Life Lessons learned at summer camp

For many, summer day camp is something that is a family tradition and enjoyed each and every year. Summer camp provides kids with an outlet for activity but also life lessons. From learning how to make friends to new skills, children can learn lessons that they take with them for the rest of their life. Read on to find out what life-lessons children acquire from summer camp.

Making Friends

For many children, summer day camp is a time when they learn how to make new friends. Most children do not know the other kids at summer camp. They must learn how to interact with kids their own age who they are not familiar with. Being in groups and taking part in activities at summer day camp will help your child to learn how to make friends and be open with others. This is a life lesson that carries on well into adulthood for making friends in the workplace.

Gaining Self-Confidence

Children can be quite shy and have a hard time learning how to build self-confidence. Children can be scared to try new things or take part in group activities. At summer day camp, kids begin to learn how to build self-confidence. Your child can quickly move out from under their shell and start to develop a strong sense of self-worth and self-confidence. They will be encouraged by camp counselors and their peers which helps them to have an overall good sense of self that is carried on into adulthood.

Working Well with Others

Children who have no siblings can have a hard time learning how to work well with others. At camp, children are put in groups with other kids and have to learn how to work together to reach a common goal. Children who attend summer camp quickly learn how to get along with others, learning how to work out differences and get along. Summer camp exposes an only child to how group activities work and how sharing and working together can be beneficial. These can be hard qualities to teach a child on your own and summer camp provides such experiences.

Future Goals

Because summer camp is a fun experience, many young children look forward to being a camp counselor as they get older. From a young age, summer camp can lead children in the right direction, towards leadership and an interest in helping others. Children who attend Zodiac Day Camp programs have the opportunity to take part in CIT programs which is a counselor in training option. Kids learn basic leadership skills and how to work with children, with employment opportunities offered in the future.

Overall, summer camp offers kids a great outlet for entertainment as well as the ability to learn life lessons. Help your child to develop into a quality adult by exposing them to everything summer day camp has to offer. At Zodiac Day Camp, we offer quality camp options for all age groups and activity levels.

It’s your responsibility: Backyard Pool Safety

Backyard swimming pools are a great way for homeowners to enjoy the hot summer months. With a swimming pool, you can host pool parties or simply just spend time with family and friends. However, with owning a backyard swimming pool comes great responsibility. Homeowners need to practice backyard pool safety at all times, ensuring everyone stays safe and that children are supervised at all times. It is recommended that children take part in private swimming lessons so that they can be ready to enjoy the water, understanding every aspect of water safety.

Hours of summer fun can be enjoyed with a backyard swimming pool with proper safety. A swimming pool or hot tub requires great responsibility and anyone enjoying the pool must understand the rules of the house as well as basic water safety to ensure everyone is safe and secure when in the water. Drownings take place within the home, particularly involving young children who have access to the pool without a gate in place. By following simple safety protocols, children as well as adults can stay safe when visiting your home.

Tips for Keeping Your Backyard Pool Safe

  • To begin with backyard pool safety, you will need to have a fence in place that has as self-closing gate. This will ensure the gate stays close and the area is restricted. You will want to check local laws to see what requirements are in regards to fencing and a swimming pool within your property.
  • Pool rules must be established. This can be making sure everyone swims with a partner, children have adult supervision at all times, no glass around the pool, no running, etc.
  • Do not allow diving. Most backyard pools are not deep enough for diving to be safe. Ensure no one is diving in the swimming pool.
  • Have safety items in place nearby such as throwing assists, first aid kid and telephone in case of emergency.
  • Create a plan of action so that everyone at the pool knows what to do in case of an emergency. This can include safety equipment, procedures during an emergency and an emergency signal.
  • Do not allow the use of alcohol or drugs near the pool. This can only increase the chances of an accident or even death.
  • When a portable pool is used, empty the water when not in use.
  • When an above ground pool is used, be sure to remove any steps or the ladder when the pool is not in use to avoid access by small children.
  • Hot tub temperatures need to be regulated and infants, toddlers and pregnant women should not enter the water.

Overall, it is important to follow these tips and never leave a child unattended, even for a few seconds. Accidents happen all the time and it is best to always supervise rather than leave children alone.

At Zodiac Swim School, water safety classes are readily available including swimming lessons for children. Contact us today to find out how you can enroll your child in a quality swimming program.

Learn more about what Zodiac Day Camp has to offer you and your family

If you are looking for Toronto summer camps, then look no further than Zodiac Day Camp. For years, this camp has provided quality summer camp programs for children in Toronto and the surrounding areas. Kids of all ages can take part in specialty programs as well as day camps for certain age groups or activities. From tiny tots to teens, Zodiac Day Camp offers a long list of camp options to keep your kids busy throughout the year.

Each summer, Zodiac Day Camp offers specialized summer day camp programs for kids of all ages. Children will experience a professionally-run day camp with exciting programs and activities. Only the best equipment and supplies are used within the state of the art facilities located at the Leo Baeck Day School, South Campus, adjacent Cedervale Park and nearby Forest Hill C.I. Pool.

Children will get to enjoy singing, dress-up days and additional themed programming for a ton of fun. Children can take part in indoor and outdoor activities, making new friends and learning new skills they can continue to use into adulthood.

Camp Tamarack

One exciting option offered is Camp Tamarack. This overnight camp option takes place in Muskoka on a private lake. Campers are introduced to the great facilities of Tamarack with multi-faceted programming with fun and spirited excitement that can only be experienced at summer camp. To introduce your child to the summer camp experience, Zodiac Day Camp offers the Taste of Tamarack weekends. 6 to 11-year-old campers can take part in an introductory overnight camp and then decide to come back for longer sessions.

Summer Day Camp

For day camp options, Zodiac Day Camp covers the board from offering swimming lessons to sports and the arts. Children ages 2.0 to 4 and 4 to 6.5 can take part in the Kid-Vantage program for specialized activities or children ages 2.5 to 4 can enjoy half or three-quarter day fun within the Zodiac Day Care program. Specialty camp options are also on offer so you can find something for your child to enjoy based on their age group as well as favourite activities.

The Leadership Experience and Development program is offered for teens via Zodiac Day Camp along with the Counsellor-in-Training program. Teens can learn advanced leadership skills to carry on into their high school career, even earning eventual employment at one of our camp programs.

Overall, Zodiac Day Camp offers a wealth of programming for children of all ages. Your child can easily find something to enjoy during the summer months to stay busy and active. Once enrolled, your child will be able to make new friends and learn a variety of new skills by taking part in group and individual activities. Contact our office today to find out more about what camp options are open to your child and how to enroll. You will be happy to see your child thrive and learning new things while enjoying new activities this summer.

Enjoy summer activities while you can as it soon will be over

Every year, summer seems to come and go with the drop of a hat. Summer is only a few weeks long then kids are back to school and homework. The summer months are supposed to be a fun time, with activities on the schedule and time with friends. However, parents quickly learn that summer can go by pretty fast and they tend to neglect to schedule fun outings or summer camp and soon enough summer is over. Take time to find out what options are offered to you so that your child can enjoy summer camp programs, fun time with friends and new experiences while summer is in session.

Stay Active with Swim Camp

One of the most fun activities to look forward to in the summer months is swimming. Swimming is a cool activity that feels great and is most enjoyed during the hot summer months. One option for your child is to enroll in swim school. Children can take part in swimming lessons with kids their own age and be able to enhance their swimming skills. At Zodiac Swim School, the low-ratio programming means your child will be able to learn in a small group. The private swim school offers a host of swimming lesson options for all ages and skill levels. Your child can return year after year to hone their skills and learn how to stay safe in the water.

Day Camp

Summer day camp programs are another example as to how your child can stay active this summer. Children need activities and things to do on a regular basis to stay busy. With summer camp, your child has something new to look forward to each day. For a few hours a day, your child can have fun taking part in various sports, arts & crafts, music and more.

Children of all ages can attend day camp, with several options offered at Zodiac Day Camp. The Kid-Vantage Program is one example of what you can expect for summer camp. With this program, campers ages 2 -4 can enjoy a half-day Adult & Tot program  and campers ages 4 – 6.5 can enjoy a full day program. Children will have access to specialty programs with swimming fun and outdoor sports on the agenda. Your child will have a great time as they spend time away from home, making new friends and enjoying fun activities.

For older kids, Zodiac Day Camp offers specialty programs as well. From L.E.A.D. to C.I.T there are programs to provide your teen with learning opportunities that include leadership skills. Children often attend the day camp and move on to the leadership programs as they grow older.

At Zodiac Day Camp, there is a wealth of opportunity available for your child. Find out how your youngster or teen can stay busy this summer by becoming involved in a variety of program options. You will find that your child thrives by having the option to enjoy fun activities all summer long!

Unplugging this summer and why this is so beneficial to our children

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Today’s kids are very tech savvy. It seems almost everything we do these days requires some type of technical knowledge and our children are paying the price. From a young age, children learn how to use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and can have a hard time unplugging. Many kids spend their summers online instead of enjoying the outdoors or taking part in activities. The summer months should be spent taking part in fun activities such as summer camp programs, exercise, time with friends, etc.

Tech Dependency

Many studies have shown that children have become dependent on tech devices. As children are using mobile devices more and more they find that being without a device takes them outside of their comfort zone. Children need to learn how to figure things out for themselves and be more independent. Having a mobile device for constant entertainment is not helpful to the process of becoming more independent.

It is best that children have a phone-free time frame in which they can explore things, spend time with friends or take part in an activity. Children need to learn how to focus on what they are doing and become immersed in the environment around them rather than a screen.

A great way to cut back on screen-time in the summer months is to have your child attend summer camp. There are summer camps that offer overnight stays as well as day camps. A day camp is a great option for younger children as they only go a few hours each day, spending time with children their own age and enjoying activities like sports and arts & crafts.

The time spent at camp is ideal for being off the screen and doing something active. Children can learn many skills just by taking part in camp activities. Children learn how to interact with others, having real conversations, instead of simply looking at a screen for their entertainment. Children can have more fun by taking part in daily activities instead of mindlessly looking at the mobile screen and watching entertainment that does not stimulate the mind.

Technology is Addictive

Time and time again, it has been proven that technology is addictive. Children need a break in order to be productive adults. It is a great idea to come up with outdoor trips that you can take with your child or planned activities in order to find something to do that doesn’t involve technology. Children need to learn how to disconnect from the internet and focus on the real world, interacting with others and being fully immersed in their environment.

At Zodiac Day Camp, children have the ability to attend several summer camps in order to have less screen time and more real-life experiences. Help your child to make friends and stay active by enrolling them today in one of our many camp options this summer. Learn more by contacting Zodiac Day Camp to find a camp based on the age group and interests of your child.

Why campers become day camp leaders?

Summer day camps are a great way for children to stay active and have fun when school is no longer in session. Many children during the summer months look for something to keep them busy and to take part in scheduled activities like they do at school. With summer day camp programs, children have the ability to not only have fun and take part in sports, arts & crafts and more, they can also learn great skills such as independence, self-confidence, and leadership.

Summer camp programs hire individuals who enjoy working with children but also those who wish to inspire. Many children grow up to become camp counselors themselves due to the experience they had with their own counselors. Camps such as those offered at Zodiac Day Camp provide a way for children to become knowledgeable camp counselors. From a young age, children can observe their counselors and learn lifelong lessons that can be used into adulthood. They can then provide what they learn to others by becoming camp counselors themselves.

The Advantage of Leadership Camp

Leadership camp is a great example as to how children can learn from camp counselors to enhance their natural skills as well as work on areas in which they need improving such as self-esteem or independence. Counselors provide assistance during camp to encourage children to become leaders at camp as well as within their community. Peer support is also helpful to encourage children to do more while at camp.

Team activities such as sports or arts and crafts help to cultivate a number of leadership skills. Children learn by taking on problem-solving tasks and by receiving constructive feedback from their counselors. Once camp is over, you may find that your child wants to continue to attend each year and work on becoming a counselor as they get older.

L.E.A.D. & CIT

The L.E.A.D & CIT programs are an advanced leadership program provided for campers ages 12.5 to 15.5 by Zodiac Day Camp. Children who take part in this camp will be able to participate in several workshops and training sessions with a Leadership Coordinator as well as experts in particular areas such as effective discipline, quality programming, teaching techniques and more.

Children will have the ability to apprentice as well as take part in specialty areas and activities within camp groups to gain experience as a counselor before becoming a counsellor. This is a great opportunity for young people to start out and learn the ropes before taking part in employment opportunities within Zodiac Day Camp. The full seven-week program helps teens to gain the right amount of experience in order to be a quality counselor in the future.

At Zodiac Day Camp, children often decide to move on to the leadership programs to become camp counselors.  They have had such an enjoyable time as a camper they want to assist others. It is interesting to watch as children evolve into their teenage years and decide to use their own experience to help others. If you have children in the right age range for camp counseling leadership camp programs offered by Zodiac Day Camp, contact our office today to learn more about the programs as well as how to enroll.

Backyard Pools and Water Safety

You may be thinking about enrolling your child in swimming programs for kids due to a new backyard pool at your home or for summer safety. Having your child take swimming lessons is a great way to ensure safety. However, it is also important for parents to learn more about backyard pool safety so the right precautions can be taken. Below are a few tips to help you learn how to be safe while enjoying the backyard swimming pool.

Top Tips

If you have a backyard swimming pool, be sure to enclose the pool with a fence. Have a self-closing or self-latching gate and keep the gate closed at all times. It is also a good idea to create rules for the pool. An example of this could be, that a child has to have an adult with them at all times or even no glass in or around the swimming pool.

It is also recommended that you have a first aid kit,safety equipment including a ring buoy, and working phone nearby. This way, if an accident occurs, you are prepared. Time is of the essence and you need to be able to call for help at a moment’s notice. Also consider having an action plan in place. This could include emergency signals, emergency procedures and additional safety equipment on standby.

Any kiddie pools or small above ground pools should be emptied when not in use. This helps to avoid any accidents as children can easily wander off and fall in.

Never leave your child unattended at the swimming pool for any reason. It can take only seconds for a child to disappear underwater and drown. Non-swimmers should be advised to wear lifejackets or PFDs, however this is not a substitute for adult supervision.

Swimming Lessons

It is a good idea to always enroll children in swimming lessons. They can learn the basics and what to do in a water safety situation. Adults who are weak swimmers should also brush up on their skills as well as undergo first aid training. This will ensure the adult can act if a child or another individual is in danger. If you must leave the pool for any reason, take the kiddos with you. Even if your child has had swimming lessons, it is better to be safe and have them get out of the pool then to remain inside and a possible drowning could occur.

Swim during the day for the best visibility and avoid getting in the water if you hear thunder or see lightning. Always use sunscreen to protect the skin, even on cloudy days.

Overall, swimming lessons are an important part of water safety. At Zodiac Swim School, we offer quality swimming programs for kids of all ages. You can easily find a class to fit your child’s age or skill level. Have them learn the basic skills for swimming and continue training so they have the ability to stay safe in the water. Contact our office today to learn more.

Staying Safe this Summer in the Water

For many families in Canada, the summer months are spent on the water. From swimming to boating, there are many activities one can enjoy while the temperatures are sweltering. However, the summer is also a prime time for tragic water-related accidents and fatalities in the country. It is important to learn more about the risks and dangers of water in the summer to keep your family safe. From swimming programs offering lessons for children, to typical water safety measures, it is essential that you learn more to stay safe this summer.


Those at the greatest risk of drowning are young children ranging in age from 1 to 4 as well as men from 15 to 44. Because of this, it is recommended that young children enroll in swimming classes. Drowning is actually a leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4 in Canada. By enrolling your small child in swim lessons, they can learn how to be safe in the water, from floating to actually swimming.

Short Time Frame and Shallow Water

It only takes seconds for a small child to disappear and shallow water can cause drowning quickly. Children can drown in just centimeters of water if it covers their mouth and nose. Typical drowning occurrences take place in the bathtub, swimming pools, even toddler pools and at the beach. Children should be watched at all times to prevent them from wandering off and ending up in the water, even shallow water.

Avoiding Alcohol Consumption

When it comes to adult water-related fatalities, alcohol consumption plays a big factor. Adults seem to take more risks around the water when drinking alcohol which can include operating a boat or other pleasure crafts. Drinking alcohol can also play a role in accidents involving children as the parent may not be paying full attention to the child when in or around the water.

Active Supervision

Active supervision is key in preventing drowning. Adults should always supervise children in or around water, be it a swimming pool, bathtub, water park, beach, etc. Even if a child can swim, they should be watched to ensure they stay safe. Non-swimmers can help increase safety by wearing a life-jacket when in the water.

When it comes to backyard swimming pools, be sure to have barriers in place so small children cannot access the swimming pool unsupervised. Toddler pools should be emptied after use to avoid future accidents. When it comes to bathing time, adults should  supervise the child. Children should not be left unattended or in the hands of another child. Never become distracted as it only takes seconds for an accident to occur.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer safety training courses and swim lessons to prepare everyone for the water. Our courses are open to children and adults of all ages and can help them learn to swim and teach them water safety. Contact our office today to learn more about the classes we provide and how to register.

Just keep swimming!

A Rescue Swimmer School candidate performs a body sweep to check for entanglements or injury in the pool at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Swimming programs are a perfect way to keep your child active year round. With technology and electronics so prevalent these days, it can be difficult to keep kids moving and staying fit. With swimming classes, most kids never feel that they are actually exercising but instead having fun. By enrolling your child early in swim classes, they have the ability to learn the proper technique from a qualified instructor which helps to ensure the safety as well as health of your child.

Why Qualified Instructors are Important

It is essential to have a qualified instructor teaching your child how to swim. A qualified instructor has the know-how to ensure your child learns the proper technique for strokes in the water as well as floating, kicks, etc. Your child will be learning from the best which means they will pick up good habits when it comes to swimming. This is important. A child needs to learn the right way to swim in order to fully exercise every muscle of the body.

When you choose a qualified instructor, you are ensuring that your child will learn the right way to swim as well as water safety. An instructor knows how to teach your child the correct way to stay safe in the water which protects their health and well-being.

Quality Exercise

With swimming classes, your child will be taking part in quality exercise. The heart, lungs, brain and most muscles of the body are worked during swim classes. The full-body workout helps kids to stay trim and fit. The children enjoy being in the water and having fun. By learning new swimming techniques, children are able to exercise muscles of the body that they would not normally be exercising. This promotes overall good health. The heart and lungs are strengthened as they are worked during swimming as the sport is considered a cardio workout.

Over time, your child will progress and be able to swim laps around the pool, dive and maybe even compete in competitions. Swimming is not only a healthy sport and promotes water safety, it also can be a way for your child to stay active for many years, even into adulthood. Many schools offer swim teams where children compete against others for medals or trophies. By learning how to swim at a young age, you are setting up your child for an option of competitive sport for many years to come, if they choose so.

Overall, your child can use swimming lessons as a way to exercise and stay active. Children are able to enjoy their time in the water and you feel more comfortable knowing that your child will be healthy in the long run and safe as they enjoy the swimming pool.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer swimming lessons and programs for children of all ages. Contact our office today to see what programs we have available for your child based on age and skill level. Sign up and see how your child can learn quickly from a qualified instructor today.

What Makes a Good Summer Camp Leader?

Toronto summer camps offer children an exciting option for fun and activities during the summer months. When children take part in summer camp, be it overnight or day camp, they are introduced to camp counselors. These counselors will be responsible for the safety of your child during camp hours as well as creating relationships and memories that can last a lifetime. Summer camps look for particular individuals with characteristics that help to shape the young minds into the adults of tomorrow. Below are a few factors that are considered to be qualities that make a good leader.


First of all, a good summer camp leader needs to be friendly and mild-mannered. Working with kids can be difficult so the leader needs to be able to handle difficult situations in a calm manner. Camp counselors that are friendly are more likely to handle difficult situations with ease and are well liked by the children at camp.

Leadership Skills

A good leader at summer camp will also possess quality leadership skills. Leaders will have the ability to talk to others and see campers following through with instructions and activities. Leadership skills such as building self-confidence and encouraging others are key factors to being a good summer camp counselor. Kids need to feel empowered and encouraged to take part in activities offered at camp. Individuals with good leadership skills will be able to provide such encouragement and ensure the kids try new activities and have fun.

Works Well with Other Camp Counselors

A camp leader has to be able to work well with others, even difficult people. A good summer camp leader will be ready to communicate with others.. Communication is key to solving issues at camp between campers as well as other counselors. A good leader needs to be able to help others make decisions and work out issues without causing more controversy. Counselors need to feel confident in their peers and know that the right decisions are being made.


Another quality feature of a good leader is fairness. One should always work to be fair when taking on a leadership role. As the leader, an individual will be responsible for making major decisions. Camp counselors as well as campers need to know that the leader will be fair in their decision making and that no one will be treated better than anyone else. Fairness is important because if one is considered a fair leader, then others will show respect in the decision making process.

Overall, these are a few qualities a summer camp leader should possess. With these qualities, the leader will help drive the summer camp to success.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we make sure our camp counselors have quality leadership skills and know how to handle any situation. We want our campers to be protected by counselors who have the skills to promote self-confidence and self-esteem. Contact our office today to learn more about the camp options we offer.