Children with Exceptionalities

Children with Exceptionalities

At Adventure Valley, we welcome children with exceptionalities.  Understanding our limitations to accommodate all exceptionalities, we work directly with our camp parents, the child’s teachers and support workers to determine how we can best serve the camper within our camp structure.  

For our campers who require the extra support, we have several options to provide support:

1) Adventure Valley Sunshine Staff 

Campers who require extra supervision and help can request to have one of our ‘Sunshine Counsellors’, at an additional cost of $200 per week. We have a limited amount of Sunshine Counsellors available and families are encouraged to plan ahead and register as soon as possible.

Adventure Valley Sunshine Counsellors are young adults who specifically request to work one on one with a child with exceptionalities. They are typically either pursuing a career in this space, or have had experience with children with exceptionalities at home. They are supported by our Head of Sunshine, a soon-to-be Spec Ed teacher with many years of experience in the field. 

Campers who request a Sunshine Counsellor must be registered in the following two week consecutive blocks:

July 2 – 12, 2024
July 15 – 26, 2024
July 29 – August 9, 2024
August 12 – 23, 2024

*Update January 2nd, 2024: Please note that all spots are currently booked for Summer 2024. Please inquire to be added to the waitlist. 

Please see the FAQ section at the bottom of this page for commonly asked Sunshine program questions! 

2) Cornerstone Private Support Workers

Children with higher support needs will usually require a professional EA with them. Our Sunshine Counsellors should be thought of as someone who can give their undivided attention to your child, who can tailor the program to suit their individual needs, and who can prompt your child to befriend others in the group. But, they are still a Camp Counsellor and not a professional. 

For those who have higher support needs, or those who wish to attend camp when our Sunshine Counsellors are sold out, Adventure Valley has partnered with Cornerstones Hamilton Special Needs Services. They will perform an intake with you and match a professional EA with your child. Please note that the fees for this option are dependent on a child’s needs and are charged directly by Cornerstone. 

Families with private support workers from Cornerstone may choose to attend a shortened day of camp with prorated fees. Please email to inquire. 

3) Private Support Workers 

We also welcome the option for families to hire a private support worker that accompanies their child to camp (no charge). 

Please let us know ahead of time if your child will be bringing a support worker. Once your worker is confirmed please ensure they have a recent Vulnerable Sector Check and please send us a copy.

Families with private support workers may choose to attend a shortened day of camp with prorated fees. Please email to inquire. 

Here are some examples of children who will likely require a Sunshine Counsellor: 

  • If your child requires extra support at school (i.e. a support worker or ECE attention)
  • If your child requires frequent breaks from group settings to support their self-regulation 
  • If your child is unable to remain in a group setting with their group’s established ratios independently

Please also keep in mind that camp is a very different environment to school. There is lots of stimulation at camp. Sometimes children who can manage at school without additional support need a Sunshine Counsellor at camp – and that’s okay! We want to ensure your child receives the support they need to thrive at camp. 

We can try, but unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we will have a Sunshine Counsellor available. If we cannot have your child at camp without a Sunshine Counsellor, but have none available, then you will be forced to withdraw your child from the program or find your own support worker. We recommend doing it the other way around – booking a Sunshine Counsellor in advance, and if camp deems it unnecessary after the first week, we can remove them.

Yes! An additional $60/week (beyond the regular extended care fee) will be charged to have a Sunshine Counsellor available during extended care hours.

This is very dependant on your camper, and their bus route! Please indicate interest in bussing for your child on your registration form, and the Camp Director or Head of Sunshine will reach out to you to discuss the details.