Healthy LivingYMCA Camps and Outdoor Education

3 things to consider when planning next summer's camp season

25 August 2021 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto

Written by Alisha Badwal 

Experiencing camp is an excellent way for campers to build social skills and develop positive relationships, while creating lifelong memories and friendships. But summer planning can be challenging and stressful. Filtering through many summer camp program options to find the best fit for you and your child can be overwhelming. To help you wade through important factors to consider, we're sharing a few parent and guardian perspectives on why they chose Y Day Camps and how they’ve experienced camp this summer.

1. Specialty Programs

Campers out on the water in canoesPaige C. is a parent who decided to plan early for summer and during early registration enrolled two of her campers at Shaw Street Y Day Camp. Our Toronto Shaw Street Y Day Camp is an arts-based camp, offering specialized programs such as pottery, silk-screening and block printing, all curated for budding artists. Paige C. shares that she has been very pleased with the decision to enroll with Y Summer Day Camps, “I'm impressed by the professional direction and the number of final products coming home. We've been really happy all summer.”

At Shaw Street Y Day Camp, with the help of a professional instructor, campers learn to create pottery, carve stamps that are transferred onto tote bags, create their own T-shirts, and more. Paige C. also shared how her campers are already asking to return to Y Day Camps next summer – something she describes as a rarity. There’s something for every camper at Y Summer Day Camps, with more than 15 exciting programs ranging from science, paddle & pedal, to arts programs like pottery.

2. Traditional Camp Experience

Kids balancing on a slack lineMarc R. enrolled his camper in the Outdoor Adventure program at Richmond Hill Swan Lake because he was seeking a traditional camp experience. “I like the outdoor focus, the traditional camping activities involved, the rustic (woods and lake) location. I wanted a camp where my daughter would be outdoors in the fresh air, learning outdoor skills!” The Outdoor Adventure Program helps campers build skills like fire-building, archery, mountain biking, slack lining, orienteering, knot-tying, and paddling! Marc R. also describes how much his camper has been enjoying her camp experience at Richmond Hill Swan Lake this summer: “I wish I had discovered you sooner!”

Similarly, Chantel has three campers enrolled in various programs at Pickering Petticoat Creek Y Day Camp and shares that she has been enrolling her campers with Y Day Camps for six years now. She describes the outdoor education and activities like canoeing and mountain bike riding as fun experiences that her campers thoroughly enjoy. The exciting outdoor programming has Chantel coming back year after year. These engaging activities and programs help to build campers' confidence outdoors while delivering a traditional outdoor camp experience you may be looking for.

3. A Safer and Trusted Environment

A camper standing beside a councilor By enrolling your campers in a licensed program with highly trained staff, you can rest assured that your campers will be in a safer and trusted environment. As a first-time parent enrolling their camper at Oshawa Maxwell Heights Y Day Camp, Laura M. shares how the friendly staff at this location treat her camper well. “My main reason for picking YMCA this year for summer camp was because I have built a trust with this community on how they treat my child and she always seems very engaged in the activities that are conducted.” Laura M. goes on to describe how her camper has been able to try exciting activities, make tons of new friends, and discover new interests through Y Day Camps this summer. “It’s her home away from home. And it’s the small things that have the biggest impact, like remembering her name and greeting her every morning…she smiles and giggles every time because it makes her feel like she is special and part of the group.” The small group focus and our highly trained staff ensure that each camper has a strong sense of belonging and community within their group and throughout their camp experience.

We love hearing awesome camp stories and experiences from parents and campers, and we are sure Y Day Camps will wrap up this summer with the same energy and enthusiasm we saw it start with. If you are interested in learning more about Y Summer Days camps please visit:


Visit to find out more about our programs, services and charitable impact.


See the many ways to give to the Y and help build a brighter future.


Find child care programs that help children and families shine.


Stay healthy, active and connected at our health and fitness centres.


Explore camps and outdoor centres for fun, adventure, leadership, skills-building and more.


Get the job you want and brighten your career with help from Employment Services.


Settle in and light up your new life in the GTA with support from Immigrant Services.


Make new friends, hone new skills and find counselling at our Youth Programs.


Give back and shine on with rewarding YMCA Volunteer Opportunities.


Find out about our green initiatives and what we're doing to build resilience to climate change.


Light up learning at  YMCA Academy, a middle and high school for those who learn differently.