What We Do to Ensure Your Kids Are Safe While Having Fun all Summer

Swimming Safety

All swims take place at the General Burns Outdoor Public Pool under the supervision of city lifeguards.  The following City of Ottawa rules apply to all campers:

Ages 6-7  - A Zen Counselor must be actively participating in the pool within arms reach at all times and a life jacket must be worn.

Ages 8-10 - Campers that do not pass the facility swim test must always be  accompanied in the pool by a Zen Counselor and a life jacket must be worn.

Ages 8-10 - Campers that successfully complete the facility swim test must always be accompanied by a Zen Counselor.

Ages 11-15 - Campers must be accompanied by a Zen Counselor.


We take alleries seriously.  We strive to work in partnership with a camper, his/her family and medical providers to develop a plan that provides a safe camp environment for the camper.

We work to increase awareness as well as minimize a camper’s potential exposure to allergens, and are prepared to respond in the event that a camper has an adverse reaction.

Some of the allergies of greatest concern to parents relate to peanuts and tree nuts. We are a nut free camp.  We pay close attention to a camper’s particular allergies and have a management plan to meet his/her needs.  Whereas it would be impossible to ensure that campers never come into contact with food residue or a food item of concern we make every effort to keep the two apart.

Campers who suffer from severe allergies as reported on their health forms will be asked to complete and submit an allergy management plan in consultation with their parent. and any medication that their child requires for emergency treatment (i.e. Benadryl, EpiPen, asthma inhaler) in a clearly marked container. The student’s health form and Allergy Management Plan is provided to the program director and counselor. Middle and high School campers for whom an EpiPen is prescribed are expected to carry the EpiPen with them at all times. All elementary school campers for whom an EpiPen is prescribed must keep an EpiPen with the program director at all times. All staff are trained to recognize an allergic reaction, administer an EpiPen, and contact emergency response personnel. There is an emergency EpiPen in the camp office and in first aid kit carried on field trips.

Campers are not allowed to share food from home and no food is provided by the camp. If a camper has a severe food allergy, the program directors will institute practices and cleaning routines in order to minimize exposure. For example if a camper has a food allergy the instructors will ensure that the child does not sit with or near a student eating that food, and require all students to wash their hands after eating.

Medical Emergencies

If your child has a minor accident, the staff will take such actions to comfort your child (for example, cleaning a wound, applying a bandage, etc.). If your child has an accident that results in an injury that requires professional medical treatment (for example large bumps, head injuries, uncontrollable nose bleeds, cuts that may require stitches, or possible fractures), the parent, guardian, or parentally-designated emergency contact person will be called. You will receive an Incident Report for any injuries, which will outline the steps that were taken.

In obvious emergency situations, emergency services will be called.

Inclement Weather Procedures

In the event of inclement weather (i.e. thunderstorms, lightning, extreme heat etc...) during camp activities, the camp will move all programs indoors.

Staff Screening

Criminal reference checks are done on all staff.  In addition, we strive to choose camp staff  that teach classes in our other programs throughout the year to ensure they are well know to management.

Staff Training

Our Program Director, who is with the campers at all times, is professionally trained in group dynamics, conflict resolution and bullying/abuse awareness and prevention, and provides the same training to our Counsellors prior to the start of camp.  Staff also receive first-aid and CPR training.

Conflict Resolution/Discipline

All camp counsellors are trained to deal with conflict resolution.  Any incidents of violence - bullying, harassment, and abuse will be dealt with immediately, reported and the parent, guardian, or parentally-designated emergency contact person will be informed.  Yelling, verbal insults, or any inappropriate physical force will not be tolerated from campers.