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About Us
About Us President's Welcome President's Bio
Our Awesome Staff Why Camps Canada is Better An interview with Matt Barr

Thank you for your interest in Camps Canada!

Established in 1996, we're your one-stop shop for all these great camp options: Arts and Crafts, Ball Hockey, Basketball, Bike Safety, Horseback, Mountain Biking, Multisport, Swim and Tennis for boys and girls ages 5 to 12. We also offer half day options for 5 and 6 year olds in Arts and Crafts and Multisport.

Campers enjoy their camp of choice each morning (chosen weekly) and additional programming (including swimming) every afternoon (lifejackets provided).

Come help us celebrate 23 years in business and more than 25,000 happy campers! Our extended hours, our enthusiastic certified teachers and our amazing programming are what set us apart. Years from now, campers won't remember our shiny new basketballs or our wonderful facilities, they'll remember how we made them feel.
Our mission is to create a special place for every camper to make lasting memories and to EXPERIENCE SUCCESS, regardless of their abilities.
Camps Canada is headquartered in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada and operates camp locations in Barrhaven, Kanata, and Orleans.

President's Welcome

As Owner and President of Camps Canada, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this electronic visit of our camp.

I understand your predicament. You're in the process of researching summer camps for your child. It's not an easy task to wade through the piles of information before you. I encourage you to take your time and to complete as much research as possible before you drop your child off for the day to be cared for, by people you hardly know. It's not easy. There are so many camps to consider and they come in all shapes and sizes. A good place to start might be to read my article titled "How to Choose a Summer Camp", originally published in the Kanata Kourier Newspaper.
Choosing the right camp for your child can mean the difference between fighting with them each morning to go to camp and fighting with them each evening to come home.
Believe me, we've experienced the latter on many, many occasions and our camp parents thank us for it.

This electronic visit will give you a sense of Camps Canada but it cannot do justice in capturing the warmth and friendliness of our camp family and our vigorous pursuit of camp quality. I encourage you to contact me directly by email or by telephone if you want to gain a more personal sense of our camp philosophy.

With locations currently in Kanata, Barrhaven, and Orleans, Ontario, we are a summer day camp committed to providing exceptional camp experiences for boys and girls of all ages and abilities. We take great pride in our reputation as the camp of choice for quality-minded parents.

Camps Canada is a community of people who together create an environment of caring and fun unequalled by our competitors. We are justly proud of our reputation for having the best camp staff in the city. Our pages and pages of parent testimonials attest to the quality of our camps and the total satisfaction of our camp parents. Impressive, considering we have had more than 25,000 children attend our camps since our doors opened in 1996. Should you decide to send your child to Camps Canada this summer, I know you won't be disappointed.

On behalf of our camp family, I warmly welcome you to Camps Canada.

Your interest in our camp is much appreciated.

President's Bio: Matt "Coach" Barr




Camp Owner Matt Barr, has more than 26 years experience in the camp industry. He started as a Camp Counselor in 1991, became a Camp Director in 1992, and soon after started a camp of his own in 1996. He's been the owner of his own camp for more than 22 years. I love camp. I love everything about it. I love talking about it. I love training and working with young people and fostering their love of working with kids. I love playing games with kids and most importantly, I think, I love to see kids having a great time, smiling and laughing. What a great job I have!
"I'm really lucky because I love what I do. Even after 26 years I can't wait to welcome a new group of kids to the camp every year."

Education

I was born and raised in Nepean and lived in the Trend Village, Arlington Woods area. I attended Sir Robert Borden High School until I finished grade 10 and then I moved with my family to Pembroke, Ontario where I completed high school at Fellowes High School.

After graduation, I moved back to Ottawa to attend Carleton University where I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Sociology in 1989. Shortly after graduation I began working as a full-time tennis professional. It was here that I first learned the business of summer camps. In 1996 I decided to start a camp of my own, first named ABC Sports Camp and later changed to Camps Canada. In 1999, I returned to school at the University of Ottawa to complete my Bachelor of Education. I was a full-time teacher from 2000 to 2004 before retiring from teaching to dedicate myself full-time to Camps Canada.

Extra Curricular Activities

When I'm not at camp or working on camp stuff, I like to play competitive sports.

I play tennis all year round at the West Ottawa Tennis Club and still compete from time to time in some ITF tournaments. Although my real competitive days are behind me, I still enjoy playing and find it to be a good workout. I supplement my tennis matches with running on the treadmill and playing a little squash in the winter and golf in the summer.

Family

My mom (Sheila) lives in Pembroke, Ontario as well as my two younger siblings Joanne (Dawson) and Peter.

I am married (2003) to Neove (Zafiris). She is a veterinarian and after years of working in private practice, she now works for Health Canada. We live in Stittsville with our two “furry” children (dogs), Indigo and Olive.

Our awesome staff

All of our staff are hired after extensive interviews, employment background reviews and criminal record checks. They are certified in First Aid, CPR and Child Abuse Prevention Training.

Certified Teachers

Certified teachers play an important role at camp. They are the senior spokespersons who provide leadership and guidance to campers and to our other staff.

Parents often comment that this is what separates us from other camps. Every year we get tons of positive feedback from parents about the quality of our staff.

We know that having teachers as leaders gives parents peace of mind. It also ensures that children are provided with a nurturing environment with positive adult role models. This is not always the case at other camps. Our enthusiastic teachers are our greatest asset. They make every day at camp fun.
We know that our teachers, more than any other single factor, are what truly make our camp the best.

Counselors (minimum age 18)

Our Counselors are what bring this camp to life. This group of enthusiastic university students are the backbone of our camp. They provide the creativity and energy needed to make any camp a great success. They are hired for their personaility, sense of humour and their desire to lead exciting group activities. Many of them have been with us for years.

Volunteers (students ages 13 to 15)

Our volunteers have all completed our compulsory 12-hour accreditation course. The training course, conducted by Camps Canada owner Matt Barr, includes: understanding your personality, preparing a resume, applying to jobs, interview skills, working with kids, teaching sport progressions, basic first aid (no certificate provided), leadership skills, camp administration skills, and much more.

Why is Camps Canada better?

When you're comparing camps, be sure that you're comparing apples to apples.

We encourage you to do lots of research. When you do, we're confident you'll choose Camps Canada.

Safety First

All the Extras

  • Safety is our number one priority.

  • We're professionals. We plan every minute of camp very carefully.

  • The owner of Camps Canada brings more than 26 years experience to running camps.

  • There have been more than 25,000 campers before you.

  • We hire teachers to supervise each age group, not teenagers.

  • Our counselor to camper ratio is 1 to 8, while at some camps the ratio is as high as 1 to 20

  • Our Counselors work with the same group of campers throughout the week. This helps build positive relationships and makes communication with parents easy.

  • We publish, post and enforce our "camper code of conduct".

  • We use a "buddy system" at all times.

  • We've established and enforce strict swimming rules and regulations.

  • Our staff undergo extensive training before the start of camp

  • Although safety is our first concern, we still know how to keep it fun!
  • We're home of the original 100% money back guarantee (more than 25,000 campers have enjoyed our camp since 1996)

  • We offer extended hours from 7:30am to 5:30pm (convenient for working parents)

  • Pre and Post Camp Care are always FREE OF CHARGE (other camps charge extra)

  • Afternoon swims (the highlight of camp for many campers)

  • All these great extras - FREE t-shirt, hat, or waterbottle, decals, tattoos, daily Gatorade, our famous "Gator Cup", and weekly awards and prizes for all

  • A variety of camp choices at one location (certainly a plus when you're trying to accommodate more than one child)

  • Optional lunch program (tired of packing box lunches?)

  • Easy online registration (it takes only a few minutes and it's available 24/7)

  • You can check Camp Availability online (see what spots are still available in real time)

An Interview with Owner Matt Barr

I've loved camp since the first time I attended as a kid

Why did you decide to start a camp?

Matt:

I attended a lot of day camps as a young boy myself. My parents didn't need to send me to camp as my mom was a stay-at-home mom, but my parents really believed in the experience. I attended a lot of hockey camps hosted by the Nepean Raiders and then I distinctly remember a day camp held at St. Pius High School when I was about 12 years old. Although this was a long time ago, I remember just loving the entire experience. I loved the sports, the activities and the opportunity to play lots of games with a large group of kids. To me it was just perfect. I couldn't imagine a better place on earth.
After all these years and through all my experiences I still feel the same way.

How did you get started in the camp business?

Matt:

Well, it wasn't by accident. I pursued it. I looked for any opportunity to work with kids, and sports in particular.

I guess I always wanted to re-create a wonderful place for kids to enjoy their summer
I've always been passionate about camp. I want kids today to have the same kind of experiences I had more than 30 years ago. I loved camp then, so I figured I could create a place where kids could experience the same today. In fact, when I'm planning our schedule each year, this is what's always on my mind . . . how can I make it more fun? How can I make sure that kids love the camp? As a secondary benefit, it also makes for a great business plan. After all, happy campers tell their parents and their friends, and they keep coming back summer after summer.

What do you enjoy most about owning a camp today?

Matt:

That's easy. Smiling, happy kids. I love creating a special place for kids. I also love playing with the kids myself, although I don't get a chance to do that as much as I'd like today. My contribution, I guess, is to provide the place for my staff to do the same. That way my impact is much greater than what I can do myself at just one camp location. When I train my staff I tell them my story and I hope that it helps them to understand how important camp can be for the kids in their care. I want them to take their role seriously, but I also want them to have lots of fun. I know that the more fun they have, the more they're creating that special place for the kids.