We answer some of the most common questions below. If your question still hasn’t been answered, please reach out to our office team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416 792 2772.
We look forward to hearing from you!
When does registration for my program start?
Registration dates vary depending on the desired program. Please visit a program’s page to see if registration dates have been posted and sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop!
What is pre-registration and am I eligible?
Pre-registration means that any participants who were registered in the same season the year before and their siblings can register early. Pre-registration reflects our value of long-term mentoring and is a privilege that we extend to returning families only. Pre-registration for a given season does not extend to families who have participated in other seasons, nor in the same season a few years prior. For example, if your family was registered for a summer camp in 2018, you’d receive pre-registration privileges for summer camp in 2019. If you are eligible, you will receive an email with details several weeks before pre-registration begins.
Why do I need to apply to register?
Applications are the first step in building our relationship with participants. Through the information provided in applications and follow-up conversations, we ensure that we can meet individual needs and provide a safe and enjoyable environment in which to learn. Application information received is addressed in confidence and we provide all applicants equal opportunity to participate in programs.
Can I register someone else’s child?
No. A child must be registered by a legal guardian.
Can I register my child in more than one session of a program?
We do allow participants to enrol in multiple school year programs (Outdoor School); however, we encourage families to enrol in only one session of the same program type as programming can be similar and space is limited. For Summer Day Camps, we limit each camper to two weeks of camp.
Do I need to pay for a program in full upon applying?
No. For nearly all of our programs, we only accept a deposit upon applying. Depending upon the program, the balance is either collected in full following acceptance or a payment plan is offered. Regardless of the program, if the payment structure creates financial hardship for your family, please reach out to our team at email@example.com to discuss a custom payment plan or other options.
Do you offer any financial support?
Yes! We offer financial support for the majority of our programs through our Bursary Fund. To find out more and to apply, please check out our Bursary Fund webpage.
What are your cancellation and registration policies?
What training do your staff have?
At Pine we recognize that each child’s journey of growth and connection to self, others and nature takes many paths. That’s why our staff have a wide range of expertise, including ecology, survival skills, arts and education. Our staff and volunteers are all first aid certified and have up to date background checks. To learn more about individual staff members, check out our Staff and Instructors page.
What is your ratio of staff to participants?
For the majority of our programs, our staff to participant ratio is 1 staff to 6 participants. Thanks to dedicated volunteers, the ratio of adults to children can be as low as 1:4. Outside of regular programming, such as during before and after care, our staff to participant ratio can be up to 1:8.
Do I need special clothing or gear to attend Pine programs?
Our programs run outside in all weather conditions, so it’s important to be well prepared. We provide a packing list for each program. This list generally includes weather-appropriate clothing and personal items, such as backpacks, food, water, etc. We also provide tips on how to dress for particularly tricky seasons. But personal gear doesn’t need to break the bank! Many of our participants buy second-hand, borrow from friends, or reach out to the Pine community about other creative options. Any specialized camping and program gear is provided.
We also offer families financial support for seasonal clothing and gear. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Where do programs take place?
Our program locations range from Norval to Toronto to Muskoka! Within Toronto, we run programs at two main locations – King’s Mill Park/Etienne Brule Park in the “West End” and Taylor Creek Park in the “East End”. Check out our Program Locations page for more information. For all other programs, locations are listed on program pages and directions are provided following registration.
What are the group sizes?
For the majority of our programs, groups are a maximum of 12 participants; however, there can be exceptions.
My child wants to be grouped with a friend. Is this possible?
For camps and other programs where groups are created after registration, a friend request form can be submitted following registration. We do our very best to accommodate all requests provided friends are in the same age category, but cannot make guarantees.
Do you cancel programs because of weather?
No! At Pine, we strongly believe that playing outside in all weather fosters resilience and is a crucial part of children’s growth. Programs will run consistently throughout all seasons in all weather conditions, unless particularly severe weather makes transport or programs dangerous.
On especially cold days, we dress in layers and employ strategies to stay warm, such as keeping active, building fires, finding shelter, and setting up a tent or tarps. On especially hot days, we employ strategies to keep cool, such as staying in the shade, limiting our physical activity, applying sunscreen regularly, and drinking plenty of water.
We have comprehensive health and safety procedures and emergency plans to ensure the group’s safety in all weather conditions. Please contact our office team at 416-792-2772 if you have any questions or concerns.
Are there ticks at program?
Black-legged ticks exist in Ontario, including Toronto city parks. However, by educating ourselves on how to prevent, identify and remove ticks, we can enjoy nature without fear of ticks. We do our best to teach tick awareness to participants in a positive and clear way. We also suggest that you inform yourself on ticks by reading the information sheet from the Ontario Government at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/lyme-disease
How do you manage risk at programs?
At Pine, we don’t avoid all risks. Taking on small, measured risks allows children to learn boundaries and experience natural consequences. We teach campers to manage risks and build skills to make good decisions.
Many children will have the opportunity to practice skills like carving or sawing, with support and supervision by our experienced instructors. With that being said, the responsibility of using carving tools also comes with the possibility of injury. All of these activities will be introduced in a progressive manner to ensure that children learn and grow while staying safe.