F.A.Q. children — for the parents
How does my child get to camp?
Horseshoe Bay is accessible by car. To lower greenhouse gas emissions, we encourage carpooling, public transit or our bus service.
We offer bus services departing from Oakridge Mall (Vancouver). You can select this service when you register.
You can also take public transit to Horseshoe Bay from Metro Vancouver. Check the TransLink website to plan your route.
Camp Suzuki: Howe Sound is held at Fircom, a secluded venue on the southeast tip of Gambier Island. Camp Suzuki: Howe Sound is a 20-minute water taxi ride away from Horseshoe Bay. The welcome package will have more details about our meeting location in Horseshoe Bay.
How do I know if my child is ready for camp?
Kids as young as five have successfully attended overnight camp. It depends on how comfortable your child is being away from home. Have they gone on sleepovers in the past? Are they excited about the prospect of coming to camp?
There are lots of things you can do to help prepare them for camp. Read through the welcome package with them, have them help pack their bags and designate a screen-free day to help ease them into a technology-free week.
Can I visit my child at camp?
Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to accommodate parent visitors at camp. It is important for our staff to be able to focus on providing a safe, quality experience for our campers, and visits from parents may be disruptive. Parents can follow through daily updates on our Facebook page.
Meet the staff
What are the staff's qualifications?
The counsellors and senior camp staff have years of experience in camp life, education and/or environmental studies. Camp Suzuki: Howe Sound provides extensive pre-camp orientation and training to all staff and volunteers.
Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance to us. All staff and volunteers have up-to-date criminal record checks and first aid training. There will be 12 counsellors, six program staff and four camp staff. That’s a 6:1 adult-to-child ratio.
What kinds of safety precautions do you take at camp?
Our venue is accredited by the B.C. Camping Association. All program areas are up to industry-standard safety regulations. There is a designated camp nurse and first aid attendants on site at all times.
What happens if my child gets homesick?
It’s normal to miss home on the first night of camp. Our staff are trained to manage homesickness.
We find that kids who talk with their parents while at camp may be immediately comforted but become more homesick within a few hours. If your child must connect with you, their counsellor will call you first to brief you on the situation.
How can I contact my child at camp?
Campers will not have phone or Internet access while at camp. Nor will they be available to take phone calls on the island phone. They'll be having too much fun! You can email or telephone the camp director for emergencies. (Contact information is in the welcome package.)
How can you offer both an environmental and traditional summer camp?
Camp Suzuki: Howe Sound takes the typical fun camp experience to the next level. Connecting and teaching children about the wonder of nature is critical to fostering a more respectful relationship with the Earth. We are infusing traditional summer camp benefits with our mission to protect the diversity of nature for future generations.
Diet and medical questions
My child has food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. What will they eat?
Please ensure that you list all of your child’s allergies on their registration form. If we have any questions, we will contact you to clarify prior to camp. We can accommodate most allergies and dietary restrictions. If your child has multiple dietary restrictions (e.g., celiac and vegan), we may ask you to pack bread and some snacks.
My child has a disability/medical condition/wets the bed and I’m worried that they could be teased.
All medical/behavioural information is kept in confidence. It will only be shared with the camp registrar who processes the registration, the camp director and your child’s counsellors. This information will not be available to other campers or to counsellors who are not working directly with your child.
F.A.Q. children — for the kids
What is the food like?
The food is the best! Fircom is known for amazing and delicious food. We will give you mostly vegetarian food throughout the week with the option of turkey and chicken too. All meals have healthy options, including a salad bar for every lunch and dinner. Since you’ll be outside a lot, you’ll be given water for each meal as well. All of our snacks are healthy and homemade.
Where do we sleep?
You will stay in a cabin (14 people per cabin, plus two camp counsellors).
Can I stay with my friend/cousin/brother?
We'll do our best to have you stay with friends and family. Make sure your parent(s) or guardian(s) list the name of the person you want to stay with on your form -- or they can call our office to put in the request. If your friend is several years older or younger than you, you may be in a cabin with kids that aren’t your age. Talk with your parents about how this will feel.
What do we get to do?
You’ll have lots of fun choices including swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking and archery. You may be scheduled to do an activity with your group or choose what activity you participate in.
What is your cancellation policy?
90% back 30+ days before camp.
50% back 14+ days before camp.
No refunds 0-13 days before camp (90% back if there is a medical reason/death in the family).