Camps, Clubs & Youth / AquaCamps

Incredible Camp Experiences

AquaCamps offer your children a fun, educational experience never to be forgotten.

Please note: The Aquarium has temporarily paused all programs. We look forward to welcoming everyone back soon.

AquaCamps

Summer AquaCamps

February 18, 2021: Hello AquaCampers and AquaCamper parents. We hope you’re doing well. We would like to share that we hope to provide an amazing camp experience for our AquaCampers in 2021, but at this time we cannot confirm if AquaCamps will go ahead this summer. Please check this webpage for updates, we are working hard to try and deliver another wonderful year of AquaCamps

 

AquaCamp FAQ

Frequently asked questions

We have created a list of frequently asked questions about AquaCamps, please see information below. Click each item to expand. 

What does a typical day at camp look like?

Download a copy of our example schedule.

Please note:

Due to new Covid-19 safety procedures and policies at the Aquarium, some programming available in past years of camp will not be available this year, including: Behind the scenes tours, field trips, animal handling, 4D show viewings, etc.

To keep campers as safe as possible, each group will have their own classroom, but programming will focus heavily on outdoor play and time spent in nature.

Group sizes have changed, and we will no longer offer contact games and activities. We are currently finalizing new games and activities for this summer's camp. 


How will AquaCamps programming be different this year?

Due to the guidelines from the Provincial Public Health Office, Health Canada, and Canadian camp professionals, the following changes will be implemented into AquaCamps programming this year. 

     • No contact sports, games or activities. 

     • Limited sharing of game equipment and craft supplies. 

     • No access to behind the scenes spaces. 

     • No animal handling. 

     • Increased time spent outdoors. 

     • Smaller group activities (max. group size of 10). 

Our camp team is currently developing new activities that will be fun, hands-on, and exciting for any returning AquaCampers to experience! 


What measures are you implementing to keep kids safe?

AquaCamps will be strictly following the guidelines and direction provided by the Government of British Columbia, BC Centre for Disease Control, and the American Camp Association. The below measures were created in consideration of the following documents; COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings, British Columbia Camps Association Blueprint for Reopening Summer Camps, the American Camp Association and YMCA of the USE Field Guide for Camps, the BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy, and others. 

The following high-level adjustments have been made to the AquaCamps program to provide a safe learning environment for all camp participants, staff and youth volunteers.  

     • Reduced our camp size by half compared to previous years: 

     • Increased staffing ratios to allow for smaller group sizes. Our camp group size will be five, compared to ten in previous years. This means there will be five campers to one camp staff - a 5:1 ratio.  

     • Increased the number of indoor spaces to minimize contact between distinct camp groups. 

     • All camp staff will be required to wear masks. 

     • All campers will be encouraged to wear masks inside – masks will be provided.   

     • Campers and staff will be outside as much as possible when not engaged in Aquarium-related activities (such as classrooms, galleries and wet labs). 

     • Training all staff and volunteers on COVID-19 related measures and policies. 

     • Increased cleaning and disinfection of all commonly touched surfaces. 

     • Daily morning check of every camper and staff for Covid-19 symptoms.  


New Aquarium Procedures and the Impact on AquaCamps

Due to the guidelines provided by the Government of British Columbia, we have made changes to the program to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission and ensure, as much as possible, a safe camp environment. Access in the Aquarium and camp activities will differ from previous years. 

     • Gallery access: to comply with the capacity limitations within the Aquarium, AquaCampers will only be able to access three exhibits; Frogs Forever, Underwater Dolphin, and Pacific Canada/Strait of Georgia. 

     • Behind the Scenes Tours: there will be no behind the scenes tours allowed this year, as our animal care staff needs to be completely isolated from all guests in the Aquarium to protect the animals. Also, the increased cleaning and disinfection required for public spaces is not able to be applied in these behind the scenes spaces. 

     • Wet Labs: there will be no animal handling allowed across the Aquarium until a vaccine has been developed for COVID-19. We will still have access to one of our wet labs for viewing, but we will not be allowed to touch any of the animals this year. 

     • Animal Shows: due to restrictions on capacity within the Aquarium, there will not be animal shows scheduled this summer, and we will not be able to have animals visit our classroom spaces. 

     • Classroom Spaces: to minimize crossover between camp groups and allow for physical distancing, we are finding distinct indoor spaces for each group of 10 campers. 

     • Field Trips: we will not be allowed to visit the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre this summer to keep the animals and staff onsite safe from exposure.  

     • Any guest or camper that shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted onsite. 


What should my child bring to camp each day?

Download our Parent Letter, which outlines the essentials to pack for each day of camp. 

Important Items: 

     • Reusable water bottle 

     • Nut free lunch and snacks 

     • Weather appropriate clothing and footwear 

     • Closed-toe shoes 

     • Sunscreen and hat 

     • Cloth mask, which will be provided by AquaCamps staff on first day of camp. These must be packed every day. 

     • Pencil case with art supplies (scissors, glue, pencil crayons, crayons and markers) – this is to limit sharing of camp art supplies between campers 

     • Backpack  

     • Extra pair of clothes and underwear 

     • Pre and post camp will be supervised free play, keeping in mind that campers cannot intermingle. Please pack books, arts & crafts, toys, etc. to keep your child occupied during free play. 

     • Electronics, money, and valuables should be kept at home. 

Please label all items sent to camp to help us minimize the amount of Lost & Found. 


What type of clothing should my child wear?

Each camper will be provided an AquaCamps t-shirt that they must wear every day to camp. These t-shirts identify your children as AquaCampers in case there is an emergency, and are essential for supervision and safety. Each child receives one camp t-shirt per week of camp, which is included in the registration fee. 

     • Shorts and/or pants are recommended – skirts and dresses are not advised, as we will spend lots of time running, playing and getting dirty! It is also not advised to come to camp in any clothing that you don’t want ruined – paint, mud, rain! 

     • Raingear – AquaCamps run daily, rain or shine, and there is a lot of time spent outdoors. We will still get outdoors in inclement weather, so be sure to pack a rain jacket, boots, or extra sweater if the weather is looking less than ideal.  

     • Footwear – please make sure your child wears closed-toe shoes to camp each day. Flips flops or shoes without backs make it hard for running and lots of walking, and you will not be invited into the wet labs without them. Waterproof boots and a change of socks are a great idea in case of bad weather and days at the beach! 

     • Extra clothes – regardless of your child’s age, please send an extra set of clothes to camp each day. Accidents happen, whether bathroom related or slips and trips outdoors or at the beach. 

     • Cloth facemask – must be worn each day for all indoor activities. Educators will inform campers when facemasks are required. Children will not permitted onsite without their masks, which will be provided. 


How does drop off and pick up work?

Please note that we have changed the operating hours of AquaCamps this year to reduce intermixing of camp groups. AquaCamps will run from 9am-4pm, unless you have purchased additional pre or post camp. 



PARKING 

Parents & guardians will be issued parking passes that they must display in their dashboards that will allow free parking in the Aquarium parking lot for 30min maximum during sign in and out times. 

Parking is always tight, so please give yourself ample time to find parking, or better yet, walk, bike or take the #19 bus into Stanley Park. Please visit our location information page for maps of nearby lots that are not as impacted by visitors. 



DROP OFF 

Drop Off begins at 8:45am in our AquaQuest field on the north end of the Aquarium adjacent to the parking lot (please attach arrival tips map). Our AquaCamps support staff will greet you at our check in area, where each camper will be screened for COVID-19 related signs and symptoms. Once cleared, we will give you your camp assignment, and you can sign in with your leader after sanitizing hands at the sanitization station. Campers will be screened every morning, so please allow extra time for drop off. 

To reduce close contact with our staff members and other guardians, please wait in line until your educator is prepared to sign you in. We ask that you maintain 2m of distance from our educators and volunteers. It is preferred that the same parent or guardian be responsible for pick up and drop off every day to minimize direct contact with as many people as possible, which will help keep our educators protected. 



LATE ARRIVALS 

If you are late for camps, please call 604-659-3493 or 236-886-4191, and our Camp Manager will send an educator outside to greet you and your child. We will not allow parents & guardians access to any indoor spaces, so please do not enter the AquaQuest Reception. 



PICK UP 

Pick Up begins at 4:00pm in the same field as drop off. Our educators will be separated throughout the field. You must bring valid photo ID with you in order to be able to sign out. 

To reduce close contact with our staff members and other guardians, please wait in line until your educator is prepared to sign you in. We ask that you maintain 2m of distance from our educators and volunteers. It is preferred that the same parent or guardian be responsible for pick up and drop off every day to minimize direct contact with as many people as possible, which will help keep our educators protected. 



LATE FOR PICK-UP 

Please make sure you are on-time to pick up your child. If you realize you will be late to pick-up your child, please call us immediately at 604-659-3493. 



LATE FEES 

We love caring for your kids, but our staff also have families to get home to and other duties. Please respect their time. If you are late to pick up campers, you will be subject to a $25 late fee. 



EXTENDED CARE HOURS 

Pre-Camp runs from 8:00 to 9:00AM. Pre-Camp will take place outside this year, so please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. To reduce contact between campers, all campers will need to be physically distanced during pre camp, so we encourage parents to pack some activities for their children during these hours, as it will be unstructured supervised solo play. 

Post-Camp runs from 4:00 to 5:00PM. Post-Camp will also be exclusively outdoors, and will be unstructured, supervised solo play. Please pack activities for your camper to do during these hours, as they will be physically distanced from other campers. 

Both options are available for purchase when you register for a program. 


How do I request for campers to be in the same group?

Please submit requests for friends and family to be grouped together when you register by entering your request in our medical notes section. If you have already registered, you can send your request at least one week prior to the start of camp. 

Note: Campers will be grouped into cohorts of five this summer, so we will be able to accommodate a very limited amount of friend requests this summer. Our groups are also organized based on age, so we cannot accommodate requests when campers differ in age by two or more years. 


Updated Cancellation Policy

For any program cancelled by the Aquarium, full refunds will be issued to parents & guardians. The Children & Youth team will contact you via email if a program has been cancelled, and there will be instructions on how refunds will be processed. 

Withdrawals made between 7-14 days of the program start date will be subject to a 50% cancellation fee. Withdrawals made within 7 days of the program start date will not be refunded. 

Missed programs will not be refunded or rescheduled, unless the program is missed for a COVID-19 related illness. If a family member or camper is showing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home and a prorated amount will be refunded. 

Symptoms included: 




  • Cough 

  • Fever 

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Pneumonia in both lungs 



For more information on COVID-19 updates, symptoms and support, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html 


What is the likelihood of program being cancelled?

Our current plan is to be able to host camps beginning either July 6th or July 13th and ending August 28th, but we will need to follow guidance from the Government of British Columbia, Health Canada and Aquarium operations and management. Our camp offerings will be reflective of changes and develops as time progresses. 


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