At the KOC we offer a variety of adapted traditional camp and respite opportunities for children, teens, and young adults on the autism spectrum. Camp activities are customized through a strength-based approach to meet the campers' needs; family respite weekends and family camp vacations are well supported to meet visitor needs. Community bookings are accommodated year round.
The 2020/21 Experience at Kinark Outdoor Centre
The Kinark Outdoor Centre is aiming to provide a much needed service to families and children touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are currently working towards opening with an adapted, low capacity series of programs by Fall 2021. Further information on our agency's re-opening priorities, infection protection and control measures are found at the web address below.
There are lots of great stories in the world of camping in Canada and KOC, frankly, is one of them. It was formed with some very specific goals, one of them being to offer respite to families of children who are on the autism spectrum. It’s been doing that beautifully since it was first opened. It also does what all camps do, which is to offer enriching, empowering, fun experiences to children within a caring, supportive, understanding environment. At Kinark children arrive to a setting that is formed around their needs, and run by staff that are well disposed to meet them. There are all the traditional activities, from gaga ball to canoeing, with barriers to participation removed. The work that the camp does is exceptional, and brings a rich, traditional camp experience to some kids who need it, and love it, yet would have trouble integrating in other camp settings.
Jane Isbister, Program Director and Business Manager
MBA, BSC, ORC
At the Kinark Outdoor Centre, individualized programming is our specialty! I am incredibly proud to be working at KOC. I began working as an Outdoor Educator and was inspired by the high level of support we were able to provide for children and youth on the autism spectrum. On the outside we look like a traditional summer camp: bunk beds and grilled cheese, hiking trails and canoes, campfires and crafts; but our low staff to client ratios, ability to accommodate all dietary needs and food aversions, and an understanding of autism has allowed us to provide unique camp programs since 1985.
As the Program Director, I am pleased to support an amazing staff team. With backgrounds in teaching, outdoor education, social work, and development, they share a common thread of being passionate about making a difference. Our diversity allows us to constantly learn from each other and continually strive to bring positivity and energy with us everyday!
Before sending your child to camp, you will have the opportunity to let us know all about your child’s needs and strengths to ensure we are a good fit for them. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that the outdoors is an incredibly therapeutic setting and most people, regardless of their diagnosis, thrive here! It is inspiring to share such positive experiences with our campers and their families.
I invite you to call us to learn more about our camp, family programs and school programs.
Program Director and Business Manager
More details about accommodations: Cabins are rustic sleeping cabins all equipped with either a 2-piece or 3-piece bathroom. The entire cabin area is also served by a communal wash house equipped with showers, sinks and toilets. Each cabin sleeps a minimum of 5 on bunk beds. Campers are always expected to bring their own bedding and comfort items.
Are meals provided? Yes
Is Kinark Outdoor Centre technology free?
Technology is a tool that many kids use to communicate or for other purposes. A plan will be made with each family and camper as is appropriate for the visiting child.
More details about property: The Kinark Outdoor Centre has an ideal layout that ensures campers and families can quickly learn how to get around. There is one main road between the cabin and dining area as well as sub trails bring you to each program area. All program areas are visible from one another and within easy walking distance.
Cost: $1 to $2,050 /week
|Deposit required with acceptance||Yes|
|Credit card payment||Yes|
Just wanted to let you know that our family had an amazing time at camp this passed weekend.
It was a wonderful experience for the whole family.
Kai was paired with Kait who was awesome with him. We felt very comfortable leaving him in her care. She put me at ease with everything and took care of any issues Kai had with anything. He needed that....He needed someone that would just let him do his thing and be okay with it. And she was great.
We needed that too.
It was nice to finish off the summer on such a positive note.
Our girls had a great time as well with Andrea and A.J. They both did a great job with all the siblings. Our girls will now find it easier to go to day camp next year because the two ladies made it such a fun experience for them.
I thought it was going to be hard to let my 3 year olds go....but the "andrea's" as my girls called them, were great. They got right down at their level and played with them. Our girls needed this as well. It was nice for them not to have to compete for attention with eachother but also with their brother.
We want to thank everyone at Kinark for giving us this opportunity and hope to come back soon.
We're hoping to do family camp as well. If we could get some information as to how to apply for this it would be greatly appreciated.
Again, we thank everyone for this wonderful experience.
The Jones Family
This letter is intended to offer our sincere thank you for your work in operating a camp for children with autism. Our son has attended traditional camps but with the support of a worker that we trained... Until this camp, he has never met another autistic child. There are few words that could express the depth of our gratitude for the Kinark experience; the intake staff and the camp staff themselves could not have been more friendly, professional and enthusiastic. My husband and I were totally at ease leaving our son with these individuals. He met new friends, learned new skills and developed some much needed self-esteem. Kieran absolutely loved his Kinark Camp experience.