Camps that develop responsibility

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

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

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

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

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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 Coed6003-180Mississauga, 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
  • 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 Coed1595-151Vaughan, 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
  • 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 Coed1904-182Mississauga, 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

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 Coed702-163Markham, 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

CASMA Camps   

Bridle Path, Toronto; Lawrence Heights, Toronto

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp, Program

Attend camp in English or French at CASMA with physical distancing measures in place. Choose from sports, arts, music and more. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $160/week
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed1604-164Bridle Path, Toronto, Ontario, Lawrence Heights, Toronto, Traditional (multi activity) CASMA CampsAttend camp in English or French at CASMA with physical distancing measures in place. Choose from sports, arts, music and more. Bridle Path, Toronto, Ontario, Lawrence Heights, Toronto, Day camp, Program Coed

Brick Works Academy   

Ontario (13); Online (1)

  • Science: LEGO
  • Virtual Program, Day camp

The Best Technology summer camp in the region! Your children and friends are super excited about our Lego Robotics, Lego Castle Builders, Minecraft Computer Camp, Pokemon Designer and Lego Stop Motion Animation camps! Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 13
  • Coed
  • from $220/week
Virtual Program, Day camp openCamp Coed2206-135Forest Hill, Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo, Kingsway Park, Toronto, Guelph, London, Alexandra Park, Toronto, Kitchener, Mississauga, Burlington, Cambridge, Lansing , Toronto, OnlineScience: LEGOBrick Works AcademyThe Best Technology summer camp in the region! Your children and friends are super excited about our Lego Robotics, Lego Castle Builders, Minecraft Computer Camp, Pokemon Designer and Lego Stop Motion Animation camps! Forest Hill, Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo, Kingsway Park, Toronto, Guelph, London, Alexandra Park, Toronto, Kitchener, Mississauga, Burlington, Cambridge, Lansing , Toronto, Online Virtual Program, 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 Coed4004-126Bloor 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

Prestige School Summer Programme   

Willowdale, Toronto; Richmond Hill

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp

A day camp with weekly themes that incorporate adventurous outings, artistic creations, scientific experiments, and much more. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 12
  • Coed
  • from $75/week
Day camp openCamp Coed754-127Willowdale, Toronto, Ontario, Richmond Hill, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Prestige School Summer ProgrammeA day camp with weekly themes that incorporate adventurous outings, artistic creations, scientific experiments, and much more. Willowdale, Toronto, Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario Day camp Coed

Radiant Girls   

Burlington; Hamilton; Online

  • Education: Leadership
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp

Girls Wellness & Leadership programs, with prof. coaches, chef's and trainers. Featuring Yoga/Pilates, Outdoor Adventures, Confidence & EI Activities, Meaningful Art, Leadership Games, Relationship Building, and More! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 16
  • Girls
  • from $479/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Girls4797-168Burlington, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, Virtual Program, Education: LeadershipRadiant GirlsGirls Wellness & Leadership programs, with prof. coaches, chef's and trainers. Featuring Yoga/Pilates, Outdoor Adventures, Confidence & EI Activities, Meaningful Art, Leadership Games, Relationship Building, and More! Burlington, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp Girls
  • 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 Coed2605-179Oshawa, 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
  • 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 Coed1754-1610Art : 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

Cloverdale Robotics   

Online; Surrey

  • Education: STEM
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

We are running two summer camps for 2020. 1) Robot Races : Learn Robotics while having lots of fun racing LEGO EV3 robots! 2) Learn Scratch & Python in one week or two week camps. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $250/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed2505-1411Virtual Program, , Surrey, British ColumbiaEducation: STEMCloverdale RoboticsWe are running two summer camps for 2020. 1) Robot Races : Learn Robotics while having lots of fun racing LEGO EV3 robots! 2) Learn Scratch & Python in one week or two week camps. Virtual Program, , Surrey, British Columbia Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed
  • Education: Academic/Tutoring
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Quills and Quotes is an after-school education program that teaches public speaking and writing skills in one class! It includes essay and creative writing, literary analysis and comprehension. Summer/online classes. Read more...

  • Ages 8 to 15
  • Coed
  • from $450/session
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed4508-1512Virtual Program, , Mississauga, OntarioEducation: Academic/TutoringQuills and Quotes: Writing and Public Speaking ProgramQuills and Quotes is an after-school education program that teaches public speaking and writing skills in one class! It includes essay and creative writing, literary analysis and comprehension. Summer/online classes. Virtual Program, , Mississauga, Ontario Virtual Program, 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 Coed804-1413Windfields, 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

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 Coed04-7314Mississauga, 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

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. 



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