Even if they're here for two weeks, a week, or a summer, the experience helps them grow physically, socially, and emotionally.
Parents who are looking for Thornhill Day camps should consider Kettleby Valley as one of their top choices. There aren’t many other day camps that offer the traditional summer camp activities that we do. And our natural setting is a place where any child would want to spend their time.
The Kettleby Valley Day Camp Experience
Like most day camps, the experience begins with a bus ride. At Kettleby Valley, we offer bus pick up and drop off to and from your home each day that’s included in the price. When your camper arrives at Kettleby Valley, they will be welcomed by our Director who greets every bus. All of our campers gather together and meet the rest of the kids in their day camp group. Then it’s off to activities such as swim instruction, arts and crafts, climbing wall and archery. Many more traditional summer camp activities such as canoeing, ropes course and camp craft are also offered.
Each day camper is provided with a delicious (and very popular) hot lunch in our dining hall that’s also included in our price. Each lunch is served family style and is an important part of the camp experience. Campers are encouraged to serve themselves and help clean up. Like any other day camp activity, we see lunch as an opportunity to develop confidence and a healthy sense of independence.
After Lunch, it’s time for more great activities. Campers have the chance to participate in two swims each day. At the end of the day, all the campers gather together once again to celebrate achievements such as bulls eye’s at archery or special skills that were learned at canoeing. Then, it’s time to board the buses and head for home.
A Truly Beautiful Outdoor Camp Experience
With 60 acres of rolling landscape and forests, most other Thornhill day camps simply can’t provide the natural setting that Kettleby Valley does. Our modest Waterfront adds to the traditional northern camp feel of Kettleby Valley. Some of our beautiful white pines are 200 years old. And our playing fields offer great areas for running games for campers.
When it rains, campers must be prepared. Rather than cancelling activities, we merely adapt them. In the case of thunder, lightening or heavy rain, we always have our dining hall to retreat to until things clear up.
Even though most of our activities are outdoors, we know how important it is to keep our day campers sheltered from the sun and the heat. Our trees provide shade and on those days when heat warnings are in place and we make changes to our program to accommodate. No matter what the temperature, campers are always encouraged to stay hydrated and play safe while enjoying the beauty that our outdoor setting offers.
A Great Counsellor Makes All the Difference
Many of our staff have been campers at Kettleby Valley. Others have worked at other days camps and they understand how important their role is in making your child’s camp experience a positive one. Getting to know your child as an individual is a skill that we emphasize during staff training. Monitoring the group and making sure that everyone is included and making friends is something that we’re great at. Our counsellors balance encouragement and support with giving campers the space to gain independence and confidence.
Whether they are new to Kettleby Valley or returning, each staff member takes part in our staff training program held prior to the arrival of our first campers. We also offer an in-depth online training experience for our counsellors and activity staff. For those who are teaching activities at our summer camp, we hire certified instructors for areas such as swimming, canoeing, high ropes and climbing wall. Our hiring practices meet all standards set through the Ontario Camps Association.
Other Summer Camp Programs at Kettleby Valley
Kettleby Valley offers more than just a great day camp. Twice each summer our day campers have the chance to sign up for our one-night overnight camp option. This program is offered during week 1 in July and during the short week in August. Here’s how it works. During these special weeks, our day camp buses make their rounds to pick up excited children. However on this particular Thursday the buses are filled with sleeping bags and pillows as well as children. Campers unload and take part in their regular activities. At the end of the day, instead of boarding a bus, they are led to their cabins where they get a chance to unpack and meet all their cabin mates. Keeping campers busy is our main priority. This keeps their minds off of being homesick while focusing on all the fun and excitement they’re able to have. After dinner, we have a traditional campfire with songs, skits and marshmallows. Then it’s time for the usual clean up just before bed. Before they know it, it’s Friday morning and they’re ready for another fun filled day of activities. At the end of the day on Friday, they board the bus as usual, with all of their overnight camp belongings.
Kettleby Valley is a great place for an overnight camp experience too. For children who have attended day camps before or for children who are ready for more time away from home, we offer one week and two week overnight summer camp sessions where children can choose their own activities. In addition to our day camp activities, we offer paintball, bouldering, crossbow and Frisbee golf. This is a great opportunity to further develop your child’s confidence and independence.
A Bit About Our History
Our camp began as RICHIDACA, an acronym for Richmond Hill Day Camp, back in 1957. Bill Babcock and his wife Jean started the camp to give children a chance to build outdoor skills without having to drive three or four hours north. As the local area grew, the Babcock’s began offering both Aurora day camp programs and Newmarket day camp programs. Today we service these and many other areas. We also offer the same services to Woodbridge, Thornhill and Maple. This makes us a great choice for those who are looking for Vaughan day camp options. All these nearby communities consider Kettleby Valley a fantastic place to send their children.