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All of the campers who come to BC Easter Seals Camps have different needs and exceptionalities. Our counsellor to camper ratio is 3:1. Sometimes campers are more successful in our program with one on one support. These campers are welcome to attend our camps with a Personal Support Worker.
Personal support workers are individuals employed by the families of the camper to provide one to one care for the camper during their time at camp. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are integral to the success of a BC Easter Seals Camping Session. These individuals come to work one on one (1:1) with a specific camper who, without this additional support, would be unable to attend camp.
If you are unsure of what your camper’s care ratio might be in our environment, please get in touch and we will provide you with consultation.
Special Note about Application Process
If your camper requires 1:1 care, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to find a suitable PSW. If your camper is applying with a PSW, a seperate PSW application must accompany the camper application. You can either download and complete a PSW Application form and mail it along with the Camper Application OR have your PSW apply online (both options can be found here).
Part of the PSW application includes a Criminal Record Check with a Vulnerable Sector Search. These can take many weeks to complete, we recommend having the PSW start this process as soon as possible. If your camper is attending with a PSW, we will hold a spot for you for 6 weeks once we have received a completed camper and PSW application, this is to allow time for the Criminal Record Check to arrive.
We are only able to accommodate a maximum of 6 PSWs in each session, these spots are filled quickly on a first-come, first-served basis.
Information for Families
Who requires a Personal Support Worker (PSW)
Generally, the BC Easter Seals Camping program works with a 3:1 camper to staff ratio. Campers and staff usually create a buddy group that includes 2 counsellors and 6 campers. This buddy group spends most of the week together. They sleep in the same dorm room, they eat at the same table and they attend many activities as a group. When a camper requires personalized attention, for either physical or behavioural care needs, that goes beyond the 3:1 ratio of supervision offered by the buddy group, then a PSW is required.
Care ratios of campers change over time. Sometimes the staff at camp will determine that a camper would be better supported in our program with a PSW. If this is the case, families will be informed by the staff at camp, and/or by a letter from head office in the off-season. If you are unsure if your camper needs a PSW, feel free to get in touch with the Director of Camping firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-818-4483).
If your camper is a new camper, and you are unsure if they may or may not need a PSW, please call and speak to the Camp Registrar (1-800-818-4483 or 604-873-1865)
Requirements for being a PSW
BC Easter Seals Camps requires that all PSWs must be at least 17 years old. PSW also must provide an original criminal record check including a vulnerable sector search.
Ideally the PSW should know the camper so as to best help integrate the camper into the camp programs while being able to address camper care needs as they arise. Alternatively, former camp staff who know the routine and structure of camp can work with the camper to ensure they integrate into programs while having care needs met.
If you are looking for a PSW for your camper, send an email to email@example.com with a short blurb about what you are looking for in a PSW and we’ll send it out to a list of alumni staff who express interest in supporting a camper 1:1. Please include all pertinent information in your blurb as well as your contact info and the rate of pay for the position.
Info for Personal Support Workers
Are you looking for a fantastic experience this summer? Then Camp Winfield may be the place for you.
Is our camp right for you?
The focus of the BC Easter Seals Camping Program is to provide a camping experience that facilitates growth in independence, self-esteem, and peer interaction through nature based outdoor activities. Our staff establishes a safe, warm, fun, supportive and encouraging environment which allows campers to focus on their abilities.
The role of a PSW at camp is to strike a balance between providing the necessary personal care and support required by your camper and promoting your camper to get involved in new and challenging ways. Camp is a high-paced environment. Days are usually fairly long and there is only a one-hour rest break. While you will receive support from the two counsellors working with the buddy group you and your camper have been assigned to, as a PSW you will be required continuously throughout the week and this may include evening/night work.
Camp is not a remote wilderness experience, but it is not luxurious either. Staff all share rooms, with between one and six others. The priority of all staff, including PSWs is to do whatever possible to provide campers with the best week of their summer!
Want to know more about what to expect at camp? Head over to our What’s Camp Like? page to get a better idea of the fun that awaits.
The PSW and the family/guardian enter into a private contract for remuneration. The BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities and BC Easter Seals Camps have no financial obligation to the PSW. The PSW must meet with minimum staff requirements – criminal record check with vulnerable sector search, completed application form, minimum of 17 years old.
The Application Process
PSWs must complete an online, or paper, application before the camper can be confirmed for camp. 2018 applications will be available on April 1st, 2018. With the application, the PSW needs to send in an original, current criminal record check including a vulnerable sector search.
We are able to accommodate a maximum of 6 PSWs in each camp session, and these spots fill quickly.
Do not hesitate to contact us at (604) 873-1865 or toll free 1-800-818-4483 with any questions you may have.
Resources for PSWs
Personal Support Worker Handbook
Once you have registered for camp, you will be provided with an email copy of a PSW handbook similar to this one. This handbook is full of information about the camp experience and reading through it should provide you with a pretty good picture of what camp will be like.
Camper Fact Sheets
If you are new to working with your camper we recommend spending time with the camper ahead of time to get to know them. We have created “fact sheet” templates that you can fill out with the family to help you get to know some important things about the camper you will be working with.