Camps that foster independence

Learn and develop self-reliance, self-initiative, and self-motivation

Independence is:
• The ability and willingness to do things on one’s own
• Self-initiative, self-motivation, self-care
• Decisiveness

Camp encourages independence in kids, as they “learn how to cope with others on their own,” says Jocelyn Palm. "There's no asking mom or [anyone else] what to do." Below, the list, learn all about the value of independence from camp leaders like Palm and others, and read how camp offers a unique means to develop and grow this character trait. Read more

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List of camps and programs that foster independence

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  • Art : Visual arts (multi)
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

A contemporary art school that teaches skills and methods to inspire artistic expression for all ages. We offer painting, fashion design, filmmaking, animation, sculpting, architecture and more! Read more...

  • Ages 2 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $20/session
Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed202-170East York, Toronto, OntarioArt : Visual arts (multi)Canadian Contemporary School of ArtA contemporary art school that teaches skills and methods to inspire artistic expression for all ages. We offer painting, fashion design, filmmaking, animation, sculpting, architecture and more! East York, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Mayfair Clubs   

Markham; Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, Toronto; Leslieville, Toronto; Online

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Mayfair Clubs offers a wide variety of Sports Day Camps at all of our locations for ages 2-17. We specialize in tennis & squash programming but also offer swimming, multi-sport and even camps for young toddlers. Read more...

  • Ages 2 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $70/day
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed702-161Markham, Ontario, Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, Toronto, , Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, , Virtual Program, Traditional (multi activity) Mayfair ClubsMayfair Clubs offers a wide variety of Sports Day Camps at all of our locations for ages 2-17. We specialize in tennis & squash programming but also offer swimming, multi-sport and even camps for young toddlers. Markham, Ontario, Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, Toronto, , Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, , Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Genius Camp   

Mississauga; Downtown West, Toronto; Markham

  • Education: STEM
  • Program

The fastest growing STEM camp in Toronto and the GTA, offering programs in Robotics and AI, Coding, Programming, Advanced Math, Practical Science, 3D Printing and Modeling. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 15
  • Coed
  • from $199/week
Program openCamp Coed1996-152Mississauga, Ontario, Downtown West, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, OntarioEducation: STEMGenius CampThe fastest growing STEM camp in Toronto and the GTA, offering programs in Robotics and AI, Coding, Programming, Advanced Math, Practical Science, 3D Printing and Modeling. Mississauga, Ontario, Downtown West, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, Ontario Program Coed
  • Art : Visual arts (multi)
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

The McMichael provides an unmatched backdrop for children, youth and family programs. For details on Children's Camps, Art Classes, Accessible Studio Workshops and Family Days, visit mcmichael.com today! Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 15
  • Coed
  • from $159/session
Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed1595-153Vaughan, OntarioArt : Visual arts (multi)McMichael Children and Youth Art Camps and ProgramsThe McMichael provides an unmatched backdrop for children, youth and family programs. For details on Children's Camps, Art Classes, Accessible Studio Workshops and Family Days, visit mcmichael.com today! Vaughan, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

City Scouts: Urban Adventure Camp   

Grange Park, Toronto

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp

City Scouts is a weekly urban adventure camp in the heart of Toronto. Our goal is to foster growing children's sense of independence through urban adventure Read more...

  • Ages 10 to 13
  • Coed
  • from $355/week
Day camp openCamp Coed35510-134Grange Park, Toronto, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) City Scouts: Urban Adventure CampCity Scouts is a weekly urban adventure camp in the heart of Toronto. Our goal is to foster growing children's sense of independence through urban adventure Grange Park, Toronto, Ontario Day camp Coed
  • Education: STEM
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp

We're the coolest, most innovative kid program! more than 20 activities: Robotics (AI, Binary code..) Math tutoring, Lego, Harry Potter camps, Technical drawing for engineers,coding, website design, animation(in En & Fr) Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $190/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed1904-185Mississauga, Ontario, Virtual Program, Education: STEMBudding Genius - Central MississaugaWe're the coolest, most innovative kid program! more than 20 activities: Robotics (AI, Binary code..) Math tutoring, Lego, Harry Potter camps, Technical drawing for engineers,coding, website design, animation(in En & Fr) Mississauga, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Reidmount Discovery School   

Mississauga; Brampton; Markham

  • Education (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Virtual Saturday classes, for all students who needs to excel, enhance or accelerate their academics. Our teachers will work to improve your child's grades from JK-Grade 12 for Math, English, Science, Writing and Coding. Read more...

  • Ages 3 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $600/program
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed6003-186Mississauga, Ontario, Brampton, Ontario, Markham, OntarioEducation (multi)Reidmount Discovery SchoolVirtual Saturday classes, for all students who needs to excel, enhance or accelerate their academics. Our teachers will work to improve your child's grades from JK-Grade 12 for Math, English, Science, Writing and Coding. Mississauga, Ontario, Brampton, Ontario, Markham, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

SV Robotics Academy   

Markham; Brampton

  • Education: STEM
  • Day camp, Program

SV Robotics Academy is a project based learning program for bright and curious students! We help students find their love for learning, innovate and participate in numerous events year round! Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 18
  • Coed
  • Cost Varies
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed06-187Markham, Ontario, Brampton, OntarioEducation: STEMSV Robotics AcademySV Robotics Academy is a project based learning program for bright and curious students! We help students find their love for learning, innovate and participate in numerous events year round! Markham, Ontario, Brampton, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed

LSA- Lifetime Skills Academy    

Thornhill; Bayview Village, Toronto; York Mills, Toronto

  • Education (multi)
  • Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp

LSA - where children become leaders in our new technological age. S.T.E.M, finance and leadership skills are mastered through fascinating camps, lessons and programs. Year-round programs for all ages across the G.T.A! Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $250/week
Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed2506-168Thornhill, Ontario, Bayview Village, Toronto, Ontario, York Mills, Toronto, OntarioEducation (multi)LSA- Lifetime Skills Academy LSA - where children become leaders in our new technological age. S.T.E.M, finance and leadership skills are mastered through fascinating camps, lessons and programs. Year-round programs for all ages across the G.T.A! Thornhill, Ontario, Bayview Village, Toronto, Ontario, York Mills, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp Coed
  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp

Every week at Toronto Kidz Camp we focus on a theme such as Dinosaurs, Underwater World, etc. and includes a field trip to one of Toronto's top attractions: Ripley's Aquarium, the ROM, Pirate Life Cruise, Casa Loma, etc. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 12
  • Coed
  • from $202/week
Day camp Coed2025-129High Park, Toronto, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Toronto KidzEvery week at Toronto Kidz Camp we focus on a theme such as Dinosaurs, Underwater World, etc. and includes a field trip to one of Toronto's top attractions: Ripley's Aquarium, the ROM, Pirate Life Cruise, Casa Loma, etc. High Park, Toronto, Ontario Day camp Coed

Camp Wabikon   

Temagami

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Overnight camp

An experience kids love. A family parents trust. Wabikon is sleepover camp for boys and girls ages 6-17. Campers from around the world feel like part of the family and enjoy activities on a challenge-by-choice basis. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $1,100/week
Overnight camp openCamp Coed11006-1710Temagami, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Camp WabikonAn experience kids love. A family parents trust. Wabikon is sleepover camp for boys and girls ages 6-17. Campers from around the world feel like part of the family and enjoy activities on a challenge-by-choice basis. Temagami, Ontario Overnight camp Coed

Artech Camps Canada   

La Have; Online

  • Computer (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Artech is the Ultimate Creative Technology Program Center specializing in Game Design, Animation & Coding. Our virtual programs are fully interactive for kids 7 through teens and can reach kids anywhere on this planet! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $30/program
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed307-1811La Have, Nova Scotia, Virtual Program, Computer (multi)Artech Camps CanadaArtech is the Ultimate Creative Technology Program Center specializing in Game Design, Animation & Coding. Our virtual programs are fully interactive for kids 7 through teens and can reach kids anywhere on this planet! La Have, Nova Scotia, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Fraser Lake Camp   

Bancroft

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp

We are a not-for-profit overnight camp on a private 275 acre waterfront property. We offer kayaking, rock climbing, arts and crafts, new lodging cabins, and most importantly a safe, supportive inclusive environment. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 13
  • Coed
  • from $44/week
Day camp openCamp Coed445-1312Bancroft, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Fraser Lake CampWe are a not-for-profit overnight camp on a private 275 acre waterfront property. We offer kayaking, rock climbing, arts and crafts, new lodging cabins, and most importantly a safe, supportive inclusive environment. Bancroft, Ontario Day camp Coed

Oxford Learning High Park   

Bloor West Village, Toronto; Online

  • Education (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp

Oxford means a personalized learning experience for your child. Brain and Science Camps explore creative themes through engaging activities and field trips. Learning takes a fun turn. Our students are excited to learn! Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 12
  • Coed
  • from $400/week
Virtual Program, Day camp openCamp Coed4004-1213Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Education (multi)Oxford Learning High ParkOxford means a personalized learning experience for your child. Brain and Science Camps explore creative themes through engaging activities and field trips. Learning takes a fun turn. Our students are excited to learn! Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp Coed
  • Science (multi)
  • Day camp, Family camp

Explore unique science and tech programa at Ontario Tech, including LEGO , Makerspace, Coding, Minecraft. Family Camps. Camps will require minimal parent support once the camp site has been successfully accessed. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $260/week
Day camp, Family camp Coed2605-1714Oshawa, OntarioScience (multi)Ontario Tech University Summer CampsExplore unique science and tech programa at Ontario Tech, including LEGO , Makerspace, Coding, Minecraft. Family Camps. Camps will require minimal parent support once the camp site has been successfully accessed. Oshawa, Ontario Day camp, Family camp Coed

COOKSMART   

Mississauga; Bloor West Village, Toronto; Online

  • Art : Cooking
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp

Get the kids cooking and learning more life skills! Our program has gone virtual and the kids are loving cooking together to make tasty foods for their family. Easy meals, healthy snacks make this the best zoom class. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 73
  • Coed
  • Cost Varies
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed04-7315Mississauga, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Art : CookingCOOKSMARTGet the kids cooking and learning more life skills! Our program has gone virtual and the kids are loving cooking together to make tasty foods for their family. Easy meals, healthy snacks make this the best zoom class. Mississauga, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed
  • Art : Cooking
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Hands-on, educational and fun! We offer unique, intensive cooking day camps for kids, ages 4+. Kids learn to cook, but they also learn about nutrition, team-work, problem-solving and much more! Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $175/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed1754-1616Art : CookingRooks to CooksHands-on, educational and fun! We offer unique, intensive cooking day camps for kids, ages 4+. Kids learn to cook, but they also learn about nutrition, team-work, problem-solving and much more! Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Zebra Robotics   

Mississauga; Milton; Online

  • Computer (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Robotics and coding after-school, weekend, competition, and summer camp classes that are virtual classes for students from Grade 2 to 12. Serious STEM learning with a unique curriculum and wholesome support system! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $30/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed307-1717Mississauga, Ontario, Milton, Ontario, Virtual Program, Computer (multi)Zebra RoboticsRobotics and coding after-school, weekend, competition, and summer camp classes that are virtual classes for students from Grade 2 to 12. Serious STEM learning with a unique curriculum and wholesome support system! Mississauga, Ontario, Milton, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Code Ninjas Meadowvale   

Mississauga

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp

When school is out, fun and learning are in at Code Ninjas camps! If your kids are into MineCraft, Roblox, robotics, coding, or gaming, Code Ninjas is the place to be! Space is limited – reserve your spot today! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $75/session
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed757-1418Mississauga, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Code Ninjas MeadowvaleWhen school is out, fun and learning are in at Code Ninjas camps! If your kids are into MineCraft, Roblox, robotics, coding, or gaming, Code Ninjas is the place to be! Space is limited – reserve your spot today! Mississauga, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Medics Camp   

Richmond Hill; Markham; Newmarket; Vaughan

  • Science (multi)
  • Day camp

Medics Camp- Where Kids are Doctors for a Week! STEM Summer 2020- 5 Weeks Only! 3 Locations: Newmarket | Markham| Richmond Hill | Vaughan Price $275 Includes: HST, T-Shirt, Before & After Care Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $99/week
Day camp openCamp Coed995-1619Richmond Hill, Ontario, Markham, Ontario, Newmarket, Ontario, Vaughan, Science (multi)Medics CampMedics Camp- Where Kids are Doctors for a Week! STEM Summer 2020- 5 Weeks Only! 3 Locations: Newmarket | Markham| Richmond Hill | Vaughan Price $275 Includes: HST, T-Shirt, Before & After Care Richmond Hill, Ontario, Markham, Ontario, Newmarket, Ontario, Vaughan, Day camp Coed
  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp

The SMCS Summer Experience provides youth with exciting academic, athletic, and artistic outlets, as well as opportunities to learn and grow within a fun and interactive environment. Please visit: www.smcscamps.com Read more...

  • Ages 8 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $250/week
Day camp openCamp Coed2508-1420Forest Hill, Toronto, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) St. Michael's College School Summer CampsThe SMCS Summer Experience provides youth with exciting academic, athletic, and artistic outlets, as well as opportunities to learn and grow within a fun and interactive environment. Please visit: www.smcscamps.com Forest Hill, Toronto, Ontario Day camp Coed

MakerKids   

Leaside, Toronto; Bloor West Village, Toronto

  • Computer (multi)
  • Day camp, Program

Empowering the makers of tomorrow! MakerKids specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs with highly trained instructors. We run camps, after-school programs, private classes and more. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 13
  • Coed
  • from $1/week
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed16-1321Leaside, Toronto, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, OntarioComputer (multi)MakerKidsEmpowering the makers of tomorrow! MakerKids specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs with highly trained instructors. We run camps, after-school programs, private classes and more. Leaside, Toronto, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed

Whitchurch Riding Academy   

Newmarket; Bridle Path, Toronto; Markham

  • Sport: Horseback Riding/Equestrian
  • Day camp, Program

Teaching English riding (beginner to advanced) for 40 years, we promote a positive, hands-on horsemanship experience. Daily busing from Toronto and York Region (5 stops). Email for a free tour, or visit our Open House! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 15
  • Coed
  • from $369/week
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed3697-1522Newmarket, Ontario, Bridle Path, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, OntarioSport: Horseback Riding/EquestrianWhitchurch Riding AcademyTeaching English riding (beginner to advanced) for 40 years, we promote a positive, hands-on horsemanship experience. Daily busing from Toronto and York Region (5 stops). Email for a free tour, or visit our Open House! Newmarket, Ontario, Bridle Path, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed

Gladiator Soccer Academy   

Windfields, Toronto; Vaughan

  • Sport: Soccer
  • Program

Specialized soccer coaching from full-time soccer experts to elevate your child's game! Our philosophy has been tested and proved to maximize your child's development! Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $80/week
Program openCamp Coed804-1423Windfields, Toronto, Ontario, Vaughan, OntarioSport: SoccerGladiator Soccer AcademySpecialized soccer coaching from full-time soccer experts to elevate your child's game! Our philosophy has been tested and proved to maximize your child's development! Windfields, Toronto, Ontario, Vaughan, Ontario Program Coed

Ryerson Summer Day Camps   

Bay Street Corridor, Toronto

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp

Ryerson University offers safe and fun experiences for kids and teens. Programs include basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, science, engineering, journalism, robotics, architecture, film, french, design, and more! Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $320/week
Day camp openCamp Coed3206-1724Bay Street Corridor, Toronto, Ontario, Bay Street Corridor, Toronto, Traditional (multi activity) Ryerson Summer Day CampsRyerson University offers safe and fun experiences for kids and teens. Programs include basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, science, engineering, journalism, robotics, architecture, film, french, design, and more! Bay Street Corridor, Toronto, Ontario, Bay Street Corridor, Toronto, Day camp Coed
  • Education (multi)
  • Program, Family camp

A non-profit charity that offers affordable and accessible remedial teaching and tutoring programs to children and youth ages 5-18 with suspected or diagnosed learning disabilities. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 18
  • Coed
  • Cost Varies
Program, Family camp openCamp Coed05-1825Vancouver, British ColumbiaEducation (multi)Learning Disabilities SocietyA non-profit charity that offers affordable and accessible remedial teaching and tutoring programs to children and youth ages 5-18 with suspected or diagnosed learning disabilities. Vancouver, British Columbia Program, Family camp Coed

Camp Kodiak   

Parry Sound

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Overnight camp

Fun! Friends! Success! An integrated overnight summer camp for children & teens with and without ADHD, LD, and high-functioning ASD. We provide a SOCIAL SKILLS program, ACADEMIC program and 50+ activities. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $1,455/week
Overnight camp openCamp Coed14556-1826Parry Sound, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Camp KodiakFun! Friends! Success! An integrated overnight summer camp for children & teens with and without ADHD, LD, and high-functioning ASD. We provide a SOCIAL SKILLS program, ACADEMIC program and 50+ activities. Parry Sound, Ontario Overnight camp Coed
  • Academic/Tutoring: Instructor lead (group)
  • Day camp

The Cognitive Intensive Program strengthens the Symbol Relations cognitive function. Strengthening this area means a more powerful and positive capacity to understand, participate in and contribute to the world. Read more...

  • Ages 9 to 88
  • Coed
  • from $5,000/program
Day camp openCamp Coed50009-8827South Hill, Toronto, OntarioAcademic/Tutoring: Instructor lead (group)Arrowsmith School Cognitive Intensive ProgramThe Cognitive Intensive Program strengthens the Symbol Relations cognitive function. Strengthening this area means a more powerful and positive capacity to understand, participate in and contribute to the world. South Hill, Toronto, Ontario Day camp Coed

Jeanette's Cakes   

Oakville

  • Art : Baking/Decorating
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

Our camps are fun, creative and educational. Campers work with professional equipment like, kitchen aid mixers, turn tables, induction cook tops and specialized cake decorating equipment, etc. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $50/day
Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed506-1828Oakville, OntarioArt : Baking/DecoratingJeanette's CakesOur camps are fun, creative and educational. Campers work with professional equipment like, kitchen aid mixers, turn tables, induction cook tops and specialized cake decorating equipment, etc. Oakville, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Sylvan Learning Oakville   

Oakville; Online

  • Education (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

At Sylvan of Oakville, we have STEM Summer Camps, STEM Club, tutoring in JK-Gr. 12 math, reading, and writing, as well as SAT/ACT prep courses. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $30/session
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed305-1829Oakville, Ontario, Virtual Program, Education (multi)Sylvan Learning OakvilleAt Sylvan of Oakville, we have STEM Summer Camps, STEM Club, tutoring in JK-Gr. 12 math, reading, and writing, as well as SAT/ACT prep courses. Oakville, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed
  • Computer (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Summer camp and after school programs focusing on computational literacy and STEM programming. Learn coding skills by building your own video games. Kids have fun, parents see results! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $199/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed1997-1430Mississauga, OntarioComputer (multi)Code Ninjas Mississauga (Port Credit)Summer camp and after school programs focusing on computational literacy and STEM programming. Learn coding skills by building your own video games. Kids have fun, parents see results! Mississauga, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed
  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Overnight camp

An amazing summer camp experience for campers with special needs. All the fun of camp, with supportive and experienced staff to give your camper the summer of their life! The focus is on fun first! Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 25
  • Coed
  • from $1,500/week
Overnight camp Coed15006-2531Sharbot Lake, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Camp KennebecAn amazing summer camp experience for campers with special needs. All the fun of camp, with supportive and experienced staff to give your camper the summer of their life! The focus is on fun first! Sharbot Lake, Ontario Overnight camp Coed

Mad Science of Toronto   

Ontario (6)

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp, Program

Mad Science Camps offer hands-on activities where children design and build a variety of projects and participate in indoor & outdoor summer camp games and activities. Create memories that will last a lifetime! Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 12
  • Coed
  • from $220/week
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed2204-1232Bloor West Village, Toronto, Humber Valley Village, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Armour Heights, TorontoTraditional (multi activity) Mad Science of TorontoMad Science Camps offer hands-on activities where children design and build a variety of projects and participate in indoor & outdoor summer camp games and activities. Create memories that will last a lifetime! Bloor West Village, Toronto, Humber Valley Village, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Armour Heights, Toronto Day camp, Program Coed

BrainTech Robotics   

Harbourfront, Toronto; Online

  • Computer : Computer programming (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Family camp

BrainTech Robotics offers experiential camp & year round STEM based virtual/augmented reality programs for youth 7-17 years of age to develop skills in technology, robotics, coding and virtual / augmented reality. Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 17
  • Coed
  • Cost Varies
Virtual Program, Family camp openCamp Coed07-1733Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Computer : Computer programming (multi)BrainTech RoboticsBrainTech Robotics offers experiential camp & year round STEM based virtual/augmented reality programs for youth 7-17 years of age to develop skills in technology, robotics, coding and virtual / augmented reality. Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Family camp Coed

Engineering For Kids York Region   

Aurora; Richmond Hill; Thornhill; Online

  • Education: STEM
  • Virtual Program, Day camp

A fun and educational STEM camp full of hands on engineering activities:Aerospace, Electrical engineering, Mechanical toy making, Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Robotics, Coding, Minecraft, 3D printing,... Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $180/week
Virtual Program, Day camp openCamp Coed1804-1434Aurora, Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Thornhill, Ontario, Virtual Program, Education: STEMEngineering For Kids York RegionA fun and educational STEM camp full of hands on engineering activities:Aerospace, Electrical engineering, Mechanical toy making, Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Robotics, Coding, Minecraft, 3D printing,... Aurora, Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Thornhill, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp Coed

Royal Conservatory School   

South Annex, Toronto

  • Music (multi)
  • Day camp

The Royal Conservatory School has March Break and Summer day camps for ages 4 to 17 in instrument exploration, music camp en français, musicals and singing, and band! Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $295/week
Day camp openCamp Coed2954-1635South Annex, Toronto, OntarioMusic (multi)Royal Conservatory SchoolThe Royal Conservatory School has March Break and Summer day camps for ages 4 to 17 in instrument exploration, music camp en français, musicals and singing, and band! South Annex, Toronto, Ontario Day camp Coed

How do you define independence?

Think of the first two letters of the word independence. “Independence means dependence from inside you,” says Jocelyn Palm. She’s the Executive Director and owner of Glen Bernard Camp, an all-girls camp in Sundridge, Ontario. “It means freedom from control by other people so you aren’t influenced by your peers.” Independence consists of asking yourself, “what are my principles? Those are the values that will take you into adulthood, so if you learn them as a young person, it’s a good advantage,” she says. 

Others, like Jennifer Jupp, offer variant definitions. She believes, “it's about being able to support yourself in a whole bunch of ways without the influence, control and authority of someone else.” She watches kids grow independent in weeklong sessions at the overnight camp where she’s Senior Director. It arises naturally out of their making a dozen daily decisions without parents present. 

Similarly, Emilia Antunes sees her son Erick growing in his ability to trust his own judgement. She’s noticed this improvement in him, especially after camp. “For me,” she says, “independence [consists of] Erick being able to make his own decisions and being able to accomplish tasks all by himself ... I see that in COOKSMART camp because he’s getting more independent with each class.”

How to develop independence 

You can accelerate your children’s development of independence in settings that mix freedom with responsibility like overnight camp. As Senior Director of Camp Wenonah in Bracebridge, Jupp knows deeply how camp nurtures personal growth. With its variety of daily interactions and activities, Wenonah gives children space “to solve their own problems and really care for themselves.” In other words, kids there become more independent daily. 

Jocelyn Palm shares a few examples from her experience at Glen Bernard Camp to illustrate how she’s seen independence demonstrated by campers. 

“[When] I’m at the high ropes course or a different event and I say they were fantastic today ... and they don’t say anything back, they just smile at you.” Encouraging children to continue doing an activity that they love and choose to do will encourage them to make more independent decisions in the future.

Glen Bernard's a fixed day-to-day format ensures that younger campers are involved in all activities. “You can’t say that you’re not going sailing because you’re afraid. Everyone is going sailing, so you go, and then you become less afraid and you become independent.” However, “as campers grow older, they have more choices about what they’re going to do each day.  

"Older campers do a ‘solo’, which is an opportunity for them to spend time with themselves for 24 hours. There are sites that we have, right close to the camp, where they can be there alone. They’re not allowed to take any books or any of that. It’s interesting when they come back and we ask them what they did." Some campers talk about what they’ve seen and heard, whereas other campers will use whatever resources are there to be creative and resourceful. "One camper told us that she made a deck of cards [out of a pencil and piece of paper]."  

For each Glen Bernard camper, the solo experience is unique. "We try and make many occasions during their time at camp where they learn to make decisions," says Palm.

What is an example of independence?

At Camp Wenonah, campers are given the opportunity to choose specific activities to dedicate their time to, while at camp. "I particularly like it when kids choose an activity that’s different than what their parents really thought they would choose. It’s them in a big way, being themselves, making the choice for themselves," Jupp explains. 

She also sees independence in children through their ability to choose activities that differ from their friends. “[Imagine] a 16-year old choosing something different from what the majority of what their closest peers choose ... I think that’s huge in the area of independence and they take that with them after camp ... There aren’t social repercussions for them if they choose something different from what their peer group chooses.”

What are the benefits of independence?

Jocelyn Palm believes that independence is a very important trait for children to develop, especially in today’s society. “The world is coming at all of us and especially the young people at a fast and furious pace. There are messages from all different sources, more than just other people or more than the daily paper, radio or TV … In order to keep your sanity, you really have to know, who am I? What am I going to do? ... I have to make a decision now, for me, and do I have the ability to make it?” Independence helps you stand your ground, develop who you are as an individual and stick to your morals.

It also helps with a person’s ability to cope in situations and get along well with others. At Glen Bernard, Palm and her staff try to help campers to get along with everyone, of course, but this "doesn’t [necessarily] mean that they’re your best friend,” she explains. “Getting along means that you know how to deal with people who may not be your friends, but you still have to learn to cope." 

Similarly, Xavier, a camper at Academie Duello's Knight Camp, believes it's important to know how “to stand on your own and ... ask for help. You won’t always have people to turn to so it’s good to be able to turn to yourself and really just be able to explore the world around you. [You can do this by] using independence [while] not being afraid of what people will think of you.”

Overall, there are myriad reasons that highlight the importance of independence in children. Here are just some of the gifts kids gain from independence: 

  • Courage and confidence to take care of themselves 
  • Enhanced decision-making skills 
  • Self-motivation and willingness to take initiative 
  • A feeling of inclusion
  • Freedom to explore beyond a comfort zone 
  • Improved self-esteem 
  • Real-world experience that better prepares them for adulthood 

“The sooner [children] get independence," says Emilia Antunes, "the better they will be able to deal with different environments and situations without parents around.” This helps Erick in other areas beyond cooking lessons. “It fosters self-reliance because it empowers them to achieve their own goals,” she says. 

She notices that Erick is more comfortable taking risks than he was before he attended the camp. He feels more confident in his ability to trust his own instincts rather than ask for help. He makes his own recipes. However, “it’s not only about cooking,” she explains, “it’s about getting more confident, taking risks and doing things for [him]self.” 

How will independence help children as they get older? 

“Life’s road is bumpy and we’re going to fall down a lot as kids, youth and adults,” says Jupp. “I think that the earlier we can foster independence in ourselves, the better we’re going to be able to support ourselves through the bumpy road of life.”

Knowing how to navigate on their own gives kids' other qualities vital to a healthy adulthood. These include self-esteem, decision-making skills, self-reliance, cooperation, personal discipline, and more. Not only are these qualities strongly recommended for academic success, they’re extremely important tools to help kids navigate hardships in their future. 

“I think independence is a key part of self-reliance,” Jupp continues. “It gives us the confidence to know how to pick ourselves up ... For a kid to know that, especially if they feel that their world outside of themselves with their parents, family, school, sports team, [etc] feels like it’s falling apart, to have that deep feeling of independence and security within yourself and to have that at a young age…I really think it’s a superpower for kids to have.”

Want your child to improve their independence?

Any  environment where children have some distance from parents will enhance and develop their independence. At camp, kids act on their own, meet other people, learn self-reliance and other skills. “Children and youth will learn really quickly that they can do things and really make decisions for themselves without the influence of their parents or guardians,” says Jupp. For her, camp is a concentrated social environment where kids and staff learn from  each other. “Other kids affect them in a whole bunch of ways, positively and negatively. Having to navigate those social interactions in such a concentrated way [at camp] creates hundreds of opportunities to develop independence.” 

From a Camp Director perspective, Palm believes that a camp environment fosters independence because campers attend without their parents or guardians and must learn how to work with other people and adapt on their own.

“Some [people] may have different views and now, they’ve got to learn to cope with these other people. They’re not at home, there’s no asking mom or brother what to do. Here I am, on my own. I think that’s a great opportunity at camp,” she explains. 



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