Visiting and Changeover
We do not have a Visiting Day for two-week or four-week campers. Years ago when we did, it was our experience that Visiting Day was difficult for the majority of campers, re-exposing them to the anxiety of separation and creating significant emotional stress. Campers who were not homesick prior to Visiting Day often became homesick when they saw their parents. We also understand that it can be important for parents to see their childrens’ cabins and to meet the counsellors who care for their children. Picking your campers up at camp or dropping them off can be a great way to meet those needs, and we’re delighted to offer camp tours and a chance to chat with the counsellors on both arrival and departure days. For eight-week campers we believe it is important, if possible, to see parents in mid-season. Campers who choose to come to camp for eight weeks tend to be those who are so bonded to their “second home” that they are unlikely to struggle with separation after a parental visit!
We have a three-day Changeover: First Session ends Tuesday July 25 and Second Session starts Thursday July 27. Eight-week campers choose one of the following choices for Changeover (which you will indicate on your camper's travel form):
- Go to Toronto on a camp bus on July 25 in the morning and come back to camp on a camp bus on July 27 in the afternoon. (We charge half our regular bus price for this.)
- Parents may pick up eight-weekers at camp July 25 between 9:30 and 11:00 am, and bring them back to camp July 27 between 2:00 and 3:30 pm (BEFORE buses with 2nd session campers arrive, to avoid congestion and waiting time in cars).
In the case of July four-weekers, you could pick up both kids July 25 in the morning, and bring back the eight-weeker to us July 27 (or use our bus service for that).
In the case of August four-weekers, you could pick up your eight-weeker July 25 and bring both kids to camp July 27 (or use our bus service for that).
If you are driving your campers to camp after Changeover (July 27), please arrive at camp between 3:00 and 5:30 pm, not earlier, so that your four-week August campers can be properly greeted by their counsellors.
For families who have both a camper and a staff at camp:
Staff and camper siblings can be picked up at camp at the same time on July 25 (at 11:00 am). If they do not have a camper sibling at camp, staff must stay later than campers on Tuesday July 25 because they have work to do to close 1st session. Sorry, we can’t keep your campers at camp while your staff offspring are closing up camp, because with campers in camp, staff would have to take care of them and could not do their other work.
On Thursday July 27, staff must arrive well before campers so that they can do important prep work for 2nd session – including learning about the arriving campers. And sorry, we can’t accept your campers at camp while your staff offspring are doing that, because the staff need to put their undivided attention on 2nd session orientation, and we can not leave campers unsupervised.
Campers leave camp Tuesday July 25 by 11:00 am. Staff who have camper siblings may leave with their siblings then (no sooner). Campers come back to camp Thursday July 28 after 2:00 pm only if they’re eight-weekers, and after 3:00 pm if they’re 2nd session campers. Staff are required back at camp by 11:00 am July 27. We offer staff buses free of charge.
We know this poses challenges. Our advice to you is to spend the “down time” between camper/staff drop-off/pickup on one of Algonquin Park’s many wonderful walking trails, or at the Algonquin Park Visitors Centre, or rent a canoe and/or go for ice cream at the Portage Store or lunch at one of the Park’s restaurants.