It’s OK to be excited—and nervous—for summer camp!

By Dovercourt Recreation Centre

With just two months to go, we are feeling all the possible feelings about summer camp—excitement, anticipation, and apprehension—to name a few. With lots of questions lingering and very few answers, we know that many families are still wondering “what will summer camp be like?” Well, here’s what we know for sure.


It won’t be like this:


But we also know it won’t be like this:


It will be something called “2021-normal-ish”; more like this:

With screen-time maxed out for the year, every board game in the house played (even Monopoly) more than once, and enough quality family time to last a generation, parents need a break. And so do kids. Kids only get two months off from whatever sort of virtual/home/in-person school they’ve been doing and at Dovercourt, we’re working harder than ever to make sure that we make the most of it. With about 500 kids coming to Dovercourt this summer, we decided to ask them what they are excited about the most, and the responses were (no surprise) entirely related to being with other kids!


“I am excited about making new friends at camp!”  ~ Ethan, age 6

“Going to camp with my friend because we will be doing a camp together for the first time” ~ Olivia, age 6

“Making a bunch of new friends!” ~ Tristan, age 8

“swimming and adventuring with new friends” ~ Maddie, age 7

“To be with other people!” ~ Norah, age 7

“I want to meet new friends and play with them!” ~ Lauren, age 5


Payton (8yrs) is looking forward to “Wizard camp” and Phoebe (6yrs) is most excited for “SLIME CAMP! CAN’T WAIT!!” So are we, Phoebe. So are we. 

Marian (5yrs) is feeling “a bit shy” and we know some of our staff are feeling nervous as well. It’s been a strange year but our dedication to ensuring a safe, fun, and high-quality experience for kids and staff has not changed one bit. Our hugs remain distanced and our high fives won’t touch but we will sing louder, run faster, and smile wider (so you can see from behind our masks).

It’s true, many of our camps are full. But for parents still looking for a fun outdoor experience, don’t give up hope. We are working hard with some local like-minded organizations who also want to get your kids outside, social, and active this summer.

We have just partnered up with the Ottawa River Musky Factory to offer three full weeks of Fishing Camp. Each camper even gets their own rod and tackle box to keep!

We are working closely with long-time friends and partners at Ottawa City Rafting and the Kitchissippi Centre to bring you River & Forest School 2021 and yes, fingers crossed, White Water Rafting! Check out the “Great Outdoors” category in our online summer camp registration for more details.

We are worried and excited and share all of those feelings that we know campers are feeling too. And we also know that no matter what else is going on in the world, the magic of summer camp has a way of filling up our days with laughter and enough memories to keep us going another year.