Camp FAQ

In this section, you'll find answers to some of the most common questions we hear about Zoo Camp.

If you still have questions, please call us at (204) 927-6070 or email us at education@assiniboinepark.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions - Summer Camp

What procedures does your camp have in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19

Please click here to read Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s COVID-19 response. 

In addition, our camp has implemented the following:

  • Camper participants are asked a series of screening questions prior to entering the Zoo.
  • Camp will follow all company standard operating procedures created for entering and exiting specific spaces.
  • Group sizes are reduced and seating is spaced when indoors to ensure campers can maintain appropriate physical distances (6 feet apart).
  • Camp Staff and Camp Volunteers will wear masks when inside any building with campers.
  • Masks are not mandatory for campers but are recommended while indoors.
  • Hand sanitizing or washing is used before and after activities and dietary breaks.
  • During animal encounters, there will be no animal handling or touching of animal artifacts.
  • Campers will be assigned a personal sanitized kit that will contain all the materials required for crafts and activities, to reduce the sharing of supplies.
  • Camp staff will have access to a hand sanitizer spray and will sanitize frequently touched surfaces.

 
Camp staff and volunteers will do their best encourage proper physical distancing and hand washing. We understand that children also have a role to play and ask for their cooperation, but that some children may need frequent reminders.

Where do camp activities take place?

  • Pick-up and drop-off will happen at the Education Centre, which is accessed at the Special Events Entrance (54 Zoo Drive), on the East side of the Zoo. Some in-service camps may happen at the Qualico Family Centre, but notice will be given.
  • Campers will spend time in and around the Zoo and Park over the course of each day.
  • Depending on the weather and theme, the day may include visits to the Assiniboine Park Zoo, Nature Playground, English & Leo Mol Gardens, Pavilion, Riparian or Assiniboine Forest.
  • We try not to explore the entire Zoo in a single day, so that we can utilize different parts of the Zoo throughout the week or season.
  • The camp itinerary will be posted for your reference.

What time does camp start and end?

  • We provide staff-led activities from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. There are no structured activities before 9:00 am or after 4:00 pm, just free play.
  • Drop-off is from 8:00 - 9:00 am; Pick-up is from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

When is drop-off and pick-up?

  • Please go to the dedicated camp entrance located inside the Park at the Special Events Entrance on the East side of the Zoo at 54 Zoo Drive.
  • Camp staff will be at the gate to greet you for sign in/sign out.
    Drop-off: 8:00 am to 9:00 am
    Pick-up: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • All campers must be signed in and signed out. Only authorized individuals with valid photo ID are allowed to sign out campers.
  • Structured activities run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Children are encouraged to enjoy supervised unstructured free play during the drop-off and pick-up periods.
  • There is a $5.00 Fee per instance for pick up for every 15 minute interval outside of the normal times.
  • To report an absence, ask a question, or in the case of an emergency, please contact the Education Office at 204-927-6070.

What are the dates for camps at Assiniboine Park?

  • Our in-service camps happen on dates when all city of Winnipeg School Divisions share a common professional development day. These five dates usually happen in September, October, February, March, April.
  • Winter Camp usually happens on select dates between Boxing Day and New Year’s. Campers may usually register for the entire camp, or for select dates.
  • Spring Camp happens during the public school’s spring break. Campers may usually register for the entire week, or for select dates.
  • Summer camp happens Monday through Friday in July and August, not counting the July and August statutory holidays. We offer two weeks of programming that repeat throughout the summer. On select weeks we may offer campers the chance to sign up for individual days.

What are the age groups of the campers?

  • Most of our camp programs are for children in Grades 1 to 6 (ages 6 to 12).
  • For summer camp, we have a group designated for children of 5 years of age, or who will be 5 years prior to January 1.
  • Children must be self-sufficient in public washrooms and capable of a full day program.

What do campers do at camp?

Each year, our education team plans programs so that campers will enjoy their day at Assiniboine Park.

  • They may create a “take home” crafts, or participate in an art-based project that may remain in the park.
  • They are involved with many games and hands-on activities that encourage learning based upon the daily theme.
  • They may get a guided venue tour (including zoo, gardens, museum).
  • They will get to meet one of our education animal ambassadors.
  • They will have ample time in the very interactive Nature and Polar Playgrounds.
  • Scheduled activities will be planned closer to the camp’s start date.
  • Planned activities may be altered depending on the weather and animal care schedules. Please send your child prepared for the day’s forecast. If the weather forces us indoors we have great indoor programming so camp will go on, rain, snow, or shine!

Who are the camp counsellors?

  • Camp is developed by our highly talented Education Coordinators and Program Instructors. Seasonal staff will also help the education team in providing educational experiences at Assiniboine Park year-round.
  • We use camp volunteers, who are 15 and older.

Does camp accommodate children with special needs?

We want all children to experience camp at Assiniboine Park.

  • We do not have staff that can work with your child one-on-one, so it is the responsibility of the parents to provide an aide to accompany your child if they so need.
  • Our buildings and walking paths are wheelchair accessible, but our fields/open areas may not be accessible depending on the season.

What should my camper bring?

  • Lunch, morning snack, and afternoon snack.
  • A refillable water bottle
  • Please dress for the weather and bring extra clothes if you think it necessary for your child.
  • Campers are active (walking, running, jumping, etc.) throughout the day. Please ensure that your child brings appropriate footwear, like running shoes or outdoor boots for cold or wet seasons.
  • Please Avoid Sending: Cash, music devices, handheld electronic games, cell phones, toys, or trading cards to avoid items becoming lost or damaged. Do not send items of large monetary or sentimental value. We are not responsible for items that are damaged or lost.

During Winter Camp:

  • Weather permitting, campers will have time for sledding or skating. We have a small collection of sleds for the campers to share. If campers would like to bring their own sled, they may do so, but we are not responsible for the item. If campers would like to go skating they must bring their own skates and a helmet. Staff will be available to help tie skates, and we require campers to wear a proper skating helmet while on the ice.
  • Extra Hat, mitts, and socks are beneficial if your child should get wet or cold

During Spring Camp:

  • Ensure your child is dressed appropriately for active play and the day’s weather, as we could spend part of our day outdoors. If necessary, send rain or snow boots. Ski or slush pants are also recommended. Running shoes are preferred for indoor play.
  • Due to the nature of our spring weather, you may also wish to pack an extra change of clothes, especially pants, socks, and mitts, as they get soggy after playing outside.
  • Pack appropriately and if necessary, pack extra socks and/or clothes. We will be outdoors throughout each day, and it is important that campers have warm mitts, toques, scarf or similar face covering, warm boots, and ski pants for playing outside.

During Summer Camp:

  • Please apply sunscreen on your camper prior to camp. We will be re-applying sunscreen and bug spray throughout the day.
  • A camp T-shirt will be provided on the first day of camp for all weekly campers, and for the daily campers that pre-ordered one. We ask that campers wear it at least for the first day.
  • Swim wear and a towel are required for Friday, when the campers have their water games.

What are the camp's food policies?

  • Campers will have 15 minutes for a morning and 15 minutes for an afternoon snack, which they bring from home. Campers also get 30 minutes for lunch plus time after for free play.
  • Please do not send any nut products with your child.
  • We promote a policy of no food sharing, as many of our campers have severe allergies to foods like peanuts, gluten, soy or milk products and we want to reduce the risk of exposure to these items.
  • We take allergies seriously but cannot guarantee that the program is completely free of food or environmental allergens. Due to the nature of the Park and Zoo facilities, we may expose your child to allergens like nuts, animals, dusts/pollens/grasses, or food allergens.
  • Time will be scheduled for a morning snack, lunch break, and afternoon snack. Please ensure that your child has something to eat and drink for each of these breaks.
  • Please pack a picnic style lunch: no heat up lunches, bring your own utensils, and a reusable water bottle. We do not have access to microwaves or eating utensils.
  • Please help us reduce garbage by using refillable water bottles, reusable food containers, reducing packaging, and encouraging your child to recycle and compost.
  • We do not provide snacks, nor do we encourage children buying food at the park restaurants.

Can you give my child their medication?

  • Camp leaders are not authorized to administer medication (in any form, with the exception of a camper’s personal epi-pen in the case of an emergency).
  • We can remind your child to take their medication.
  • Children who have been prescribed an epi-pen, puffer or inhaler for severe allergies, MUST bring and carry it with them each day of the program. Please ensure that the date on the epi-pen, puffer or inhaler is still valid. We require that all epi-pens/puffers/inhalers be carried in a fanny pack and to be worn on the camper at all times. During the day, campers will be in various locations throughout the Park and may be without their backpacks. For safety reasons, epi-pens should not be carried-in pockets, backpacks or loose bags.

What if I want to cancel my child's camp? What is your refund policy?

  • You will receive a refund of 90% of the program fee if you cancel with more than 10 business days’ notice. Please note that sometimes our office may be closed due to statutory holidays or the holiday season.
  • You will receive a refund of 75% of the program fee if you cancel with less than 10 business days’ notice.
  • No refunds are given for cancellations with less than two (2) business days’ notice.
  • We reserve the right to cancel any camp due to lack of registered participants. A refund will be issued if the Education and Programs Department cancels your program.

Do you ever experience bad behaviour from some campers?

We want all children to have a fun, memorable experience at our day camps. On rare occasions, some children’s behaviour negatively impacts others.

  • If a child is asked to leave camp, it will only be after we have contacted the child’s parents to discuss the situation
  • Reasons for dismissal include bullying or putting another person, property or animal at risk
  • No money will be refunded if a child is sent home for negative or dangerous behaviour
  • Children may be sent home for the day or for the balance of the week

Can we put our child in the same camp as their friend or sibling?

We will make every effort to place your child in the same group as their friends or siblings, but there may be instances where we cannot always accommodate this.

  • Please include a note on each registration form with the name of the child you would like to keep with your child.
  • We place children together that are in the same age group in order to plan a program that is appropriate for their age, and to facilitate positive social interactions.
  • Should children be categorized into different age groups, then both children will be placed in the younger group.

Where can I access my tax receipt?

Your tax receipt is accessible through your Camp Brain account.

How do I contact you?

For emergencies, absences, questions and/or concerns please contact Education and Programs at 204-927-6070 or education@assiniboinepark.ca.

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