Camps that develop responsibility

Take ownership of thoughts and actions, and develop an awareness of consequences

Responsibility is:
• Awareness of the relationship between behaviour and consequences
• Willingness to take ownership of consequences, good and bad

Camp encourages responsibility in kids, “[getting them] to the point where they start seeing things that need to get done [without the] need to ask it,” in the words of Audrey Monke. "Ultimately, kids feel better knowing that they can be responsible for themselves." Below the list, read definitions of independence from camp leaders like Monke, as well as parents and campers, and learn how experiences at camp foster this trait. Read more




List of camps and programs that help kids learn and grow in responsibility

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(58 results)

  • Downtown, Toronto
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $435
TorontoDowntownDowntownOntario

Learn the skills, qualities, and habits to be an incredible camp counsellor. PLUS: earn volunteer hours while you do it! Visit website

,88,2,91,33,97,182,50,130,19,12,3,347,223,54,63,251,74,56,322,161,daycamp,coed,43515-162022-07-012022-08-01
  • Hamilton, ON
  • Age 6 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $108
HamiltonOntario

Our award-winning instrumental teachers will help you develop your musicianship, grow your confidence and get qualified. Visit website

,138,5,37,175,287,339,176,285,150,265,288,59,programclass,coed,1086-172022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-01
  • Bruce Peninsula, ON
  • Age 11 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $1,175
Bruce PeninsulaOntario

High-Performance Camp is a camp designed for rep and AAU players who want a week of high-level training. Visit website

,276,1,8,3,12,347,223,54,63,221,74,16,322,31,56,64,161,overnightcamp,coed,117511-172022-08-01
  • Haliburton Highlands, ON
  • Age 16 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $4,062
Haliburton HighlandsOntario

A hybrid program that focuses on in depth leadership training and wilderness skills. Visit website

,48,6,41,81,133,5,154,22,257,259,258,165,175,37,38,176,150,265,288,59,10,9,173,123,134,88,2,91,33,8,3,12,347,327,223,54,63,21,324,36,346,28,222,221,74,60,15,322,16,31,49,56,overnightcamp,coed,406216-162022-07-012022-08-01
  • Haliburton Highlands, ON
  • Age 15 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $4,062
Haliburton HighlandsOntario

Powerful leadership skills and a challenging wilderness environment for them to learn and grow Visit website

,48,6,41,81,133,5,154,22,257,259,258,165,175,37,38,176,150,265,288,59,10,9,173,123,134,88,2,91,33,226,1,8,3,12,347,327,223,54,63,21,324,36,346,28,221,74,60,260,15,322,16,31,49,56,overnightcamp,coed,406215-152022-07-012022-08-01
  • Bruce Peninsula, ON
  • Age 9 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $1,175
Bruce PeninsulaOntario

All-Sport Camp offers campers a variety of fun, land and water activities on the shores of Berford Lake. Visit website

,10,5,9,8,3,12,347,223,54,63,221,74,16,322,31,56,64,161,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,11759-132022-07-012022-08-01
  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 6 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $1,295
BracebridgeOntario

Campers choose from a variety of over 50 activities. Our camp is where friendships begin and FUN never ends. Visit website

,48,6,41,81,175,5,37,147,38,287,176,286,150,59,288,10,9,173,123,69,360,88,2,91,33,24,97,270,357,50,320,1,8,3,224,327,347,323,223,151,54,63,21,324,36,346,28,30,125,222,221,60,16,322,25,31,56,225,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,12956-162022-07-012022-08-01
  • Hamilton, ON
  • Age 6 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $108
HamiltonOntario

Our award-winning voice instructors will help you develop your voice, grow your confidence and get qualified. Visit website

,138,5,37,287,285,150,265,288,59,programclass,coed,1086-172022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-01
  • St Andrews, NB
  • Age 5 to 11 (Coed)
  • From $40
St AndrewsNew Brunswick

Whales, seals or sea stars...no matter what your Young Explorer is passionate about, there’s a marine experience waiting. Visit website

,10,5,9,173,357,2,50,144,314,268,daycamp,coed,405-112022-07-012022-08-01
  • Hamilton, ON
  • Age 6 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $140
HamiltonOntario

Our award-winning acting instructors will help you develop your presence, grow your confidence and get qualified. Visit website

,282,5,274,288,59,337,programclass,coed,1406-172022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-01
  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 8 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $4,600
BracebridgeOntario

In a spectacular natural setting, Wenonah campers can enjoy 30+ different activities. Visit website

,226,1,8,3,16,322,25,26,347,28,31,49,54,56,58,63,221,222,223,10,5,9,123,173,174,175,37,41,6,81,363,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,46008-152022-07-012022-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 4 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $17
Online

Offering online 1:1 Math tutoring using Porter approach to assess each child's learning ability and match them with a tutor. Visit website

,129,2,268,271,virtualprogram,coed,174-192022-07-012022-08-01

  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 17 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $4,600
BracebridgeOntario

Providing opportunities for exceptional leaders to foster their skills and make an impact on others. Visit website

,226,1,8,3,16,322,25,26,347,28,31,49,54,56,58,63,221,222,223,10,5,9,123,173,174,175,37,41,6,81,363,88,2,91,overnightcamp,coed,460017-182022-07-012022-08-01
  • Hamilton, ON
  • Age 6 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $140
HamiltonOntario

Our award-winning instructors will help you develop your voice, grow your confidence and bring screen characters to life. Visit website

,282,5,274,288,59,337,programclass,coed,1406-172022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 3 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $65
TorontoNorth-YorkNorth-YorkOntario

TAC Summer camp is a safe and engaging campy for youth, developing a wide variety of sports and skills! Visit website

,154,5,22,258,165,337,10,9,300,177,331,180,304,68,135,2,278,33,91,268,224,3,12,347,54,58,21,27,56,322,188,0,daycamp,coed,653-162022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-01
  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 9 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $2,650
BracebridgeOntario

In a spectacular natural setting, Wenonah campers can enjoy 30+ different activities. Visit website

,226,1,8,3,16,322,25,26,347,28,31,49,54,56,58,63,221,222,223,10,5,9,123,173,174,175,37,41,6,81,363,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,26509-152022-07-012022-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 10 to 11 (Coed)
  • From $1,800
Online

Power of Words Academy is committed to providing the highest quality of written and oral communication training to children. Visit website

,159,177,342,2,196,32,135,79,33,91,97,270,268,271,19,362,358,virtualprogram,coed,180010-112022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-01
  • Mississauga, ON
  • Age 12 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $230
MississaugaOntario

Ideal for candidates who show strong initiative and have a passion for working with children. Visit website

,33,2,91,daycamp,coed,23012-182022-07-012022-08-01
PROGRAM
Robotics
STEM
Moving Models
May 15, 2022 - May 31, 2023

  • Brampton, ON
  • Age 7 to 10 (Coed)
  • From $150
BramptonOntario

hey learn STEM concepts, including speed, structural stability and metamorphosis to create and program interactive models. Visit website

,67,177,159,68,351,179,365,281,2,130,50,268,programclass,coed,1507-102022-05-012022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-01
  • Online
  • Age 12 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $1,800
Online

By the end of the program, your child will have the talent to write fantastic essays and deliver strong speeches! Visit website

,159,177,342,2,196,32,135,79,33,91,97,270,268,271,19,362,358,virtualprogram,coed,180012-142022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-01
  • Huntsville, ON
  • Age 14 to 16 (Girls)
  • From $1,500
HuntsvilleOntario

This session prepares individuals to lifeguard and to teach and evaluate swimming strokes and lifesaving skills. Visit website

,175,5,37,150,10,9,173,123,69,174,134,321,1,226,15,3,322,16,31,49,56,8,26,347,28,36,346,221,54,58,60,63,225,360,363,overnightcamp,allgirls,150014-162022-07-012022-08-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 10 to 12 (Boys)
  • From $2,900
TemagamiOntario

Langskib 2-week canoe trips are designed to be a boys first adventure away from home. Visit website

,170,6,41,81,133,5,153,1,16,3,322,25,28,overnightcamp,allboys,290010-122022-07-012022-08-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 12 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $11,305
TemagamiOntario

This full summer program for 17 year olds is designed to train participants to lead wilderness canoe trips Visit website

,298,6,41,81,133,5,10,9,281,2,24,357,50,11,3,347,12,223,54,28,16,322,31,49,56,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,1130512-172022-07-012022-08-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 10 to 11 (Coed)
  • From $2,540
TemagamiOntario

A 5-night canoe trip where campers experience the rugged beauty of the greater Temagami district following days of camp fun! Visit website

,298,6,41,81,133,5,10,9,281,2,24,357,50,11,3,347,12,223,54,28,16,322,31,49,56,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,254010-112022-07-012022-08-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 1 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $123
TemagamiOntario

A fabulous opportunity to go to camp with your family and friends Visit website

,298,6,41,81,133,5,10,9,281,2,24,357,50,11,3,347,12,223,54,28,16,322,31,49,56,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,1231-192022-07-012022-08-01
  • Burlington, ON
  • Age 5 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $35
BurlingtonOntario

This is a program to get an activity in during the. This program is a la carte. Visit website

,12,3,347,58,programclass,coed,355-182021-02-012021-03-012021-04-012021-05-012021-06-012021-07-012021-08-012021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-012022-05-012022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-012023-07-012023-08-012023-09-012023-10-012023-11-012023-12-012024-01-012024-02-012024-03-012024-04-012024-05-012024-06-012024-07-012024-08-012024-09-012024-10-012024-11-012024-12-012025-01-012025-02-012025-03-012025-04-012025-05-012025-06-012025-07-012025-08-012025-09-012025-10-012025-11-012025-12-012026-01-012026-02-012026-03-012026-04-012026-05-012026-06-012026-07-012026-08-012026-09-012026-10-012026-11-012026-12-012027-01-012027-02-012027-03-012027-04-012027-05-012027-06-012027-07-012027-08-012027-09-012027-10-012027-11-012027-12-012028-01-012028-02-012028-03-012028-04-012028-05-012028-06-012028-07-012028-08-012028-09-012028-10-012028-11-012028-12-012029-01-012029-02-012029-03-012029-04-012029-05-012029-06-012029-07-012029-08-012029-09-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 17 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $6,830
TemagamiOntario

Exciting whitewater and the occasional upstream paddle provide a testing ground for newly learned skills. Visit website

,298,6,41,81,133,5,10,9,281,2,24,357,50,11,3,347,12,223,54,28,16,322,31,49,56,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,683017-172022-07-012022-08-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 16 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $5,440
TemagamiOntario

Highlights include challenging white-water, extraordinary scenery, wildlife, and exploration of the tidal zone of James Bay. Visit website

,298,6,41,81,133,5,10,9,281,2,24,357,50,11,3,347,12,223,54,28,16,322,31,49,56,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,544016-162022-07-012022-08-01
  • Temagami, ON
  • Age 12 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $2,540
TemagamiOntario

Coureurs de Bois  (ages 12-13) have a 7 night / 8 day canoe trip and experience the rugged beauty of greater Temagami Visit website

,298,6,41,81,133,5,10,9,281,2,24,357,50,11,3,347,12,223,54,28,16,322,31,49,56,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,254012-132022-07-012022-08-01

  • Online
  • Age 2 to 6 (Coed)
  • From $125
Online

We engage children in learning by using the 5 senses which continue to be a critical factor in how young children best learn. Visit website

,150,5,37,336,337,10,9,129,2,24,270,357,50,267,181,virtualprogram,coed,1252-62021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-012022-05-012022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-01
  • Online
  • Age 8 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45
Online

BKLearning private tutoring aims to help students achieve academic success through customized one-on-one learning programs. Visit website

,196,2,32,195,342,362,358,79,97,270,271,19,virtualprogram,coed,458-162022-05-012022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-01
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Age 12 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $990
OttawaOntario

Join Tall Ships Adventure's 5-Day, 4-Night Island Adventure Voyage on the Black Jack! Visit website

,33,2,91,49,3,322,overnightcamp,coed,99012-142022-07-012022-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 8 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45
Online

BKLearning private tutoring aims to help students achieve academic success through customized one-on-one learning programs. Visit website

,196,2,32,195,129,314,268,271,virtualprogram,coed,458-162022-05-012022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-01
  • Fergus, ON
  • Age 5 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $900
FergusOntario

Experience the joy of learning new skills and go home with a greater sense of responsibility, independence, and compassion. Visit website

,298,6,81,337,5,282,197,345,10,9,123,174,88,2,91,33,321,1,226,16,3,322,25,31,49,56,8,11,347,12,184,346,21,223,27,28,36,54,161,363,188,0,overnightcamp,coed,9005-142022-07-012022-08-01
  • Quebec City, QC
  • Age 15 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $3,000
Quebec CityQuebec

You start and end your epic summer sailing adventure in Quebec City . In between, you will make lifelong friendships. Visit website

,48,6,298,170,41,81,282,5,133,147,37,285,337,196,2,32,20,88,91,366,33,145,24,97,270,130,50,144,137,268,271,31,3,322,49,56,overnightcamp,coed,300015-182022-08-01
  • Montreal, QC
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $250
MontrealQuebec

Our CIT program is designed to mold 15 year olds into future Laurus counsellors! First aid and child care training included. Visit website

,336,5,337,256,133,259,22,258,165,197,345,339,37,285,150,70,288,265,59,291,10,9,173,123,69,67,177,68,196,2,32,135,79,88,91,33,275,145,129,24,144,50,267,317,7,268,226,1,153,319,276,12,3,347,29,54,74,161,daycamp,coed,25015-162022-06-012022-07-012022-08-01
DAY CAMP
Magic
Magic Camp
Jul 05 - Aug 19, 2022

  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $600
TorontoNorth-YorkNorth-YorkOntario

In Magic Camp, campers will learn how to perform mind-boggling magic tricks that they can take home to their families! Visit website

,48,6,81,256,5,133,70,288,265,59,10,9,297,173,123,333,69,174,134,67,177,159,88,2,91,33,160,24,8,3,11,347,12,223,26,151,194,54,58,63,21,36,346,141,251,27,28,29,30,254,35,222,221,74,60,260,56,322,daycamp,coed,6007-132022-07-012022-08-01
DAY CAMP
Arts
Visual Arts Camp
Jul 05 - Aug 19, 2022

  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $600
TorontoNorth-YorkNorth-YorkOntario

Visual Art Camp provides campers with the opportunity to create a unique work of art each week while building art skills! Visit website

,48,6,81,256,5,133,70,288,265,59,10,9,297,173,123,333,69,174,134,67,177,159,88,2,91,33,160,24,8,3,11,347,12,223,26,151,194,54,58,63,21,36,346,141,251,27,28,29,30,254,35,222,221,74,60,260,56,322,172,daycamp,coed,6007-132022-07-012022-08-01
  • Eganville, ON
  • Age 6 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $399
EganvilleOntario

Make new friends, learn new skills, & help kids learn great character & confidence, that is what FTC is all about! Visit website

,10,5,9,8,3,224,26,347,63,21,36,346,28,30,222,221,60,16,322,25,31,56,188,0,daycamp,coed,3996-162022-07-012022-08-01
DAY CAMP
Golf
Junior Golf Camp
Jun 27 - Sep 02, 2022

  • Markham, ON
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $339
MarkhamOntario

Create lasting memories while learning to play golf. Learn, the fundamentals, experience best in class coaching, play golf. Visit website

,26,3,347,daycamp,coed,3397-162022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-01
  • Downtown, Toronto
  • Age 10 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $1,160
TorontoDowntownDowntownOntario

Practice sailing skills in a fun and safe environment, consolidating fundamentals and beginning intermediate level theory. Visit website

,170,6,10,5,9,24,2,130,50,226,1,49,3,322,56,daycamp,coed,116010-162022-07-012022-08-01
  • Brampton, ON
  • Age 4 to 11 (Coed)
  • From $264
BramptonOntario

Hold a frog, catch a butterfly, roll over a log, and explore the world of the small creatures that call Claireville home. Visit website

,298,6,81,337,5,10,9,173,123,24,2,357,50,54,3,347,28,daycamp,coed,2644-112022-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 12 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $346
Online

Politics Camp will provide campers with an array of engaging activities to cover a wide range of global political topics. Visit website

,337,5,196,2,32,362,275,91,97,19,181,virtualprogram,coed,34612-182022-09-012022-10-012022-11-012022-12-012023-01-012023-02-012023-03-012023-04-012023-05-012023-06-012023-07-012023-08-012023-09-012023-10-01
  • East-End, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $450
TorontoEast-EndEast-EndOntario

Through excellence in dinghy instruction and race coaching, we offer a family friendly, “Home on the water”. Visit website

,49,3,322,daycamp,coed,4507-152022-05-012022-06-012022-07-012022-08-012022-09-012022-10-01
OVERNIGHT
CIT/LIT
Coed - CILT 1
Jul 31 - Aug 20, 2022

  • Southern Bruce County, ON
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $1,387
Southern Bruce CountyOntario

CILT 1 will teach you leadership skills and you will make some great forever friends. Visit website

,88,2,91,97,8,3,12,347,16,322,25,28,30,31,36,346,54,56,60,63,222,260,10,5,9,134,150,37,173,48,6,81,362,overnightcamp,coed,138715-162022-07-012022-08-01
DAY CAMP
Roblox
Robotics Camp
Jul 05 - Aug 19, 2022

  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 7 to 13 (Coed)
  • From $600
TorontoNorth-YorkNorth-YorkOntario

Program and control your very own robot to accomplish a number of challenges with the help of our Robotics Specialist! Visit website

,48,6,81,256,5,133,70,288,265,59,10,9,297,173,123,333,69,174,134,67,177,159,88,2,91,33,160,24,8,3,11,347,12,223,26,151,194,54,58,63,21,36,346,141,251,27,28,29,30,254,35,222,221,74,60,260,56,322,343,daycamp,coed,6007-132022-07-012022-08-01
  • Downtown, Toronto
  • Age 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $400
TorontoDowntownDowntownOntario

Each day we will ride to new areas of Toronto and experience the people, places and processes that make the city go! Visit website

,170,6,337,5,10,9,173,123,135,2,24,357,50,182,130,314,268,19,21,3,188,0,daycamp,coed,4009-122022-07-012022-08-012022-09-01
  • Brockville, ON
  • Age 15 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $3,800
BrockvilleOntario

Sail the 1000's Islands & Great Lakes aboard the 110-foot tall ship Fair Jeanne. Visit Toronto, Niagara on the Lake and more! Visit website

,48,6,298,170,41,81,282,5,133,147,37,285,337,196,2,32,20,88,91,366,33,145,24,97,270,130,50,144,137,268,271,31,3,322,49,56,overnightcamp,coed,380015-182022-07-012022-08-01
  • East-End, Toronto
  • Age 10 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $600
TorontoEast-EndEast-EndOntario

For those with some sailing experience, racers will develop their sailing skills and race tactics! Visit website

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  • Laval, QC
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $200
LavalQuebec

Our CIT program is designed to mold 15 year olds into future Laurus counsellors! First aid and child care training included. Visit website

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  • Online
  • Age 8 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45
Online

BKLearning private tutoring aims to help students achieve academic success through customized one-on-one learning programs. Visit website

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  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $1,975
BracebridgeOntario

Leadership is action. Targeted training sessions and hand on practice, will elevate your skills as a leader of people. Visit website

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  • Downtown, Toronto
  • Age 14 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $475
TorontoDowntownDowntownOntario

Work with our certified race coach to master sailing techniques to sail fast and put those skills to the test at regattas. Visit website

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  • Oakville, ON
  • Age 5 to 8 (Boys)
  • From $300
OakvilleOntario

House league and competitive development program. Our youngest players have fun while building solid foundational skills. Visit website

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OVERNIGHT
Traditional
Teen Week
Aug 21 - Aug 27, 2022

  • Huntsville, ON
  • Age 14 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $540
HuntsvilleOntario

This is all about getting Teens together to celebrate the Summer with friends, faith and crazy adventures - NOT TO BE MISSED Visit website

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  • Online
  • Age 8 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45
Online

BKLearning private tutoring aims to help students achieve academic success through customized one-on-one learning programs. Visit website

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  • Huntsville, ON
  • Age 14 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $2,080
HuntsvilleOntario

LIT is an intensive 2-week program, encompassing 1 week of overnight camp & 1 week of fun leadership development. Visit website

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OVERNIGHT
Traditional
CIT
Jul 05 - Aug 20, 2022

  • Bancroft, ON
  • Age 16 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $1,636
BancroftOntario

A hands-on, specialized leadership training course! Visit website

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Organizations with programs TBD


Defining responsibility

“Responsibility in kids,” begins Audrey Monke, consists of “learning to do tasks for themselves without requiring constant supervision, needing to be reminded, needing to be watched or needing someone else to keep track of things for them.” It could be simple tasks they complete on their own, like brushing their teeth, knowing their routine, or keeping track of their belongings. “It’s really just learning to do it for yourself. It’s contributing and helping out with your family and community, without having to be ... externally reminded.”

The author of Happy Campers draws on impressive personal experience in her understanding of, and helping children develop responsibility. She’s owner and director of Gold Arrow Camp, a youth summer camp in California. She also operates SunshineParenting.com and runs a podcast wherein she interviews parenting experts, authors and youth development professionals. Happy Campers is an acclaimed parenting guide that offers parents nine secrets from summer camp they can implement at home. Her professional insight comes from over 30 years of first-hand experience with thousands of children, young adult staff, and parents, work that began with a Masters in Psychology focused on youth wellbeing and social skills. 

She sees her job now as “working with parents, teachers and camp counsellors and giving them simple tools to create the connection and happiness that we create at camp.” 

How to develop responsibility

Responsibility is a skill children develop over time. Typically, they’re taught responsibility by watching their parents, counsellors and teachers model this trair. However, children learn even more fully, when given duties of their own. 

Monke illustrates from Gold Arrow Camp how responsibility can be developed within a child. One summer, she saw that whenever camp counsellors told campers to grab their bathing suits to go swimming, many campers didn’t know where their bathing suits were or couldn’t find them in their bags. “It was there,” she explains, “but it had been very carefully packed by their parents who weren’t there.” From then on, she’s requested that parents let children pack their own bags. Parents can coach, support and check their children’s bags to ensure they have everything they need, but this simple task will begin to develop responsibility within a child.

“It’s a very unsettling feeling,” she says, “to not know where your things are or to feel like you can’t find something. Ultimately, kids feel better knowing that they can be responsible for themselves.” 

At camp, she always encourages children to ask, “what else can I do?” She’s seen campers finish up an activity then leave their supplies behind without cleaning up. Rather than assuming you’re done with an activity and can leave, it’s important to ask the person in charge what else you can do to help. “What eventually happens [after asking this],” she says, “is that [kids] get to the point where [they] start seeing all the things that need to get done and [they] may not need to ask it anymore.” At camp, she sees children adopt and develop these responsible behaviours for themselves. 

Camp gives children models they can follow. They’re given tasks and they see consequences of not following through with responsibilities. A welcoming environment is necessary to ensure that the child feels supported as they navigate through their decision-making processes. 

What is an example of responsibility?

Sherri Cully, parent of a camper at Radiant Girls camp, agrees with Monke that responsibility is “key in life.”  

She believes it’s necessary to be accountable for your own actions to function in society. Her daughter, Hailey, has become more responsible since attending Radiant Girls. There, she was made aware of the repercussions of her actions, and developed a sense of accountability. 

“Because [Hailey was] given specific things [she] had to do,” she learned responsibility, “not only for specific chores … but also to own her actions.” Camp focused on the notion that every action had a reaction and Sherri believes this mentality helped her daughter foster and nurture her own sense of responsibility. 

Why is responsibility important to children’s development? 

“Probably the most important thing is that you’ll have a better life,” Monke begins. The benefits of responsibility are endless. “Kids will have better relationships, they’ll do better in their career, they’ll be able to manage their home, their finances, everything.” When parents teach children  responsibility from an early age, they have a solid foundation to grow on, as they get older. 

Responsibility is a key trait people look for when they’re considering someone to work with or someone to be friends with. Monke attests to the fact that people are drawn to “someone [who] is dependable and responsible and will follow through on something that is their job or duty, whatever that may be.” This can, in turn, be foundational to developing other valuable traits. 

When a child learns responsibility, they learn about perseverance, patience, hard work, time management, accountability, and more. They learn the importance of following through with their tasks, developing this as a habit, without being told. In turn, they develop independence and feel needed as others recognize their reliability. 

What we teach camp counsellors ... is to allow the kids the time they need to figure it out. It’s really hard to do this as a parent.

When they develop responsibility at an early age, children gain experience in thinking through options in challenging situations. They learn personal accountability, grow problem-solving skills and improve decision-making. These all help children later, in real-world scenarios, as they face academic challenges, navigate the workforce and grow into adulthood. 

Monke sees that when children exercise responsibility in camp, it gives them empowerment and confidence. She believes that, “increased responsibility and becoming more capable [helps kids] gain confidence by actually doing things.” Give children independent tasks like vacuuming or putting their toys away, and they “feel so grown up ... they take the task so seriously.” 

How do social environments accelerate the growth of responsibility? 

The singular aspect about camps that encourages responsibility “is that your parents aren’t there,” says Monke. Knowing they can’t run back to their parents for help, they learn to figure things out on their own. “And also, the adults in charge have more children that they’re watching so by default, kids need to do more for themselves. It’s actually really good for kids to be in environments where they’re asked to be responsible for more than themselves.”

Something as simple as hanging a sweatshirt is an act of responsibility. At home, a parent might be more likely to do a task like this for them. “A default behaviour for parents is to just do [things] for [their] kids, especially when it’s expedient,” Monke explains. Of course, “default behaviour for kids is to wait ... and see if someone else is going to step in,” she adds. “What we teach camp counsellors ... is to allow the kids the time they need to figure it out.” She emphasizes that these tasks might then take longer to complete, but that’s necessary, to give children personal lessons in responsibility. ”It’s really hard to do this as a parent,” that’s why it benefits them to let children go to camp, she says. The thing to remember, though, is that these "experiences are really helpful for kids," as unique opportunities "to take responsibility.”

Want your child to enhance their responsibility?

If you find it difficult to step back and allow your child to learn responsibility, camp is a great teacher. At camp, children learn on their own, listen to instructions, work as a team, develop leadership skills, work as a team, and follow through with duties. The independence of camp fosters responsibility as they respond to situations without parents present. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How many Camps that develop responsibility are there?
There are 58 camps that help kids grow in courage. Use the filters to narrow by age and program type, then click on matched programs to see daily activities, dates, rates and registration information.

What are the fees to attend Camps that develop responsibility?
Fees for range from $17 to $11,305 per program (program types and lengths vary). Use the filters here to narrow programs by age and type.

Where can parents meet with Camps that develop responsibility?
Meet with program directors and staff at the Our Kids Camp & Program Expo. The Expo is held annually in February, and is a fun and informative day for parents, kids, and teens. Find event details and free tickets here.


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