if other arrangements can be made. Additional fees may apply.
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.
Weekend accommodations may be arranged for campers registered for two consecutive weeks. Please contact the Ranch office for fees and details.
 
 

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 severely 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.

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.

With that in mind, we encourage parents and family not 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. We encourage family to spend as much time on arrival as they feel necessary.

 

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 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 16 and there are instructors at each activity that they attend. Trained leaders supervise all activities.
The camp directors have more than 25 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.

We offer a one to one support program for campers who need some extra assistance while they are at camp to be successful.  Campers participating in this program will have a staff member (typically an older teenager) that will be their “buddy” throughout the day to provide additional assistance and supervision as needed. While this staff member may not have specialized training working with children with special needs, they will be someone that is responsible, caring, and patient. Space is limited in this program and an additional fee applies. Please contact the office to determine if Circle Square Ranch would be a good fit for your child and to check availability.
 
 

Health and Safety

 
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.
Medical care is a vital part of our role for your child at the ranch. Please advise us at registration if there are any changes to your child’s medical information. The ranch reserves the right to refuse admission to any camper with a suspected contagious condition (i.e. chickenpox, lice). To ensure your child has an enjoyable week and to protect other campers, please have any condition treated completely before coming to camp. If this is not possible, please call and reschedule to another week, depending on availability.

Due to the structure of our program, Circle Square Ranch requests that medications required throughout the year be sent with your child to camp. All medication brought to camp MUST be kept by ranch staff, including vitamins, puffers and Tylenol. They must be labelled properly with medication name and directions for use. Prescription medication MUST be in the original container with user’s name printed on label. If you want your child to carry their puffer or epipen with them please bring a fanny pack for that purpose. We also request that a second puffer or epipen be checked in with the camp nurse.

Please do not use the week of camp as a break from medication.

All medications left behind after camp will be disposed of after two weeks.

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) and contact the office two weeks before arrival to discuss. We are able to accommodate most allergies, vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-free diets. You may be required to provide food items for any complex allergies or dietary requirements. If food items are required, they should be fully prepared, labelled with your child’s name, and reheating instructions. Food items will be stored in our kitchen. 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.
In the interest of protecting your children, please note that all campers will undergo a lice check on the day of registration. Parents are required to stay until this has been done. If any evidence of infestation is found, the child will be sent home for treatment, nit removal & laundering of bedding/pillows before returning. Please inspect your children the day before to ensure they are lice/nit-free.
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.
Circle Square Ranch is a smoke-free facility. Smoking by campers is prohibited.
 
 

Registration & Camper Fees

 
Fee includes all meals for camps, housing, use of all recreational equipment and facilities, instruction in activities, and awards.
The camp fee does not include transportation to and from the ranch, canteen purchases, camp video clips access or email credits. In some circumstances, weekend accommodations may be arranged for two-week campers. Please contact the ranch office for fees and details.
If you cancel more than two weeks prior to the start of camp, you will get a full refund less $75/week administration fee. If you cancel less than two weeks prior to the start of camp, you will get NO REFUND (includes camp fees, out-trip fees, and transportation fees if applicable) except for medical reasons with a note from a doctor. In that case, you will get a full refund less $75/week administration fee. No refund will be made for dismissals due to disciplinary action, late arrivals or early departures. Withdrawal during camp on physician’s orders will result in the value of fees for the unexpired term being refunded.
Yes, we have a scholarship program available for many of our overnight camps. Please click here for more information.
On our online application we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Visa/ Debit cards. Through mail or in person, we also accept cheques (at least 1 month before camp session begins), money orders, and cash. 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. We offer a variety of payment plans to choose from on our online registration. If you would like a custom-made payment plan that is different than those that are offered, please contact our office and we can set that up for you.