Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a religious camp?
Willow Springs Camp is an interdenominational Christian ministry and a registered charitable organization owned and operated by One Hope Canada. The purpose of Willow Springs Camp is to present Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour to young people, and to instruct them to live useful and joyful Christian lives. We present the message according to the Bible that Jesus Christ lived, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Campers are encouraged to trust Jesus as Saviour and to grow in their faith through prayer, Bible reading, and attending church or a youth group.
How much Christian teaching do you offer?
Our camp days begin with everyone at flag raising and a prayer for our country, and end with meeting together as a cabin for devotions and learning from the Bible. We sing grace and pray before each meal. Every morning after breakfast campers and staff participate in chapel, which includes singing, skits, Bible stories, and learning more about God. Campfire also provides the opportunity for sharing from life and the Bible. There is evening chapel as well in the older weeks of camp. Throughout the day staff members role model healthy Christian lives.
What is a typical day at camp like?
Camp begins with waking up and getting ready together as a cabin. After flag raising it is time for breakfast . Meals are served family or buffet-style in our dining hall. Morning Chapel is a highlight of the day, and is followed by four skill periods, with skills activity choices selected by the campers at the time of registration (see our Skills & Activities page for the complete skills list). After skills and a healthy lunch, there is a group or cabin activity for campers to participate in, which is then followed by Cabin Challenge (a fun game competition that varies each day). Then campers have Free Time, when they may go swimming, boating, play a game, relax, go to the tuck shop, or hang out. After Free Time it's Cabin Time, when campers and staff do an activity together as a cabin group. After a nutritious supper, evening activities vary by the age group of the campers, but includes a wide game, evening Chapel, evening free time, campfire, and cabin devotions. Campers are constantly supervised by our staff to ensure fun and safety for everyone. The camp provides a well-balanced program of activities that will benefit and challenge the camper.
Where do your staff members come from?
Year after year we are encouraged by the quality staff members who choose to apply to work at Willow Springs. Each of our staff are carefully selected through a rigorous and thorough staffing process, including a written application, personal interview, reference checks, and a vulnerable sector screening police records check. Most of them have worked at Willow Springs before, yet we still put them through the same process each year to ensure the highest quality staff to work with our campers and to encourage leadership development and growth. Each of our staff members are professing Christians, and are involved with their home church, and many of them also volunteer and work with children and youth year round. The majority of our staff members are from the local area, and all are personally known to us or recommended by a someone we highly trust. Most have even been campers at Willow Springs and enthusiastically return to help give other campers a great camping experience like they have received. We only choose the highest caliber of staff members who are good role models and can lead by example. Willow Springs Camp has a two-to-one camper to staff ratio.
How are your staff members trained?
Our staff training begins many months before camp starts, with staff applications and our hiring process. Once staff members have been carefully selected and hired, we begin regular meetings with them to help plan for the summer ahead. Every staff member is required to attend staff training in June before the campers arrive, with two weeks of training for Senior Staff and one week for all other staff. We bring in community leaders, experts, staff, and former staff to share their knowledge. Our training includes seminars in safety, first aid, working with children, working with different age groups, teaching, instructing, leading, planning activities, skills instruction and leadership, dealing with emergencies, waterfront considerations, and more. Our lifeguards are fully qualified, and have NLS certification. It is our goal to have our staff prepared to make each week the best one possible for your children.
What are your facilities like?
Willow Springs Camp is situated in the country on 15 acres of land, with fields, trees, and a forested area. Our main building is a historic converted barn containing the chapel, dining hall, kitchen, washroom facilities, craft room, gymnasium, and recreational area. We have six cabins which each hold 7-11 campers, with 2-3 counselors per cabin. All cabins are airconditioned . We have a spring-fed lake with a fenced-in waterfront area, including a sand beach, shallow and deep-end swimming areas, canoes and kayaks, and recreational water equipment. Our waterfront is staffed by qualified lifeguards.
Can we come and see the camp?
Tours can be arranged by calling the camp office, however, the best time to come and see the camp before camp begins is during our annual Willow Springs Camp Open House for campers, parents, staff, and alumni. This year it will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Come and take a tour, participate in skills, and enjoy refreshments with our current staff and board members. You will receive more information on attending closer to the summer.
What is tuck?
The tuck shop is open each day during Free Time for campers to have the opportunity to pick out a snack if they so choose. Tuck fees are included in your camper registration . The tuck shop has bottled water, pop, chocolate bars, candy, granola bars, chips, and other snack items.
What are skills?
Campers are asked before camp to choose four skills activities and one alternate that they would like to participate in while at camp. These skills include archery, basketball, canoeing, crafts, drama, media, Bible Insights, kayaking, mountain biking, outdoor survival, adventure, wall climbing, free swim, sports and games.
Do you give out camper mail at camp?
At the end of lunch each day is mail time, and campers love to receive letters! You may drop letters off at check-in on the first day to be distributed to your child throughout the week, or send them in advance to arrive at camp during the week. Mail may also be dropped off throughout the week at the camp office. No emails, please. We also have a new no snack policy here at Willow Springs Camp. We encourage you to send your child mail, but please do not send any snacks with their mail.
Other Important Items:
In order to maintain everyone's good health, all campers are checked for head lice when they arrive at camp on their first day. Anyone found with evidence of lice is asked to leave but may return when they have been properly treated and all signs have been removed. Willow Springs has a "no nit" policy. On all camper applications it is required to provide an Ontario Health Card Number (or it's equivalent), name and telephone number of family doctor, and contact details should an emergency arise.
All medications must be left with the camp nurse at check-in on the first day. The nurse will dispense them to your child at the appropriate times. In the case of Epi-pens, the camper must bring two (one to be carried with the camper at all times, and another to be placed in the dining hall for emergencies).
Please be aware that peanuts, nuts, and other substances that may cause an allergic reaction MAY be present at the camp. Willow Springs Camp requires that campers who have potentially life threatening conditions, such as peanut allergies, be able to manage their exposure to these substances, provide two sets of medication, be familiar with its use and carry the medication on them at all times.
Any camper with a life-threatening allergy is required to see their allergist for a complete allergy testing assessment with the report sent to the camp before June 1.
In order to ensure the good well-being of everyone at camp, any camper or staff member with a contagious sickness or health concern will be sent home. They are able to return to camp when they have been fever or symptom free for 24 hours.
Camper Fees Info:
A $50 deposit is due at registration for each camper for each week they will be at camp. This registration fee is non-refundable. The remainder of the fees are due at least one month in advance of the camper's first day at camp. Please see the camper registration form for our cancellation policies.