Camps that develop responsibility

Take ownership of thoughts and actions, and develop an awareness of consequences

Responsibility is:
• Awareness of the relationship between behaviour and consequences
• Willingness to take ownership of consequences, good and bad

Camp encourages responsibility in kids, “[getting them] to the point where they start seeing things that need to get done [without the] need to ask it,” in the words of Audrey Monke. "Ultimately, kids feel better knowing that they can be responsible for themselves." Below the list, read definitions of independence from camp leaders like Monke, as well as parents and campers, and learn how experiences at camp foster this trait. Read more




List of camps and programs that help kids learn and grow in responsibility

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Any cost
Any age
Any date

Any type

  • Dance (multi)
  • Music (multi)
  • Visual arts (multi)
  • Computer programming (multi)
  • Science (multi)

  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 8 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $3,965

In a spectacular natural setting, Wenonah campers can enjoy 30+ different activities. Read more

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  • Huntsville, ON
  • Age 14 to 16 (Girls)
  • From $1,375

This session prepares individuals to lifeguard and to teach and evaluate swimming strokes and lifesaving skills. Read more

guitarmusicmultivocaltrainingsingingartscraftsvisualartsmultidrawingpaintingphotovideopotteryceramicswoodworkingbronzecrossfirstaidlifesavingboardsailingaquaticscanoeingkayakingseakayakingsailingmarineskillsswimmingarcherygolfhikingmountainbikingrockclimbingsoccertennistrampolinevolleyballziplinesportssportsswimmingaquaticsovernightcampallgirls137514-162021-07-01
  • Thornhill, ON
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmulti3dprintingjavacomputerprogrammingmultiscratchvideogamewebdesignentrepreneurshipfinancialliteracyleadershiptrainingleadershipsteambasketballcyclingsoccertennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-07-012021-08-01
  • Burlington, ON
  • Age 7 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $1,020

Experience a full rehearsal & production process, learning vocals, dialogue, scene work, and choreography to put on our show! Read more

storytellingcomedyballetdancemultihiphopjazzmakeupartistryvocaltrainingsingingmusicmultimusicaltheatreperformingartssetandcostumedesigntheatreartsartsartsmusicaltheatreperformingartsprogramclasscoed10207-172021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-01
  • Land O' Lakes Tourist Region, ON
  • Age 13 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $1,199

Learn hands-on skills from the kitchen to the workshop with inspiring leaders. Enjoy a handful of camp activities and free. Read more

ropecourseswildernessskillsmathskilledtradesactivitieswritingjournalismfirstaidlifesavingstrengthandconditioningcanoeingaquaticskayakingseakayakingswimmingarcheryhikinghorsebackridingequestrianvolleyballeducationmultiovernightcampcoed119913-162021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 6 to 8 (Coed)
  • From $189

In our award-winning Minecraft club, your children will build and explore with new friends. Camp is for the bedrock edition Read more

minecrafttechnologyvideogamewebdesignsteamstemcomputerstechnologycomputersminecraftvirtualprogramcoed1896-82021-07-012021-08-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC summer camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmultileadershiptrainingleadershipbasketballcyclinggymnasticssoccersportsinstructionalandtrainingtennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-07-012021-08-01
  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 9 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $2,195

In a spectacular natural setting, Wenonah campers can enjoy 30+ different activities. Read more

firstaidlifesavingarcherycanoeingaquaticsfishinggolfhikingkayakingseakayakingsailingmarineskillssoccerswimmingtennisvolleyballrockclimbingpingponggagaartscraftsvisualartsmultipaintingdrawingpotteryceramicsguitarmusicmultiwildernessouttrippingwildernessskillstraditionalmultiactivityovernightcampcoed21959-152021-07-012021-08-01
  • Huntsville, ON
  • Age 13 to 16 (Boys)
  • From $470

Discover for yourself what living and serving in Christian community is all about through service in various areas of camp. Read more

ropecourseswildernessouttrippingwildernessskillsvocaltrainingsingingmusicmultiartscraftsvisualartsmultidrawingpaintingphotovideonatureenvironmentarcherybaseballsoftballbasketballbmxmotocrossboardsailingaquaticscanoeingcheercyclingdivingfishingfootballhikingkayakingseakayakingmountainbikingrockclimbingskateboardingsoccersportsinstructionalandtrainingswimmingvolleyballtraditionalmultiactivityovernightcampallboys47013-162021-07-012021-08-01
  • Brantford, ON
  • Age 14 to 15 (Boys)
  • From $525

Grow leadership skills and get an "inside look" at camp. Serve in various camp areas and enjoy camp activities too. Read more

ropecoursesartscraftsvisualartsmultileadershiptrainingleadershiparcherybadmintongagahorsebackridingequestrianrockclimbingsoccertrampolinevolleyballeducationeducationleadershiptrainingleadershipovernightcampallboys52514-152021-07-01
  • Brantford, ON
  • Age 14 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $595

Learn to lead and serve while working alongside horse staff and developing leadership skills. Read more

ropecoursesartscraftsvisualartsmultileadershiptrainingleadershiparcherybadmintongagahorsebackridingequestrianrockclimbingsoccertrampolinevolleyballeducationeducationleadershiptrainingleadershipovernightcampcoed59514-152021-08-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer Camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingcookingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmultilanguageinstructionnutritionswimmingaquaticsbasketballgymnasticssoccertennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-06-012021-07-012021-08-01
  • Vaughan, ON
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop a wide variety of sports and skills this summer ! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmultibasketballsoccertraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-06-012021-07-012021-08-01
  • Vaughan, ON
  • Age 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer Camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmultibasketballcyclingsoccertennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed657-122021-07-012021-08-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer camp is a safe and engaging campy for youth, developing a wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmulti3dprintingjavacomputerprogrammingmultiscratchvideogamewebdesignentrepreneurshipfinancialliteracyleadershiptrainingleadershipsteamswimmingaquaticsbasketballcyclingsoccertennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-07-012021-08-01
  • Lakefield, ON
  • Age 13 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $6,140

Learn sustainable farming and great life skills in this hands-on course. Plant, build, harvest, and learn in the outdoors. Read more

ropecoursescookingcreditcoursesnatureenvironmentboardsailingaquaticscanoeingfishingkayakingseakayakingsailingmarineskillsswimmingcyclingdiscgolfeducationeducationnatureenvironmentdaycampcoed614013-172021-08-01
  • North-York, Toronto
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer Camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills ! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmulticyclingsoccertraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-06-012021-07-012021-08-01
  • Huntsville, ON
  • Age 13 to 16 (Girls)
  • From $470

Discover for yourself what living and serving in Christian community is all about through service in various areas of camp. Read more

ropecourseswildernessouttrippingwildernessskillsvocaltrainingsingingmusicmultiartscraftsvisualartsmultidrawingpaintingphotovideonatureenvironmentarcherybaseballsoftballbasketballbmxmotocrossboardsailingaquaticscanoeingcheercyclingdivingfishingfootballhikingkayakingseakayakingmountainbikingrockclimbingskateboardingsoccersportsinstructionalandtrainingswimmingvolleyballtraditionalmultiactivityovernightcampallgirls47013-162021-07-012021-08-01
  • Bracebridge, ON
  • Age 17 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $3,965

Providing opportunities for exceptional leaders to foster their skills and make an impact on others. Read more

firstaidlifesavingarcherycanoeingaquaticsfishinggolfhikingkayakingseakayakingsailingmarineskillssoccerswimmingtennisvolleyballrockclimbingpingponggagaartscraftsvisualartsmultipaintingdrawingpotteryceramicsguitarmusicmultiwildernessouttrippingwildernessskillseducationeducationcitlitprogramleadershipovernightcampcoed396517-182021-07-012021-08-01
  • Thornhill, ON
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer Camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmulti3dprintingjavacomputerprogrammingmultiscratchvideogamewebdesignentrepreneurshipfinancialliteracyleadershiptrainingleadershipsteambasketballcyclingsoccertennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-07-012021-08-01
  • Thornhill, ON
  • Age 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $65

TAC Summer camp is a safe and fulfilling experience for youth to develop an incredibly wide variety of sports and skills! Read more

storytellingballetdancemultihiphopjazzartscraftsvisualartsmulti3dprintingjavacomputerprogrammingmultiscratchvideogamewebdesignentrepreneurshipfinancialliteracyleadershiptrainingleadershipsteambasketballcyclingsoccertennistraditionalmultiactivitydaycampcoed653-122021-06-012021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 15 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will provide Ontario Secondary School Credit Courses in chemistry. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringcreditcoursestestpreparationeducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95015-192021-07-01
  • Online
  • Age 16 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will be conducting the Advanced Function (MHF4U) credit course. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringcreditcoursesmatheducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95016-192021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 16 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will be conducting the Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U) credit course. Read more

creditcoursesmatheducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95016-192021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 6 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $65

Our experienced and dedicated instructors will strengthen your child's math skills and mastery of key concepts. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringinstructorleadoneononemathtestpreparationtraditionalmultiactivityvirtualprogramcoed656-182021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 16 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will be conducting Mathematics of Data Management (MDM4U) credit course. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringcreditcoursesmathtestpreparationeducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95016-192021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 14 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our experienced instructors will be providing Ontario Secondary School Credit Courses in ESL. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringcreditcourseslanguageinstructionreadingwritingjournalismeducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95014-192021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 14 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will be conducting Ontario Secondary School Credit Courses in all mathematical areas. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringcreditcoursesmatheducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95014-192021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 15 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will provide Ontario Secondary School Credit Courses in physics. Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringcreditcoursestestpreparationeducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95015-192021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 14 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $950

Our certified instructors will provide Ontario Secondary School Credit Courses in all areas of science. Read more

creditcourseszoologyanimalssciencemultieducationeducationcreditcoursesvirtualprogramcoed95014-162021-07-01
  • Montreal, QC
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $250

Our CIT program is designed to mold 15 year olds into future Laurus counsellors! First aid and child care training included. Read more

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  • Downtown, Toronto
  • Age 14 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $450

Work with our certified race coach to master sailing techniques to sail fast and put those skills to the test at regattas. Read more

travelnatureenvironmentengineeringsciencemultisailingmarineskillsaquaticsswimmingsportssportssailingmarineskillsaquaticsdaycampcoed45014-182021-05-012021-06-012021-07-012021-08-012021-09-01
  • Burlington, ON
  • Age 5 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $36

Our group basketball classes are the most popular, as players can register with friends and learn new skills weekly. Read more

basketballtennissportssportsbasketballprogramclasscoed365-182021-02-012021-03-012021-04-012021-05-012021-06-012021-07-012021-08-012021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-01
  • Toronto (3)
  • Age 8 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $450

Hungry for fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Small classes taught by real chefs! Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingartscraftsvisualartsmultinutritionartsartscookingdaycampcoed4508-142021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 5 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $80

Learn Online 1-on-1 Individualized lessons for all subjects Grades JK to 12. English, French, Math, Sciences, Computers, Read more

javacomputerprogrammingmultipythoninstructorleadoneononeacademictutoringmathreadingstemtestpreparationtraditionalmultiactivityvirtualprogramcoed805-182021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45

Hungry for virtual cooking fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Learn from real chefs! Live via Zoom. Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingnutritionartsartscookingvirtualprogramcoed457-162021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45

Hungry for virtual cooking fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Learn from real chefs! Live via Zoom. Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingnutritionartsartscookingvirtualprogramcoed457-162021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 10 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $167

The summer program mainly focuses on reviewing important concepts and helping students 'Step Up' from their current level! Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringinstructorleadoneononefinancialliteracymathstemtestpreparationeducationeducationmathvirtualprogramcoed16710-142021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45

Hungry for virtual cooking fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Learn from real chefs! Live via Zoom. Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingnutritionartsartscookingvirtualprogramcoed457-162021-06-012021-07-01
  • Toronto (3)
  • Age 8 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $450

Hungry for fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Small classes taught by real chefs! Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingartscraftsvisualartsmultinutritionartsartscookingdaycampcoed4508-142021-08-01
  • Toronto (3)
  • Age 8 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $450

Hungry for fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Small classes taught by real chefs! Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingartscraftsvisualartsmultinutritionartsartscookingdaycampcoed4508-142021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 6 to 18+ (Coed)
  • From $95

Whether you're looking for remedial support or just want to get ahead, Extra Ed can help with tutoring in every subject. Read more

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  • Mactier, ON
  • Age 7 to 12 (Boys)
  • From $2,255

Introduce your son to our full adventure-filled program where they will gain independence and build lasting friendships. Read more

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  • Online
  • Age 15 to 17 (Coed)
  • From $345

This two-week leadership program prepares youth to excel as a leader in any realm: from classroom, to counsellor! Read more

leadershiptrainingleadershipsportsinstructionalandtrainingeducationeducationcitlitprogramleadershipvirtualprogramcoed34515-172021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45

Hungry for virtual cooking fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Learn from real chefs! Live via Zoom. Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingnutritionartsartscookingvirtualprogramcoed457-162021-06-012021-07-01
  • Throughout British Columbia; Ontario (5)
  • Age 3 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $650

Dedicated Science course focusing on core disciplines and exposure of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Read more

webdesigndevelopmentcreativewritinginstructorleadgroupacademictutoringentrepreneurshipfinancialliteracylanguageinstructionleadershiptrainingleadershipsocialjusticeempowermentsupercampmathnatureenvironmentpublicspeakingdebatereadingarchitecturesciencemultiengineeringhealthsciencemarinebiologymedicalsciencespacezoologyanimalssteamstemtestpreparationwritingjournalismeducationeducationsciencemultivirtualprogramcoed6503-182021-07-012021-08-01
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Age 12 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $990

Spend your days sailing and discovering what it takes to become a sailor, and at nightfall, camp on an island Read more

leadershiptrainingleadershipsailingmarineskillsaquaticssportssportssailingmarineskillsaquaticsovernightcampcoed99012-142021-08-01
  • Downtown, Toronto
  • Age 10 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $1,105

Practice sailing skills in a fun and safe environment, consolidating fundamentals and beginning intermediate level theory. Read more

travelartscraftsvisualartsmultinatureenvironmentengineeringsciencemultifirstaidlifesavingsailingmarineskillsaquaticsswimmingsportssportssailingmarineskillsaquaticsdaycampcoed110510-162021-07-012021-08-01
  • Throughout British Columbia; Ontario (5)
  • Age 3 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $600

Dedicated Science course focusing on core disciplines and exposure of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Read more

webdesigndevelopmentcreativewritinginstructorleadgroupacademictutoringentrepreneurshipleadershiptrainingleadershipsocialjusticeempowermentsupercampmathnatureenvironmentpublicspeakingdebatereadingarchitecturesciencemultiengineeringhealthsciencemarinebiologymedicalsciencesafarispacezoologyanimalssteamstemtestpreparationwritingjournalismeducationmultivirtualprogramcoed6003-182021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-012022-05-01
  • Online
  • Age 14 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $180

The summer program mainly focuses on reviewing important concepts and helping students 'Step Up' from their current level! Read more

instructorleadgroupacademictutoringinstructorleadoneononefinancialliteracymathstemtestpreparationeducationeducationmathvirtualprogramcoed18014-162021-08-01
  • Toronto (3)
  • Age 8 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $450

Hungry for fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Small classes taught by real chefs! Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingartscraftsvisualartsmultinutritionartsartscookingdaycampcoed4508-142021-08-01
  • Throughout British Columbia; Ontario (5)
  • Age 3 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $600

Math drills, application of concepts, problem solving, and building a solid math foundation and developing critical-thinking. Read more

artscraftsvisualartsmultidrawingcreativewritinginstructorleadgroupacademictutoringfinancialliteracyleadershiptrainingleadershipsocialjusticeempowermentsupercampmathnatureenvironmentpublicspeakingdebatereadingarchitecturesciencemultiengineeringhealthsciencemarinebiologymedicalsciencespacezoologyanimalssteamstemtestpreparationwritingjournalismeducationmultivirtualprogramcoed6003-182021-09-012021-10-012021-11-012021-12-012022-01-012022-02-012022-03-012022-04-012022-05-01
  • Online
  • Age 14 to 15 (Coed)
  • From $345

This virtual program is a two-week leadership experience develops cooperative learning, leadership, and coaching skills. Read more

leadershiptrainingleadershipsportsinstructionalandtrainingeducationeducationcitlitprogramleadershipvirtualprogramcoed34514-152021-07-012021-08-01
  • Online
  • Age 5 to 12 (Coed)
  • From $195

Children will learn and experience Indigenous culture (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) through a rich blend of activities! Read more

storytellingvocaltrainingsingingmusicmultiartscraftsvisualartsmultiinstructorleadgroupacademictutoringnatureenvironmentartsmultivirtualprogramcoed1955-122021-07-01
  • Online
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $45

Hungry for virtual cooking fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Learn from real chefs! Live via Zoom. Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingnutritionartsartscookingvirtualprogramcoed457-162021-07-012021-08-01
  • Markham, ON
  • Age 7 to 16 (Coed)
  • From $325

Create lasting memories while learning to play golf. Learn, the fundamentals, experience best in class coaching, play golf. Read more

golfsportssportsgolfdaycampcoed3257-162021-06-012021-07-012021-08-01
  • Throughout British Columbia; Ontario (5)
  • Age 3 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $650

Accelerated development of a solid math foundation to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Read more

webdesigndevelopmentcreativewritinginstructorleadgroupacademictutoringentrepreneurshipfinancialliteracylanguageinstructionleadershiptrainingleadershipsocialjusticeempowermentsupercampmathnatureenvironmentpublicspeakingdebatereadingarchitecturesciencemultiengineeringhealthsciencemarinebiologymedicalsciencespacezoologyanimalssteamstemtestpreparationwritingjournalismeducationeducationacademictutoringvirtualprogramcoed6503-182021-07-012021-08-01
  • Burlington, ON
  • Age 5 to 18 (Coed)
  • From $35

This is a program to get an activity in during the. This program is a la carte. Read more

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  • Toronto (3)
  • Age 8 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $450

Hungry for fun? Kids will eat up these amazing cooking & baking camps. Small classes taught by real chefs! Read more

bakingdecoratingcookingartscraftsvisualartsmultinutritionartsartscookingdaycampcoed4508-142021-08-01
  • Fergus, ON
  • Age 5 to 14 (Coed)
  • From $800

Experience the joy of learning new skills and go home with a greater sense of responsibility, independence, and compassion. Read more

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  • Ottawa, ON
  • Age 12 to 14 (Coed)
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Set sail along the Ottawa river during the day, and return ashore to go home each night. Read more

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  • Ottawa, ON
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Lake Ontario in the summer is a sailor’s paradise! Sail one of North America's most popular regions for sailing adventures! Read more

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  • Oakville, ON
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Build fundamental skills to enhance success in rugby and develop leadership skills both on and off the field Read more

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  • Laval, QC
  • Age 15 to 16 (Coed)
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Defining responsibility

“Responsibility in kids,” begins Audrey Monke, consists of “learning to do tasks for themselves without requiring constant supervision, needing to be reminded, needing to be watched or needing someone else to keep track of things for them.” It could be simple tasks they complete on their own, like brushing their teeth, knowing their routine, or keeping track of their belongings. “It’s really just learning to do it for yourself. It’s contributing and helping out with your family and community, without having to be ... externally reminded.”

The author of Happy Campers draws on impressive personal experience in her understanding of, and helping children develop responsibility. She’s owner and director of Gold Arrow Camp, a youth summer camp in California. She also operates SunshineParenting.com and runs a podcast wherein she interviews parenting experts, authors and youth development professionals. Happy Campers is an acclaimed parenting guide that offers parents nine secrets from summer camp they can implement at home. Her professional insight comes from over 30 years of first-hand experience with thousands of children, young adult staff, and parents, work that began with a Masters in Psychology focused on youth wellbeing and social skills. 

She sees her job now as “working with parents, teachers and camp counsellors and giving them simple tools to create the connection and happiness that we create at camp.” 

How to develop responsibility

Responsibility is a skill children develop over time. Typically, they’re taught responsibility by watching their parents, counsellors and teachers model this trair. However, children learn even more fully, when given duties of their own. 

Monke illustrates from Gold Arrow Camp how responsibility can be developed within a child. One summer, she saw that whenever camp counsellors told campers to grab their bathing suits to go swimming, many campers didn’t know where their bathing suits were or couldn’t find them in their bags. “It was there,” she explains, “but it had been very carefully packed by their parents who weren’t there.” From then on, she’s requested that parents let children pack their own bags. Parents can coach, support and check their children’s bags to ensure they have everything they need, but this simple task will begin to develop responsibility within a child.

“It’s a very unsettling feeling,” she says, “to not know where your things are or to feel like you can’t find something. Ultimately, kids feel better knowing that they can be responsible for themselves.” 

At camp, she always encourages children to ask, “what else can I do?” She’s seen campers finish up an activity then leave their supplies behind without cleaning up. Rather than assuming you’re done with an activity and can leave, it’s important to ask the person in charge what else you can do to help. “What eventually happens [after asking this],” she says, “is that [kids] get to the point where [they] start seeing all the things that need to get done and [they] may not need to ask it anymore.” At camp, she sees children adopt and develop these responsible behaviours for themselves. 

Camp gives children models they can follow. They’re given tasks and they see consequences of not following through with responsibilities. A welcoming environment is necessary to ensure that the child feels supported as they navigate through their decision-making processes. 

What is an example of responsibility?

Sherri Cully, parent of a camper at Radiant Girls camp, agrees with Monke that responsibility is “key in life.”  

She believes it’s necessary to be accountable for your own actions to function in society. Her daughter, Hailey, has become more responsible since attending Radiant Girls. There, she was made aware of the repercussions of her actions, and developed a sense of accountability. 

“Because [Hailey was] given specific things [she] had to do,” she learned responsibility, “not only for specific chores … but also to own her actions.” Camp focused on the notion that every action had a reaction and Sherri believes this mentality helped her daughter foster and nurture her own sense of responsibility. 

Why is responsibility important to children’s development? 

“Probably the most important thing is that you’ll have a better life,” Monke begins. The benefits of responsibility are endless. “Kids will have better relationships, they’ll do better in their career, they’ll be able to manage their home, their finances, everything.” When parents teach children  responsibility from an early age, they have a solid foundation to grow on, as they get older. 

Responsibility is a key trait people look for when they’re considering someone to work with or someone to be friends with. Monke attests to the fact that people are drawn to “someone [who] is dependable and responsible and will follow through on something that is their job or duty, whatever that may be.” This can, in turn, be foundational to developing other valuable traits. 

When a child learns responsibility, they learn about perseverance, patience, hard work, time management, accountability, and more. They learn the importance of following through with their tasks, developing this as a habit, without being told. In turn, they develop independence and feel needed as others recognize their reliability. 

What we teach camp counsellors ... is to allow the kids the time they need to figure it out. It’s really hard to do this as a parent.

When they develop responsibility at an early age, children gain experience in thinking through options in challenging situations. They learn personal accountability, grow problem-solving skills and improve decision-making. These all help children later, in real-world scenarios, as they face academic challenges, navigate the workforce and grow into adulthood. 

Monke sees that when children exercise responsibility in camp, it gives them empowerment and confidence. She believes that, “increased responsibility and becoming more capable [helps kids] gain confidence by actually doing things.” Give children independent tasks like vacuuming or putting their toys away, and they “feel so grown up ... they take the task so seriously.” 

How do social environments accelerate the growth of responsibility? 

The singular aspect about camps that encourages responsibility “is that your parents aren’t there,” says Monke. Knowing they can’t run back to their parents for help, they learn to figure things out on their own. “And also, the adults in charge have more children that they’re watching so by default, kids need to do more for themselves. It’s actually really good for kids to be in environments where they’re asked to be responsible for more than themselves.”

Something as simple as hanging a sweatshirt is an act of responsibility. At home, a parent might be more likely to do a task like this for them. “A default behaviour for parents is to just do [things] for [their] kids, especially when it’s expedient,” Monke explains. Of course, “default behaviour for kids is to wait ... and see if someone else is going to step in,” she adds. “What we teach camp counsellors ... is to allow the kids the time they need to figure it out.” She emphasizes that these tasks might then take longer to complete, but that’s necessary, to give children personal lessons in responsibility. ”It’s really hard to do this as a parent,” that’s why it benefits them to let children go to camp, she says. The thing to remember, though, is that these "experiences are really helpful for kids," as unique opportunities "to take responsibility.”

Want your child to enhance their responsibility?

If you find it difficult to step back and allow your child to learn responsibility, camp is a great teacher. At camp, children learn on their own, listen to instructions, work as a team, develop leadership skills, work as a team, and follow through with duties. The independence of camp fosters responsibility as they respond to situations without parents present. 



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