Camper Family Guide - YMCA of Three Rivers Waterloo Region

Camper Family Guide

Campers doing activities at camp

At Y of Three Rivers Camps...

We work to ensure that everyone-- regardless of age, cultural background, ethnicity, income, faith, gender, gender identity, race or sexual orientation-- feels welcome, connected and safe at camp.

We aim to empower all campers, leadership trainees, volunteers, and staff to fully participate in our camps, and develop to their fullest potential as future leaders and global citizens.

Our camps embrace diversity, reflect the needs of our communities that we serve, and strive to ensure inclusion and engagement for all.


Your CampBrain Account

Completing and Updating Online Forms


Y Day Camp Staff


Health and Safety

Covid-19 Guidelines

What to Bring to Camp

Lunch and Snacks

Camper Code of Behaviour




Your CampBrain Account

Please check your calendar to see if the dates that you plan to send your child to camp are the same as are listed in our system. (We have campers arrive for the wrong session at least twice a summer...please double check!) If you have an issue with your child's registration, the sooner you contact us, the better the chance of us being able to accommodate your change. Please call us ASAP if you have an issue. 519-699-5100. Access your CampBrain account here. 

Check your payment information

Most of our parents pay a deposit at registration and indicate for us to charge the same credit card with the remainder of the payment due on June 1. If you are one of these payers, you should expect to receive a reminder email prior to June 1, indicating that your payment will be automatically processed on June 1. Please double check the number at that time and make sure it's still current, and if not, please give us a call 519-699-5100 with your updated information. If you have paid in full before June 1st you will not receive this reminder email.


Completing and Updating Online Forms

Camper/Cabin Mate Request Form

This is where campers can request to be placed in Cabins or Groups with their friends or family members. Campers may request up to 2 other campers to be in the same group/cabin and we will try our best to accommodate your request based on existing bubbles and ages. Access your CampBrain account here. 

Health Form

If you have already completed this form, reviewing and updating it will ensure that we are getting the most up-to-date information about the health and any special requirements to make your child's stay with us the best it can be. Access your CampBrain account here. 

Camper Code of Behaviour

Please be sure to read and discuss the Camper Code of Behaviour with your child, and indicate you have done so. Access your CampBrain account here. 

Photo Permission

Photographs are taken throughout each session for slide shows, certificates at camp, the camp website and for various marketing purposes. By signing the consent line on the Photo Release Form, you authorize the YMCA of Three Rivers to use picture(s) of your child in any of their advertising and promotional materials. These materials may be used for internal and external use, but will not be sold to any external parties. Access your CampBrain account here. 

Inclusion Camper Profile

If you have requested Inclusion Support for your camper, please ensure this form is completed TWO WEEKS prior to their arrival at camp. Access your CampBrain account here. 

Inclusion Facilitators provide additional support for campers, who may require it, to be successful at camp. Inclusion Facilitators are specifically trained to provide support to campers with disabilities, behavioural challenges, and to assist counsellors in dealing with difficult situations that arise throughout the day. Families are welcome to apply to have their camper supported by an Inclusion Facilitator. Access your CampBrain account here. 


The majority of our communication will be done through email. Please make sure your email is up to date and correct in your CampBrain account.

Prior to your child's arrival at camp we will send an email with everything you need to know to ensure they have a successful week with us. 


Y Day Camp Staff

Our entire camp team is made up of individuals who are fun, energetic and are passionate about ensuring a successful camp experience for each child! It is our priority to provide an inclusive, engaging and caring environment everyday at camp.

All staff are certified in:

  • Standard First Aid & CPR-C
  • High Five - Principles of Healthy Child Development/ YMCA Healthy Child Development
  • Complete extensive training focused on leadership, inclusivity, behaviour support, how to help campers develop, grow foster friendships and build confidence in themselves

Day Camp Site Coordinators are located at each site and provide support to Counsellors, Inclusion staff and LIT’s throughout the summer. It is the role of the Site Coordinators to oversee the smooth operation of each camp day, plan and implement camp programming, and support the camp team.



A Daycamp survey link will be emailed to you at the end of each session. Please take a moment to complete this survey. Your feedback is used to continually improve our programs. 


Health and Safety

The health and safety of day campers is our foremost concern. Our Day Camp Director is a full-time, year round staff member with our Camping Department. Site Coordinators support our counsellors at each of our sites and all staff are trained in emergency procedures and certified in first aid. Our lifeguards, who are certified by the National Lifesaving Society, supervise all aquatic activities.

Illness at camp

If your child is feeling ill before coming to camp please keep them home. If your child becomes ill or injured while at camp, immediate care will be provided. Every effort will be made by staff to keep your child comfortable until your arrival.

Inhalers and EpiPens®

We recommend that you send along 2 inhalers/EpiPens® with your child. One will need to be carried by your child at all times (we suggest that you send a hip sack for easy carrying so your child can carry one inhaler/EpiPen® at all times). The back up will be kept with the counsellor supervising your child's group throughout the day. (The counsellor will carry both inhalers/Epipens® at the parents request.)

Sun Sense

With continued concern over the health risks resulting from extended exposure to the sun, we ask that you send the following items with your child to camp.

  • A good sun hat (please label; keep in mind that baseball hats do not cover the ears or back of the neck)
  • Water bottle (please label)
  • Please make sure your camper arrives at camp wearing sunscreen and pack some o reapply during the day (please label)

Our staff understand the importance of reminding children about sunscreen and hats. Times will be allotted throughout the day for reapplication.


Covid-19 Guidelines

We’re listening to Region of Waterloo Public Health, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and Huron Perth Public Health every day to stay informed on the steps we can take to ensure our procedures follow all the public health recommendations like hand washing, physical distancing, monitoring campers and staff for symptoms and more. The plan we are developing follows all these recommendations so you can be safe and healthy at the Y.

  • Health screening: Every day your parent or caregiver will sign a form when you get dropped off at day camp.  The form will declare that you:
    • Do not have a fever
    • Have not come in contact with a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days
    • Have not travelled outside the country within the last 14 days
    • Are not experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea and/or vomiting

  • Handwashing:  By now you are probably a pro at washing your hands for 20 seconds. We will ask you to wash your hands when you arrive at camp, throughout the day and before and after lunchtime and snacks. Handwashing stations or hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60%-70% alcohol will be made available.

  • Visitors will not be permitted inside camp: This helps to safeguard our efforts in screening campers and keeping everyone safe.
  • Physical Distancing: Where possible, we will help you have 2 metres of distance between you and other campers. However, due to the nature of camp and the need for our staff to closely supervise you and other campers, we will strive for this goal but it may not be achieved at all times. Activities that have a lot of contact––like basketball––will not be included whereas activities with momentary contact like tag will played a lot!

  • Bring your own food: To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we will ask that you bring your own lunch and snacks to day camp each day. Please do NOT send lunches that need to be cooked or reheated in the microwave.

  • Stay outdoors:  Let’s get outside!  Being outside is a great way to stay healthy, so we will spend as much of our time outside as we can.


What to Bring to Camp

All Day campers will need to bring the following items each day they come to camp. We suggest that you pack everything in a backpack. Please label it with their name or attach a tag. Consult our recommended packing list


  • Running shoes 
  • Flip flops/Crocs/Water shoes for swimming, boating, and/or water games
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat 
  • Water Bottle (clearly labeled with camper's name)
  • Healthy nut-free lunch and at least two snacks
  • Weather-Appropriate clothing: Rain Gear, extra sweater, etc. 
  • Swimsuit & Towel
  • Change of clothes
  • Bug spray

Please Keep at Home

The YMCA will not be responsible for lost or damaged items. Please keep your valuables at home. 

These items will be confiscated upon the camper's arrival and returned to the parent upon the camper's departure.

  • Hand-held games (i.e. Nintendo Switch)
  • Cell phones
  • Money 
  • Water guns
  • Knives or other weapons
  • Matches or lighters
  • cigarettes or vapes


Lunch and Snacks

Campers should arrive daily with a lunch and at least 2 snacks as well as a refillable water bottle. Vendors and/or vending machines will not be available for lunch/snack purchases at any of our sites by campers.

Please...No Nuts!
Do not send any nut products to camp with your child. We appreciate your help in keeping our sites and equipment as safe as possible for all of our campers.


Camper Code of Behaviour

It is the goal of the YMCA to provide a healthy, safe and secure environment for all participants. The YMCA teaches the core values of acceptance, caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and health. At camp we will create opportunities for everyone to play FAIR, play SAFE, and play HARD with the ultimate goal of FUN.  Children who attend the program are expected to follow the behavior guidelines and to interact appropriately in a group setting.

PLAY FAIR: Adults will be reasonable and listen to all ideas

  • I will follow the rules set out
  • I will have a positive attitude
  • I will be honest and respectful in my words and actions


PLAY SAFE: Adults will set clear rules and directions to limit danger

  • I will choose to be safe in my words and actions:
  • I will stay within the boundaries
  • I will wear the proper equipment for the activity
  • I will follow the rules and directions to the best of my ability


PLAY HARD: Adults will create opportunities for fun and safe challenges, risks and activities.

  • I will do my best
  • I will choose to participate
  • I will choose my own level of difficulty
  • I will let it go and hold no grudges


1. We will CARE for ourselves and those around us.

  • I will keep my hands to myself
  • I will use nice words at all times
  • I will take care of all belongings sent from home and check the lost and found if I think I've lost something
  • I will reapply sunscreen frequently and will wear my hat when I am outside


2. We will RESPECT each other, our leaders and the environment.

  • I will abide by the boundaries set by my leader
  • I will leave the environment the way I found it
  • I will listen to my friends and be kind
  • I will stay within my counsellor’s sight unless given permission
  • I will listen to my counsellor


3. We are RESPONSIBLE for our actions.

  • If I make a mess, I will clean it up
  • I will only touch what belongs to me
  • I accept the consequences of my actions 
  • I collect my belongings at the end of the day


4. We will be HONEST with others

  • I will ask my counsellor to explain any rules I do not understand
  • I will tell the truth to my leaders and friends
  • If I am upset, I will let someone know


5. We will ACCEPT everyone for who they are

  • I will respect the difference between myself and others
  • I will think before I speak, be kind
  • I will welcome and include everyone
  • I will ask questions to learn


6. We will practice good HEALTH

  • I will drink lots of water to keep me hydrated
  • I will eat my lunch for energy
  • I will wear my hat and sunscreen to keep me sun safe
  • I will wash my hands often


Zero Tolerance for Bullying at Camp

We have zero tolerance for campers who are bullying other campers.  We are committed to providing a safe, friendly and caring environment for our campers to learn, grow and foster new friendships while developing new skills. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable! Everyone has the right to be treated with respect.

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person.  Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. 


Bullying can be:

Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding or tormenting

Physical: the use of violence –hitting, punching, kicking, pushing

Verbal: name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing

Racist: racial taunts, gestures, graffiti

Sexual: unwanted physical contact or abusive comments

Homophobic: because of or focusing on the issue of sexuality

Cyber: all areas of internet, email, chat rooms, texts, or calls, misuse of cameras or video facilities

Any of these behaviours will result in a phone call home and immediate removal from programs and possible expulsion.


When a child does not follow the behaviour guidelines, we take the following steps:

  • counsellor or other staff supports the child in managing behaviour and strategies they can use.  The child is reminded of the behaviour guidelines and rules, and a discussion will take place.
  • If the behaviour persists, a parent is notified of the problem.  The staff documents the situation. This written documentation includes: what the behaviour problem is, what provoked the problem, and the corrective action taken.
  • Staff schedules a progress check or a follow-up conference and notifies their Site Supervisor.
  • If the problem still persists, staff schedules a conference that includes the parent, child, staff and Site Supervisor. A discussion takes place to determine the best next steps.
  • If a child's behaviour at any time threatens the immediate safety of themselves, other children, or staff, the parent is notified and instructed to pick up the child immediately

If a problem persists and a child continues to disrupt the program, the YMCA reserves the right to suspend the child from the program. Expulsion from the program will be considered in extreme situations.

The following behaviours are not acceptable and may result in the immediate suspension of a participant for the remainder of the current program day, week or possibly the entire summer:

  • Endangering the health and safety of children and/or staff, members, volunteers
  • Stealing or damaging YMCA or personal property
  • Leaving the program without permission
  • Continuing to disrupt the program
  • Refusing to follow the behaviour guidelines or rules
  • Using profanity, vulgarity, or obscenity frequently
  • Acting in a lewd manner

Program Expulsion

In order to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all campers any intentional participant behavior that puts the YMCA, staff or others at physical or emotional risk may result in immediate dismissal from the program. Any expenses incurred as a result of program dismissal will be the responsibility of the participant/parent/guardian. 



Please connect with us

Call: 519-699-5100


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