Testimonials

My 5 year old son loved his 4 weeks at camp. The cool basement gyms are a great place to be during the hot July. He loved the time spent with other children and playing games/Olympics. The art time was far more engaging than most camps offer. Your art time seemed to be spent, designing, building and decorating projects [rocket ships, clocks etc -] – my son loved this and I respect this over just time spent colouring or painting. Brodie Campbell – Leaside camp parent

I am writing to commend the counselor I met today at check in named Toby at Leaside High. I did not drop my daughter and our neighbour off yesterday but after only one day, Toby greeted both girls by name and even knew my name having never met me. I was extremely impressed. Kudos to him for such a great impression… I can assure you this is not the personal touch you get at most camps. Kind regards, Kristen Martin - Leaside Location

Excellent Staff! Thank you Kiera, Sharon, Cole, Ella and others for making my daughter feel so cared for and safe at her first camp experience. Your extra effort to ease her anxiety went a long way and was appreciated. Her pride in teaching us her new games, songs, and skills learned at camp … Great value, flexible registration, new skills fostered in fun ways, low pressure … noticeable change in her facility with numbers and patterns. Sulky

I am thrilled with my daughter's improvement in math at school this year. She had FUN at your camp while learning math, without constant judgement (summative tests). She came home excited each day about the things she 'could do'. S.M.A.R.T. Camp helps all kids stay sharp during the summer through review, but my daughter gained the CONFIDENCE in her ability to LEARN math. The daily physical exercise was actually a bonus - which I at first took to be the main objective. Jan Wilcox - S.M.A.R.T. parent

I'd like to congratulate you on running a great program. I was very impressed right from day one with how smoothly everything ran, and how organized everything was. Our daughter was somewhat timid, and your staff was fabulous! They quickly made her feel welcome and included. We really like the mix of active sports with math and art. My daughter really enjoyed her week with you. Weeks later, she is still talking about it! My only regret is that I did not register her for longer (we are busy for the rest of the summer). Next year we will definitely sign her up for a longer period! Wendy Gillanders - S.M.A.R.T. parent

F.A.Q.

1. What are the benefits (value) that S.M.A.R.T. Camp offers that sets your programme apart from other camps?

S.M.A.R.T. is a 3 in 1 programme that integrates math with co-operative and semi competitive games in a fun interesting manner. Arts and Crafts as well as educational toys and games are used to round out a programme that is both cost effective and educationally sound.

Our staff is comprised of Ontario qualified teachers, University students seeking B.Ed. degrees and some of the most accomplished local high school students. Optional Drama and Dance will be offered for interested campers.

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2. What happens at S.M.A.R.T. Camp during a typical day? How long do the children spend outside? How do you deal with hot days?

S.M.A.R.T. utilizes three areas through which children rotate every 50 - 55 minutes - with water and nutrition breaks scheduled between periods.

An arts and crafts area is coupled with quiet math and educational games/Discovery Toys. Chess, Pente, Abalone, Connect 4, Snakes and Ladders, HangMath, Lingo, game shows and drama are just some of the activities children will experience in a classroom near the gym.

Indoor gymnasium activities include co operative and lead up games.

Outdoor field games and water play will be adjusted in terms of time depending on heat and smog warnings. Students are also encouraged to take water breaks and apply sunscreen during the day.

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3. How much math is presented in the camp? How do you integrate math with everything else? Do you evaluate through tests or assign homework?

Approximately 30% of the programme includes integrated math. The math is always presented during games that occur primarily in the gym. Traditionally, parents and teachers deliver certain math strands at a desk /table with flash cards or manipulatives. S.M.A.R.T. teachers add scooter boards, balls and geometric tiles while making the gym floor a huge table/desk. Children complete physical tasks while dodging balls and collecting cards that complete patterns and secret codes. A variety of age appropriate addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, money, patterning, estimation, measurement, place value and geometry tasks are presented.

The children rarely realize just how much math they are exploring. The S.M.A.R.T. approach that stresses ‘Fun and Fitness First - Fundamentals a Very Close Second’ involves neither testing nor homework.

We do not include pen and paper tasks or formal evaluation (unless requested by parents). Students are given the opportunity to experience self evaluation without the pressure of constant monitoring by staff. Cards are presented by size and colour depending on the level of difficulty. It has been our experience that campers will attempt to solve many cards for a longer duration if presented with fun, exciting physical activities.

Our patented Gym-Math-Ticks serves as an exciting semi-competitive event that completes a camp experience whereby children have fun from ‘SMART to FINISH’.

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4. Can we register our children for half days? What is the difference between half and full days? Is it possible to split weeks or register for single weeks?

Children can be registered for mornings (9 am - noon) or afternoons (1 - 4 pm). We also adjust to family vacations and personal schedules by allowing sessions to be split into as many single weeks as required.

The half day provides the same three area rotation (outdoor field activities, indoor gym activities and arts and crafts/educational games/drama) as a full day. The math and physical activities are different for each period. However, most children attend for a full day unless parents have concerns about age.

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5. How do you choose and train your staff? What is the camper leader ratio?

S.M.A.R.T. staff is primarily chosen from applicants who hold (or seek) B.Ed degrees and would like to learn our games and approach so that they may better teach P.E. in their home schools. We expect to have at least a dozen Ont. qualified teachers this summer.

Our second stage of hiring involves the selection of University students who are entering teaching or other child development fields. Finally, we choose some of the most accomplished local high school students (former students of Mr. Strange).

Our camper to leader ratio is 7:1 for 4 - 6 year olds and 10:1 for 7 - 11 year olds. Marshall McLuhan Co op students, participating in a PE Leadership Course, will also be available during the summer for extra support.

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6. How long has S.M.A.R.T. operated and how did the programme originate?

S.M.A.R.T. was established during the summer of 1994. Colin Strange was encouraged by parents of Blythwood school to transform a unique approach to teaching math into a summer programme. Strange developed the integrated math and sports games over three years while teaching gr. 3 math, science and physical education in Toronto.

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7. What is the Gym-Math-Ticks event about?

The Gym-Math-Ticks event is an Olympic style day-and-a-half event that occurs at the end of each two week session. It is semi competitive in nature and allows the campers to review and perform the skills and knowledge presented throughout their session.

Gym-Math-Ticks presents physical, math and timed challenges to campers who participate collaboratively in more than a dozen events within their age groups. Each child receives an Olympic style gold, silver or bronze medal on the final day.

However, S.M.A.R.T. staff members stress the participation, sportsmanship and co operation during the medal ceremonies. Each team is made aware and commended for their most successful events as we summarize the event leader board.

Overall, our goal is to ‘turn kids on to math and fitness’ by giving them an opportunity to experience success and excitement during their summer holidays.

For years we have taken great pride in raising self concept in children by ‘labeling’ their free t-shirts with the word SMART and hanging SMART medals around their necks.

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8. Is it possible to group friends together? How are children grouped - age? ability?

At S.M.A.R.T. Camp we encourage parents to identify friends and fill in the section of our brochure that states - ‘Please place my child with...___________’

Children are grouped by age into three sections - 4-6 yrs, 6-8 yrs, 8-12 yrs. We have started a CIT (counselor in training) programme this summer fro grade 7 & 8 graduates. Parents can also request placement of children in these specific groups.

PLEASE SHARE OUR WEBSITE - www.smartcamp.org - WITH FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES. (Check this website for Fall, Winter and Summer sessions).

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9. At what age are children eligible to Get S.M.A.R.T.?

Children are eligible to attend camp once they are toilet trained. Our upper limit is 12 years of age at which point we offer a CIT section for grade 7 & 8 graduates.

We have reached an exciting stage in that we will be training former campers as possible (future) camp staff.

Since 1994, S.M.A.R.T. has trained over 120 local high school and post secondary students, many of whom return each year.

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10. Is S.M.A.R.T. Camp associated with any Professional/Educational Associations?

S.M.A.R.T. Camp, and Director Colin Strange, hold memberships with CIRA (Canadian Intramural and Recreation Association), OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Educators Association) and OAME (Ontario Association for Math Educators).

Currently, S.M.A.R.T. is seeking accreditation from the Ontario Camping Association. Ten of our staff members recently attended the Leading Edge: Camp Directors and Leaders Conference held at Camp Wenonah in Muskoka.

Director Colin Strange and site co-ordinator Sean Lamb presented a one hour workshop at the Annual OPHEA Conference at Geneva Park, Orillia in October - 2004.

Colin has also presented a number of workshops to Ontario certified teachers and Faculty of Education students since 1994.

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11. Will S.M.A.R.T. Camp ever expand and operate in late August? Will S.M.A.R.T. offer computers, swim or any other educational strands in the future?

S.M.A.R.T. has experienced slow, steady expansion over the years. We are committed to providing the best camp experience for your children at an affordable price. Our future plans will continue to focus on adding a few programmes and sites each year, rather than expanding for ‘expansions sake’.

The TDSB sites are not available in late August as maintenance and caretaking staff require time for cleaning and safety inspection/repair prior to the September opening. (We may negotiate with a few Private Schools for extra weeks next summer if clients require late August).

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12. Does S.M.A.R.T. Camp offer before and after care, out trips or lunch programmes?

S.M.A.R.T. Camp provides before care (indoors) from 8 - 9 a.m. and after care (outdoors) from 4 - 5 p.m. (for those who request it) at a cost of $3/hr/camper - payable at the end of each week.

We hope to provide (optional) bowling, Blue Jay games, driving range and mini putt, Laser Quest for interested campers for a nominal additional fee.

Although S.M.A.R.T. does not offer a lunch programme we have granted parental requests for pizza and sub days a few times per week for those interested.

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13. How do I submit registration and payment for S.M.A.R.T. Camp?

Please submit your completed registration form (remember health card # and email) with a cheque payable to S.M.A.R.T. Camp @ 82 Holford Cres., Tor Ont M1T 1M2. Parents must also complete and email our excel registration spreadsheet, found at the top of our website page, to smartcamp@rogers.com

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14. Can we purchase extra T-Shirts etc... (in addition to the free T-Shirt and medal we receive with our registration)?

S.M.A.R.T. Camp will offer hats and T-Shirts at a very reasonable cost. See your site co-ordinator for details when you start camp.

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15. Will S.M.A.R.T. be operating any After4 or weekend programmes?

We are currently negotiating with a number of Private Schools and Churches for Saturday programmes. We have a number of staff interested in providing S.M.A.R.T. in your community.

A few educational partners from Lippert Music and Hockey Fundamental Camp are also interested in fulfilling the needs of your community please contact us at smartcamp@rogers.com or call 416 491 - 8408.

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Toronto Police help with an active scooter board math game during our signature Olympic style Gym- Math-Ticks [2 day] culminating event.

Get S.M.A.R.T. ... as your #1 affordable, local, co-ed integrated sports and math camp – delivered by Ontario Certified Teachers, as well as B. Ed and E.C.E graduates.