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The Camp Experience

Summer camp is a unique place of fun and fellowship for children and youth. There are so many positive impacts that summer camp can have:

  • Making memories that last a lifetime

  • Developing social and citizenship skills 

  • Fostering a love and appreciation for the natural world

  • Encouraging personal growth and increasing self confidence

  • Adopting positive attitudes towards a healthy and active lifestyle

Choosing a Camp

Picking the right summer camp is an important decision. No two camps are the same, and different aspects will appeal to different campers. Here are a number of suggestions to aid you choosing a summer camp:

  1. Talk to your child - they may have an idea of what programs they are interested in, where they would like to go, how long they would like to stay, and if they are willing to go alone or with a friend.

  2. Talk to friends, family, and neighbours - their children may have attended camp before and can give you insight.

  3. Browse the camps listed on this website - each camp has some information listed, and most of them have their own website that you can check out too that has TONS more information. If you choose an accredited camp, know that you are selecting a camp that has demonstrated that they have the ability to meet the accreditation standards of our association. These standards are generally recognized camping best practices and policies.* 

  4. Email or call the camp if you still have more questions.

  5. Ask if it is possible to tour the camp before making a final decision.

*CANSPEI cannot and does not warrant or guarantee that any CANSPEI accredited camp's actual day to day operations are in compliance with CANSPEI standards, nor does CANSPEI warrant or guarantee that accidents or incidents that are harmful to campers and/or staff will not happen at a CANSPEI accredited camp. 

Preparing to Go to Camp

A parent's attitude towards the camping experience is very important in determining what a child will experience while they are at camp. We recommend that you as a parent/guardian make sure that you are ready to have the child leave home and that you trust him/her to be on his/her own.


Here are some suggestions for preparing your child to go to camp:

  1. Prepare your child for spending time away from home - we do not recommend that a week of summer camp be the very first time your child has spent a night away from you. Spending a weekend at a grandparent or friend's house is a good way to ease your child into spending time away from home.

  2. Have a "pre-registration chat" - Make sure both you and your child prepared to have them leave home. Talk about camping as a happy adventure — be positive. Talk about what they can expect from the camp experience and ask them what they are looking forward to.

  3. Be careful discussing homesickness - Homesickness is a very real thing for some children and can quickly derail a fun week at camp. Discussing homesickness with some children can "plant the seed" in their mind that makes homesickness inevitable. For other children, discussing it ahead of time gives them a chance to come up with strategies to combat it if it arises. No one knows your child better than you do. Do what you think is best.

  4. Let your child help pack - On top of helping it"sink in" that they are going to be going to camp soon, this also gives your child a sense of ownership of the experience (and helps them better know that they actually brought to camp when looking at the lost and found). It's also a good idea to label what gets sent to camp!

  5. Don't prolong drop-off - Your child may be sad when you drop them off at camp (there's an equally likely change that you will be too!) However, sticking around longer than necessary is probably not going to be helpful. The sooner your child can switch their focus to how great a week they are going to have, the better. Remind them that they are going to have a great time, and that you will be excited to see them at the end of the week!

Advancing Recreation in Nova Scotia

CANSPEI fully endorses the Shared Strategy for Advancing Recreation in Nova Scotia that was created by a partnership of the Nova Scotia Department of Community and Culture and Heritage and Recreation Nova Scotia.


The shared strategy is comprised of five key goal areas:

  1. Active Living - fostering healthy living through recreation.

  2. Inclusion and Access - increasing inclusion and access to recreation for populations that face constraints to participation.

  3. Connecting People and Nature - helping people connect to nature through recreation.

  4. Supportive Environments - ensuring the provision of supportive physical and social environments that encourage participation in recreation and build strong, caring communities.

  5. Recreation Capacity - ensuring the continued growth and sustainability of the recreation field.


We are 100% convinced that the summer recreational programs put on by our accredited member camps completely fulfill all of the five key goal areas in this strategy.

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