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Heath and Safety

Note: This document has been updated to reflect changes to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and must comply with the regulations set forth in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. This manual provides guidelines for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for campers, staff and visitors in accordance with Ontario regulations. 


Explorer Hop is vitally interested in the health and safety of its employees, campers and visitors. Protecting employees, campers and visitors from harassment, violence, injury or occupational disease is a major continuing objective. We will make every effort to provide a safe and healthy work environment. All supervisors and workers must be dedicated to the continuing objective of reducing risk of injury. Explorer Hop is ultimately responsible for worker and camper health and safety and will take every reasonable precaution possible for the protection of our employees, campers, and visitors. 

In pursuit of our commitment, Explorer Hop will develop, implement, and enforce policies and procedures that promote and provide a healthier, safer work environment. We understand the importance of safety to the well-being and productivity of our people, and strive to safeguard the workplace from injury and misconduct through neglect of duty towards safety. Explorer Hop will act in compliance with federal and Ontario workplace health and safety legislation.


Explorer Hop Summer Day Camps are an excellent way for students to have fun and learn new skills while staying active during their summer break. However, it is important to ensure the safety and well-being of all camp participants. This manual provides guidelines for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for campers and staff.

Emergency Procedures

Emergency Contact Information: All camp staff members should have a list of emergency contact information including names, phone numbers, and addresses for each camper. This information is to be kept in a secure location and only accessed by authorized personnel at Explorer Hop.

Emergency Communication: A system will  be established to quickly communicate any emergency situations to all staff members, parents, and emergency services. This may include a phone tree, two-way radios, or other communication devices. Each location will have different emergency communication plans in conjunction with the rental authorities we are renting space from, and this will be provided prior to the camp starting.


Fire Safety 

Explorer Hop’s camp counsellors will check and document with the staff at the location being rented about regular inspection of all fire protection facilities and equipment at the camp location. Camp counselors should introduce themselves to the maintenance and management staff at the location and get a full understanding of emergency procedures prior to the start of camp.

Plan to prevent and respond to fires:

  • The first priority is the evacuation of the children, before any attempts are made to extinguish a fire. This topic of fire drills will be addressed in the staff and camper orientation section of the plan. 
  • Camp counselors and campers not allowed to be near any open fires, nor should there be any open fires at any of the locations we rent.
  • A significant component of the fire safety program must be fire prevention. It will be an integral part of the pre-camp training for staff, and be part of their daily activities. A partial list of the things to look for, and report daily, are frayed or improperly placed electrical wires, overuse of extension cords, collection of combustible materials sufficient to cause excessive fire loads such as paper and cardboard, improper storage of flammable liquids, and communication with the staff in the rental facility.
  • The camp counsellors are responsible for understanding the fire safety plan and identifying exits and exit signs. Staff and campers should know these locations and how to use them. 
  • A safe meeting point for each location needs to be identified. 
  • The second means of exiting should be as far as possible from the main exit. Camp counselors are required to maintain exits and exit ways free of all obstructions.
  • Camp counselors are required to explain exiting the building to campers on their first day in camp. 
  • Counselors are required to perform fire drills. They will assist and direct this drill so it will run smoothly and rapidly. Include simulating drills from various buildings during training, to find any possible problems in exiting and eliminate them before campers participate.
  • All camp counselors will learn what to do in case of a fire during the pre-camp orientation and to the campers during their own orientation. Then practice it at least 3 times during the season, once within the first week  of the start of camp and at least twice thereafter.
  • Fire extinguishers must be provided by the facility we are renting from and the location needs to confirm that it has been tested and inspected.  

Designate a fire safety coordinator

The Fire Safety Coordinator will be the staff of the facility where the camp is renting space. Camp counsellors are required to introduce themselves and get to know them. They are also required to go through any Fire Safety procedures.   

Follow the action plan 

a) Sound the alarm. 

At the first sight of flames, smell of smoke or notification that there is a fire in camp, the alarm system would be activated. And contact the facility contact for fire safety.

b)  Notify the Fire Department. 

The camp Counsellors will notify the Fire Department by dialling 911 by providing the phone number and the address of the building, information known to them, and the location of the fire. The Fire Department emergency number, 911, will be posted on the camp walls.

c) Evacuate the building.
  • Each counselor should know and have a direct visual of each camper in his or her group at all times. Take a quick head count. 
  • While important, the speed of emptying a building should be secondary to maintaining proper order and discipline for proper and prompt evacuation. 
  • Have at least 2 escape routes for every room, a normal route and an emergency route if the normal route is not passable. 
  • Keep calm. Never try to hide. 
  • If the room is smoky, crawl along the floor. Feel the doors; if they are warm, do not open them. When you leave a room, close the door behind you. If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop to the ground and roll around. If there is a fire of any size - GET OUT - DO NOT TRY TO EXTINGUISH IT. CAMPER AND STAFF SAFETY IS A PRIORITY.  
d) Assemble, take attendance, notify authorities of anyone unaccounted for. 
  • The camp Counsellor/ director will be the person to meet the arriving Fire Department units to explain where the fire is located or whatever knowledge they have  and inform them of any other pertinent information. 
  • If the camp Counsellor has informed the local rental facility staff of the fire they do not need to inform the fire department and can continue with looking after the campers. 
  • After evacuating the camp, assemble everyone at a prearranged place, at a safe distance from the building. 
  • As soon as the camp is assembled outside, take a roll call. 
  • If a camper is missing, check all other places; ask the other campers on the last known whereabouts of those missing. Notify firefighters immediately and call 911.



Medication & First Aid Procedures


Emergency Medical Supplies: The camp should have first aid kits available at all times. In addition, camp counselors should have a charged and fully functioning phone on them at all times with the ability to call 911 should the need arise. Camp counselors are required to make themselves known to the security and maintainence  staff in the locations we rent and get their contact details saved in their phones so that in the event that an emergency, additional help can be requested.

Camp Counselors are required to complete an incident report for all medical, emergency and other non routine events.

Administering Medications: Camp counsellors are not authorized to administer or store medication. This includes over-the-counter medication.  

Illness and Injury

Any camper who becomes ill or injured should be attended to immediately. If necessary, the camper should be isolated and the appropriate medical attention sought. The camp Counsellor should follow the policy for handling communicable diseases and should report any outbreaks to Explorer Hop staff who can contact  local health authorities as required. Camp counsellors are required to complete an incident report for all health events.

First aid procedures

Parents are required to give permission for basic first aid (band aids and antiseptic cream). These can only be administered if parents have provided the required permissions and waivers. If parents have not provided them, then the parents need to be contacted and pick up of the child is necessary until waiver can be obtained. 

Use of epi-pens

Campers need to be able to use their own epi-pens and should carry their own epi-pens with them.  Camp counsellors need to be informed of allergies.  Once the epi-pen is injected by the camper, the Counsellor will call 911 and the parent.  The camper will receive medical treatment on-site from the first responders. Camp counsellors are not able to determine whether or not further hospitalization is needed. If parents have arrived on the scene they make that determination otherwise the camper will be sent unaccompanied to the hospital with the first responders. Camp counsellors are not able to inject epi pens unless there is specific clear permission from parents and waivers are signed.

All other medical emergencies: 911 will be called. Parents will be informed and the child will be sent unescorted to the hospital. 

Immunization Records: COVID vaccine status is recommended for all campers, however, parents may choose to not share this information. 



Camp Counsellor training 

Explorer Hop’s staff will keep daily journals and documentations on every step. They will be responsible for developing and fostering meaningful relationships with students, while collaborating with other counselors to ensure a cohesive learning environment for everyone. They will keep reports on each activity at each school and program site. Adjustments to the program curriculum can be made quickly to meet students or participants needs. Logistically, Explorer Hop will also abide by location and/or premises’ requirements, rules and regulations.

Staff training

During staff orientation, the camp counsellors will review all supervision requirements of camp activities. Address the supervision of campers between activities and during free time. Explain the ratios, policies, and procedures in place to supervise campers. 

Staff training includes:

  • Tour of Camp
  • Description of Hazards
  • Designating Off-Limit Areas 

Explorer Hop staff members should tour the camp facilities. This includes off-limit areas, hazardous areas, and areas not routinely used, to familiarize staff with the area if a camper is lost and a search is essential. Explorer Hop staff training also includes familiarizing staff with the surrounding communities, being aware of neighboring landmarks, and the best route accessible to subway or bus stations. 

Provision of First Aid and Emergency 

Assistance Explorer Hop employees will be equipped with basic First Aid which can only be administered with parent approval. 

Supervision & Activity Safety

The camp director will ensure that constant and competent supervision is provided to all campers at all times of camp operation. Constant and competent supervision means: for children age 7 years and above, constant and competent supervision means taking into account the child’s age, emotional, physical and cognitive development, and includes awareness of and responsibility for the ongoing activity of each child and requires that all children be near enough to camp staff such that staff can respond immediately if assistance is required. Campers will not supervise children when they are in the washroom. 

Camp counsellors are responsible for supervision practices, including: 

  • Routine activities in the camp day, including quiet times, travel between activities, meals, and the activities themselves. 
  • Counsellors are to maintain visual and/or verbal communication with campers at all times.
  • Counsellors should be aware of unusual or emergency situations that modify the routine activity plan. 

Activity Supervision: All activities should be supervised by trained staff members. This includes sports, games, arts, crafts, workshops and any other activities offered at the camp. Supervisors should ensure that campers are following all safety rules and procedures and intervene when necessary to prevent injuries or unsafe behaviour.

Facility Safety

Equipment and Facilities: All camp equipment and facilities should be inspected regularly to ensure they are safe and in good condition. Any equipment or facilities found to be unsafe should be repaired or replaced immediately. Should this arise, camp counsellors are required to immediately inform Explorer Hop via email at and inform the staff at the rented location.  The contact of who to contact at each location will be provided.

Hydration: Campers should have access to plenty of water and be encouraged to drink water frequently, especially during hot weather. Prior to the start of the camp, safe water fountains/ drinkable water sources will be identified. 

Food Safety: 

All food must be prepared by families at home and no food is provided during camp, and it must be stored in a sealed container. All food co Ahmed has to be NUT FREE. This rule will be strictly enforced for safety reasons. 

Peanut/Nut-Free Policy

No foods containing peanuts or nuts are to be brought into camp.

Foods labelled “may contain traces of peanuts/nuts” or “made on machinery which manufactures peanuts/nuts” may NOT be brought for individual consumption due to the risk of children with allergies being impacted. 

Health Policies

Reporting of Illnesses and Incidents

Explorer Hop encourages all campers to report to camp staff and counselors on any illness or injuries upon arrival or underlying diseases. Make campers aware that any form of physical or sexual abuse must be reported to the health director, counselor or other staff member. Explain to campers that if they feel uncomfortable telling a particular staff member about an incident, there is other staff willing to listen and assist them. Under Covid 19 rules, where applicable, all campers are required to be fully vaccinated. 



Camper procedures

Explorer Hop is fully dedicated to full camper procedures on making sure every camper is aware of the important rules and regulations, both on and off the camp premises and locations listed. Campers are to report to camp counselors or Explorer Hop staff for any concerns that may arise or of concern to them, however big or small. All progress will be fully documented and monitored in respect and alignment with the health and safety regulations. 

Playground Safety Checks

Explorer Hop staff will check playground safety, and make sure playgrounds with protective surfaces, behaviors include

  • Check the playground for glass and other hazards. 
  • Check equipment prior to use. 
  • No wet equipment are used unless if it has just rained.
  • Make sure the play area can safely accommodate the number of children.
  • Strictly enforce the safe use of equipment.

Before students use the playground, instructions would be given to students regarding use of playgrounds. 

Clear outline safe and appropriate behaviors will be delivered to students which ensures everyone knows what to do and not to do. 

Rules include but are not limited to: 

1) No pushing, shoving, or hitting.

2) No teasing, bullying, or saying unkind words.

3) No staying on a piece of playground equipment for more than ten minutes if there is someone waiting.

4) Students should only be using equipment intended for their age.

5) No running or playing tag on or around playground equipment.

Camper sign-in/sign-out 

At the beginning of the camp day, campers are requested to sign in by a parent or other authorized adult, unless otherwise noted in the documentation for self check-out. They will sign their name and list anyone that is authorized to pick the camper up. 

At the end of the camp day, each camper must be signed out by a parent or other authorized adult upon departure, unless otherwise noted in the documentation for self check-out. A camper will not be permitted to leave with a person who is not on the “Persons Designated to Pick Up” list. Explorer Hop staff will request to check a government-issued ID for any person picking up the camper.

Following is a Summer Camp Sign in & out Form:

Explorer Hop Summer Camp Sign in & out Form

Camper Name

Sign In By 

Sign Out By 

Person to Pick up 

Camp counselors may not allow campers to leave the premises at any time unless there is specific parent approval and waivers for it.

Camper Orientation

Camper Orientation includes: 

  • Tour of Camp
  • Description of Hazards
  • Designating Off-Limit Areas

All campers must receive a tour of camp. Most Explorer Hop programs are in rented areas such as schools, community centers, churches or commercial premises. In addition to camp facilities such as bathrooms, office and eating areas, potentially hazardous areas to all campers will be identified, include: 

  • Slippery surfaces e.g. wet or dusty surfaces.
  • Worn or torn surfaces such as carpets, corridors
  • Changes in floor heights, unidentified steps from construction areas
  • Obstructions such as items stored in the corridors, e.g books, school materials
  • Poor housekeeping that could collect dust and increase air pollution

Campers should be made aware of off limit areas or out of bounds, restricted access. 

Staff Orientation

The following topics will be addressed at the Staff Orientation meetings:

  • The chain of command in the camp.
  • Supervision of campers (ratios, methods, etc.).
  • Acceptable and unacceptable methods for disciplining campers. (code of conduct)
  • Recognition and reporting of abuse allegations of any kind.
  • Reporting of injuries and illness, and sick calls to next of kin.

Staff-to-Camper(student)Ratio: A ratio of at least one staff member for every 20 campers is recommended, with additional staff members needed for younger or special needs campers.

Staff check in /check out 

Camp counselors are also required to check in /check out with the staff of the rented space daily during camp to confirm their arrival and departure. The check in / check out can take part in many ways including in person, by text or email as long as the staff in the rental locations have provided a bonafide email or phone to communicate with. 

Discipline safety

A discipline policy should be established and implemented by camp staff. 

  • Discipline should address correcting unacceptable behavior. 
  • Staff response to expected camper behavior problems should be thoroughly addressed. 
  • Some discipline practices are unacceptable. Corporal punishment, humiliating treatment, frightening methods, punishment associated with food, rest or isolation and using foul or abusive language are considered child abuse or neglect; such practices are strictly prohibited. 
  • When a discipline problem needs additional support beyond the group’s counselor, the supervisory chain of command is utilized and parents need to be informed. 
  • Discipline solutions could extend to involvement of the parent of the camper.

All camp counsellors are required to complete an incident report where disciplinary action was used.

Behaviour Management: Camp staff should be trained in behaviour management techniques to help prevent conflicts and resolve disputes among campers. Supervisors should intervene immediately if they observe any unsafe or inappropriate behaviour, and should provide positive reinforcement for good behaviour.

By implementing a comprehensive supervision plan, summer day camps in Explorer Hop can ensure that campers are safe and well-supervised throughout their participation.


Explorer Hop’s mentors will provide a formal assessment of the students' progress and grades. Suggestions are taken very seriously, in order to achieve outstanding results and to improve on subsequent programs and camps. Surveys completed by teachers and feedback by participants truly reflect the success levels of our program. Explorer Hop consolidates thousands of reflections each year for students' communication and written assignments. The hands-on approach is also a useful tool to help the students write and communicate clearly. All in all, Explorer Hop is fully dedicated to fostering students’ self confidence, academic excellence, independent learning and leadership skills to prepare them for university and young adulthood. 

Report abuse

It is at the top of Explorer Hop’s priority to take the wellbeing of employees and campers very seriously. Explorer Hop would not tolerate abuse of any kind, verbal or non verbal, physical or non physical regardless of gender, race, color, language, religion, sexual orientation. It is against Explorer Hop’s principles, and would not allow such occurrence to interfere with the smooth functioning of Explorer Hop projects, partnerships, and curriculum. Explorer Hop employees are required to make campers aware that any form of physical or sexual abuse must be reported to the health director, counselor or other staff members. They will be the listening ear for any incidents. No exceptions will be tolerated.

Camp Counselors are required to complete an incident report when abuse occurred. 


The health and safety of all campers, staff, and visitors is a top priority. By following these guidelines and maintaining a safe and healthy environment, summer day camps can provide a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved. 

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