The Lion and The Mouse is pleased to once again offer a Forest School-inspired, play-based summer program for children ages 5 to 10 – or as the kids called it last year, Freedom Camp! Adventure Camp fosters the kind of independent decision-making, practical problem-solving skills, and multi-dimensional creativity children will use for the rest of their lives. Most importantly, kids have an opportunity to spend their days simply playing for play’s sake.
Adventure Camp is: summer days filled with free play, nature exploration, arts, construction and tinkering projects, and adventurous play (and yes, we climb trees!). Adventure Camp takes place primarily in the Champ des Possibles and neighbouring Marché des Possibles. We also go on weekly visits to Mont Royal and regular trips to Parc Jarry, Parc Laurier, and more. Based entirely outside, we only use our indoor space at Temps Libre in cases of extreme weather. We dance in the rain, swim in the heat, and splash in the mud, enjoying the wonderful outdoor spaces in our neighbourhood no matter what Mother Nature presents us with.
Activities vary greatly depending on the interests of the children and the weather. In the spirit of playwork, we respond to kids’ interests while giving them plenty of time and space to create their own fun, supporting them as necessary. A typical day might be spent hiking Mont Royal, playing hide and seek in the Champ, setting up swings at the Marché, catching butterflies, building forts, all the while inventing games and stories. We always have plenty of loose parts available to create and tinker with, including woodworking tools, but also spend much time simply playing in nature, finding inspiration from the flora and fauna of our local green spaces.
In order to maintain this degree of flexibility in our activities, our camp maintains a low child-to-educator ratio (8:1), and is staffed by Camp Leaders trained in Playwork with years of experience running nature- and play-based programming. For more info about our Head Camp Leader, Megan Cohoe-Kenney, read her bio here and her blog post about last year’s camp here.
General registration will open MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 at 7 am via the “Register now” button below.
Ages: 5 – 10 years (child must be 5 years or older by September 30, 2017)
Dates: June 26 – August 25, 2017. Registration available for full weeks only.
Time: Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.
Cost: Early-bird rate (until March 31): $185 a week. Full rate (after March 31): $200 a week. $185 a week for each additional child from the same family.
Extended care: From 8 – 9 am ($10/day) and 5 – 6 pm ($10/day). Extended care registration must be completed 1 week before the start date needed.
Food: Lunch and snacks not included.
Camp size: 16 kids per week, all in the same group
Languages used: French and English (bilingual environment)
Location: Drop-off and pick-up at the Marché des possibles (corner of Ave. Bernard and Rue Ste. Dominique), unless otherwise specified. Camp takes place at the Marché and in the nearby Champ des possibles, and features weekly visits to Parc Laurier, Mont Royal and other neighbourhood parks. In cases of extreme weather, camp will take place in our indoor space at Temps Libre (106-5605 De Gaspé) and/or will also visit Marc-Favreau (Rosemont) and Mordecai Richler (Mile End) libraries.
PARENTS WILL RECEIVE OUR PARENT HANDBOOK VIA EMAIL ONE MONTH BEFORE THE START OF CAMP SEASON (June 26, 2017).
What Camp Leaders have to say about Adventure Camp: Freedom Camp blog post
What parents have to say about Adventure Camp:
“The laid-back, child-led day lets the kids get a true sentiment of summer fun.”
– Response from parent survey
“My child had a great time. I loved seeing her filthy and smiling at the end of the day. To me, it was a sign that she had had a great day.”– Response from parent survey
“This program did wonders for our child’s social and personal skills — we noticed a great improvement in overall behavior and attitude during the weeks she was at ‘Freedom Camp’. It really made us realize how much she needs outside/unstructured play time and we’re going to work to make it more a part of our lives.” – Response from parent survey
“Thank you all so much, my child had a great time and as a parent I thought it was amazing to have the kids exploring without rushing. There’s so much to see all around us if we just slow down and notice! He enjoyed his counsellors and being outside and never wanted to leave at the end of the day.” – Eugenia
“My 6 year old has attended the summer camp and Adventure Club at The Lion and The Mouse over the last year and he absolutely LOVES it. I love that he has the freedom to explore and discover the outdoor urban environment where we live in a safe and healthy way. He calls it ‘freedom camp’! His curiosity is encouraged, his bilingual language skills get some practice and the staff is incredibly engaging with the children.” – Christine
There is plenty of research backing up the importance of outdoor time and unstructured, child-led play for kids. Check out a few of our favourites on our Resources page.