FAQ - Summer Camp


What are you doing about COVID-19 restrictions:

How big will the groups or cohorts be?
Cohort groups will be maximum 20 campers and 1 staff per cohort group. Two cohort groups will share some of the outdoor spaces.
How will Birch Bay Ranch serve meals? 
Plated meals will be served with the campers allowed to indicate which items they would like on their plate. Each plate will be touched by masked and gloved staff and then passed to the camper once filled.  Cohort groups will eat together spaced at the tables as per restriction guidelines.
How will activities work?
Activities will be disinfected between cohort groups. Hand sanitizer will be readily available and will be used prior to using high touch activities (climbing wall, ziplines, saddles, etc).
Will your staff wear PPE?
Staff that are not part of the cohort group will be masked indoors when working directly with the campers (activity leaders, cooks, servers), and when distancing cannot be maintained.
Will there be singing?
Yes. If we are outdoors we will add singing back into the camp program.

If one child is in day camp and a friend is in overnight camp, can they still be in the same group?
No, due to the current guidelines which we will implement all summer, we will not be combining overnight campers and day campers in the same cohort groups. 

What if a child is sick at camp, or what if my child gets sick at camp?
Day Campers - Please do the pre-screening assessment EVERY DAY before dropping off your child at camp.
Overnight Campers - The supervising staff will be trained in helping your child to complete the pre-screening assessment EVERY DAY.
If a camper shows unexplained symptoms during the day, the camper will be isolated with a designated staff member and the contact will be called to pick up the child. 

What is the Cancellation Policy?
The deposit amount is fully refundable if restrictions cause camp to be cancelled or if the decision of overnight vs day camps change your ability to attend. For other cancellation reasons, our regular cancellation policies apply (see cancellation policy when you register).

Standard cancellation policy:
Deposit of $100 is non-refundable. For Summer Camp 2021 the following will also apply: "In keeping with Government regulations, if your overnight camper leaves camp for any reason (homesickness, sports etc.) and there are no Day Camper spots available they will not be able to return to camp at all. In this case no refunds will be issued."

When do I arrive?
Please do not arrive early for drop off.

Day Campers - arrive each day Monday to Friday for an 8:30am dropoff. A staff member will greet you on the entrance road and direct you where to drop off your child. Due to restrictions, parents will not be permitted to leave their vehicle during drop off and pick up and will not be able to stay onsite after dropping off their child.

Overnight Campers - arrive on Sunday between 4:30-5:30pm. When you arrive at Birch Bay Ranch, a staff member will greet you and ask the name of the camper. You will be directed to your child's cabin. At the cabin you will meet their cabin leader and will choose a bed. You will have to sign in your camper. All other forms and releases have already been filled in online. Parents will be permitted to leave their vehicle during drop off and pick up. We ask that masks are worn if distancing cannot be maintained. Parents will not be able to stay onsite after dropping off their child. There is supper provided on Sunday for the overnight campers.

Do I have forms to fill out?
You will have to sign in your camper with their registration ID. All other forms and releases have already been filled in online.

What if it rains?
Day camp and overnight camp will run rain or shine.
Day Campers - Please have your child dressed appropriately for the weather.
We have indoor spaces available and will ask the campers to wear masks if the activity calls for close contact.

What about medication for the week?
Any medication that needs to be taken during the day or for "just in case" - whether prescription or over-the-counter - MUST be logged in. This will be done during drop off on the first day. We have a designated person each week to provide first aid and to ensure that all medication is received, recorded and taken on time. 

What about dietary needs?
We are able to accommodate many dietary needs. Please ensure that we are aware of any dietary requirements prior to arrival at camp. We do not use any nuts in cooking or baking. There are nuts in our tuck shop (candy store) in chocolate bars and on some candy labels as "may or may not contain". If you have specific questions about dietary concerns, please call us so we can talk with you individually (780-922-2883).

Do we need to bring any money for the tuck shop - candy, etc?
No, your camper will not require any additional money. You have already paid for their "tuck" (candy store) in your camp fee. 

Is there a Friday Finale?
At this time there will not be a Friday Finale. Campers will be picked up at 6:30pm. Stay tuned - this may change.

What if I need to reach my child during the week?
If you want to reach your child during the week, please call the Ranch office 780-922-2883 and we will ensure a message is delivered to your child.

What are Birch Bay Ranch's cellphone guidelines?
We strongly recommend that cellphones be left at home. Your camper will have a better camp experience without worrying about their phone.  Cellphone coverage is quite poor in most of our buildings and cabins. Wifi is not available to campers. We will not be taking cell phones away from campers, however we will ask that the phones be put away if there is any compromise in safety or if they are being used irresponsibly. Birch Bay Ranch is not responsible for lost/stolen/damaged cell phones or cell phone accessories. This includes ALL manner of electronics. Birch Bay Ranch is not responsible for the digital citizenship of your camper.

What if I can't drop off or pick up my child? Can I send my child with someone else?
Yes, you can send your child with someone else for drop off or pick up. That person will need to know your child's registration ID number and will need to sign them in or out. You have already signed all waivers and have provided us with all the medical information. If you are sending medicine (prescription or non-prescription), please also send a letter with your signature giving our staff permission to give the medication and indicating what medications you are sending, the dosage and when you want the medication given.

Where will my child sleep and shower?
Campers stay in either our bunk-style cabins or in our Cedar Lodge on camping cots. There are up to 12 campers per cabin (we are reducing this capacity for 2021). Washrooms with running water and showers are shared between 3-4 cabins. 

I requested a roommate - what are the chances that will happen?
Your child will be put into a cabin (overnight) and a group (day) with whomever they requested. If there is any reason we cannot honor the request, we will contact you so that we can make a decision about the week together. For the 2021 season we will be rooming siblings and family groups together as much as possible.

Can my child call home?
We allow children to call home if they ask. If they ask to call because they are a bit homesick, please be prepared that there may be tears when they hear your voice. This does not mean that they have been crying during their time at camp. If you are concerned, ask to speak to their cabin leader who will be with them while they call.