The Hitchhiker's Guide to Camp Banting

Don't forget your towel.
 

Our People: Volunteers, Staff, and Leadership

The heart, soul, and pancreas of our camp.
 
Sarah Lawrence, MD FRCSC

Sarah Lawrence, MD FRCSC

Medical Director & Chair

Dr. Sarah has nearly two decades of experience working with the children and medical staff of Camp Banting.  She’s been a positive impact in the lives of hundreds of families, her care and compassion an unmistakable color of her character.

Dr. Sarah is Chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Division at CHEO, where she also serves as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics. She returns again to Camp Banting this summer to direct the medical care at camp.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard

Executive Director

Andrew first met Camp Banting in 1992, as a teenage lifeguard at Banting’s host camp, Camp Opemikon.  He’s since continued a career in youth development that spanned two decades with organizations like the YMCA, Scouts Canada, and Diabetes Canada.

Andrew returned to Camp Banting in 2008, serving as its Assistant Director until 2011.  He currently works as a human development coach and studies graduate psychology through Harvard University.

Sarah Hamilton

Sarah Hamilton

Camp Director

Sarah grew up at Camp Banting; from camper to camp director, she has called Banting home for over 20 years. Committing herself fully to the mission of helping families living with TID, Sarah started her career with Diabetes Canada in Government Relations and Advocacy, then onto working full time with the D-Camps team. Currently, she coordinates the Diabetes Program at CHEO. Sarah has been involved in youth-based diabetes programming for over 13 years, across Canada. In her spare time, she tackles life living with T1D. 

 

Danielle McVicar

Danielle McVicar

Chief Operations Officer

There are only a handful of leaders like Danielle in the T1D community.  Starting her path long ago as a camper at Camp Banting, Danielle went on to work as staff at the camp for nine seasons.  She then furthered her experience with Diabetes Canada’s D-Camps team, running camps for kids and families across Western Canada.

Most recently, Danielle represented Canada at the 2017 International Diabetes Federation Congress in Abu Dhabi.

Camp Committee

Our camp is an undertaking of community, fueled by the passion of its people.  Our history is unique in that we’ve never owned our own facility.  We show up with our people and our gear (and trunks full of costumes!) and we create belonging for our campers.

Camp Banting’s Camp Committee is an inter-disciplinary, inter-organizational group of stakeholders that steward this community-based endeavour.  It’s a group that represents our medical team, program staff, facility partners, and organizational partners.  We work together in an atmosphere of cooperative trust, with our North Star always being the experience of our campers.

This is far from just an admistrative body.  It’s in the dedication, humor, and tireless enthusiasm of this group where the magic of camp finds its spark every season.

Medical Staff and Camp Counsellors

Every year, rainbow unicorns descend from the sky and glittering narwhals emerge from the seas.  These fantastical beasts deliver us our medical and program staff.  Now, we’ve never actually seen these magical creatures drop off their cargo, but our staff and volunteers are extraordinary.  This is our best guess as to where they come from.

Our medical team is made up of doctors, nurses, dietitians, residents, endocrine fellows, interns, and students.  This team is coordinated under the supervision of Dr. Sarah, and ensures that diabetes care is tightly monitored and carefully personalized for every camper at camp.

Almost all of our camp counsellors live with T1D, and many grew up coming to Camp Banting.  This puts a high level of peer support and leadership in every one of our cabins.  Our campers don’t just make friendships and learn from other kids, they get the leadership of gorgeous souls who have been through the same challenges.

Camp Banting COVID Response

Protecting the health, safety and well-being of our campers and camp community remains our top priority. Camp Banting is working in collaboration with hospital partners in pediatric endocrinology, facility partners and public health officials to establish plans around screening, testing, and capacities to best protect our campers from COVID-19. We will circulate our safety plans in June.  At this point we anticipate vaccination against COVID-19 being a prerequisite to attending the camp program.

Our Facility: The YMCA-YWCA Bonnenfant Outdoor Education and Leadership Centre

A partnership that spans sixty-five years.
 

A Full Service Facility

The Bonnenfant Y Outdoor Leadership and Education Centre is located ten minutes north of Kanata on 30 acres of field, forest and rugged Ottawa River shoreline.

Open year-round, the centre specializes in education and leadership programs for school groups, community organizations and professionals, and offers a variety of experiential, curriculum-driven outdoor education programs that can be tailored to the individual needs of any group.

The program staff at Bonnenfant work in partnership with the Camp Banting team to host our camp’s activities.  We rely on the expertise of the centre’s staff in areas like lifeguarding, boating instruction, ropes course and climbing wall instruction; to name a few.

The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region has made significant investments to all areas of the facility over the past several years, making it an ideal place to host Camp Banting.

Professional Foodservice

The renovated dining hall, known as The Chalet, can accommodate up to 90 people in its main hall.  Foodservice staff at the Bonnenfant Centre work in tandem with our dietetic team. Together, they ensure that nutritious, healthy, and carb-counted meal choices are served in accordance with each camper’s meal plan.

Each camper tests blood sugar levels before the start of each meal.  Taken with any trends identified during the course of the day, medical staff work with the campers to set appropriate carb targets for that meal.  Our medical staff either deliver or supervise insulin injections or boluses for the meal.

Regular snacks are also a part of camp life, with our cabin groups taking a break in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon to test blood sugars and keep energy up.  We all meet in the dining hall at night after our evening program to test and snack together.  This nighttime snack often breaks out into spontaneous dance parties before our cool-down campfire right before bed!

Scenic Accommodations

Nestled in the forest, the Bonnenfant Centre has several well-appointed cabins for our campers.

Pictured here is a cabin in our cabin loop, where most of our camper population stays.  These cabins sleep two cabin groups of eight campers each.  Campers stay in rooms of four.

Campers are supervised at all times while in the cabin, by at least two counsellors at a time.  Our counsellors stay in the large front room of the cabin and are available at all times to the campers.

At night, a small team of medical staff circulate through the cabins to do blood sugar tests every few hours.  This team of night monitors treat any camper blood sugars that are out of range.  Some campers sleep right through these tests, others laugh over breakfast with their cabin mates about how many times they got tested!

Our Program: What We Do

Check out what powers our fireworks.
 

Aquatics & Swimming

We’ve got a long stretch of Ottawa River shoreline.  This includes a large swimming area where campers can swim and receive aquatics instruction.

Low Ropes

Low ropes courses consist of separate elements, a bit like an obstacle course, that provide unique teambuilding opportunities for our campers.

High Ropes

Three separate high ropes areas provide campers with a jungle gym in the sky for campers to explore and build confidence.

Rock Climbing

Towering above the camp, the climbing wall provides challenge for campers of all ages and skill levels.

Arts & Crafts

A classic favorite of camps, Arts & Crafts provide the opportunity for campers to get creative in a social, supportive environment.

Drama

Whose line is it anyway?  Campers learn how to do improv through drama games and working through short scenes.

Outdoor Living Skills

How do you move with a map and compass? How do you build a fire?  We learn by doing in Outdoor Living Skills!

Canoeing & Kayaking

With a fleet of canoes and kayaks the endless kilometers of the Ottawa River provide a playground for campers to learn paddlesports.

Nature Hikes

With forest, hills, and shoreline to choose from, spending time to learn and appreciate the natural world is a basic aim of camp.

Team Sports

Ultimate frisbee, touch football, soccer, and capture the flag are all games we play in cooperative, teambased ways to promote health.

A Day in the Life of Camp

Come see camp through the eyes of our campers.
 
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