One-to-One Program

Please note that we are now happy to accept special needs campers age 4 – 12 years old, providing them with one-to-one support, during all of our programs: PA day, Christmas Break, March Break & Summer Camp!

Please note that registration sells out fast, so don’t miss out – click the ‘register now’ link in the top left corner! 


In 1972, the C.Y.O. was one of the first camps in Ontario to integrate special needs children into our mainstream camping programs.  Our unique “One-to-One” program offers short-term respite care by ensuring that a dedicated counsellor is given special training to handle the responsibility and challenges of providing assisted care to special children while they participate in our C.Y.O. camping programs.

“One-to-One” counsellors assist the child in walking, eating, hygiene requirements, social interactions, as well as taking their medications.  Counsellors provide peace-of-mind to these families knowing that their child is receiving a safe and caring supportive service, while offering their child the opportunity to participate in our camping programs and activities along with their able bodied friends.

Over the past 40+ years, over 11, 000 children with special needs, in our community, have benefited from this unique “One-to-One” program.

Please note: As spaces are limited and we would like to allow every child the opportunity to attend, we can only guarantee two weeks, per child. Campers can then enter the waiting list for the remaining weeks, should they wish to attend. Thank you for your understanding.

 Our Goal for the “One-to-One Program:

The primary goal of our “One-to-One” program is for the child, who has special needs, to have a safe, rewarding and above all fun and exciting experience while in our care at camp. “One-to-One” counsellors will work with family members to ensure they understand and receive the appropriate respite care instructions and strategies, to deal with each child’s unique challenges while they participate in our recreational camping programs.

Our “One-to-One” program also emphasizes life skills by providing opportunities for peer-to-peer relationship building with the other able-bodied children.  A safe, secure and fun environment also helps to build the child’s self-esteem by giving them positive reinforcements, in an organized and controlled environment. Finally, making new friends for many of these children is a memory that will last a lifetime.

Who uses our “One-to-One” Program:

Our “One-to-One” program is available to families living within the Hamilton-Wentworth and surrounding communities.  For many families, the challenges of caring for a loved one are an exhausting part of daily life. Providing additional supportive care can also be cost prohibitive.  However, the C.Y.O. understands that offering hope and support is essential to the overall health and well-being of the family and their loved one.

Families that request the use our “One-to-One” program have children with diverse special needs.  These children have any combination of the following physical, behavioural and/or developmental disabilities, such as: Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Hearing & Visually impaired, Angelman Syndrome, Scoliosis, Downs Syndrome, ADD / ADHD and Autism, just to name a few.

Please note that in Hamilton alone, the total percentage of the population with disabilities (18.3 per cent, or 91,440 people) is higher than the provincial average (13.5 per cent, or 1,514,380 people) and the national average (12.4 per cent, or 3,601,270 people) – Statistics Canada 2001.

This fact is evident in all age categories as illustrated below:

-Hamilton average: 0 – 14 yr. olds: 4.2%, 15 and over: 21.6%, 65 and over: 60.8%
- Provincial average: 0 – 14 yr. olds: 3.5%, 15 and over: 16.0%, 65 and over: 44.9%
- National average: 0 – 14 yr. olds: 3.3%, 15 and over: 14.6%, 65 and over: 40.5%

 Cost of our “One-to-One” Program:

Annual fundraising activities, as well as camp subsidies are available to ensure that our “One-to-One” Camper families do not pay any more than any other able-bodied camper to participate in our summer camp programs.

The C.Y.O. believes that every person should be treated equally and most importantly that every child deserves to play!

There is no additional fee for the program, therefore families will only need to pay the $150.00 Registration Fee.

 How the “One-to-One” Program Works:

Once the family agrees to participate in our camping program, they are asked to complete a registration form. Once the form is received and confirmed, the “One-to-One”  program coordinator will call and arrange an in-home meeting with the family, prior to their child’s arrival at camp.  It is during this in depth interview process that modifications can be made to the existing camp program/route to suit the individual needs and challenges of these unique campers. It is during this introduction to the child, that the program coordinator can determine the right programs for the camper, while matching the child’s needs and personality with the appropriate “One-to-One” camp counsellor and experience level. We also listen intently to the family’s concerns and ensure that their goals are met.

The weekend prior to the child’s week at camp, the “One-to-One” counsellor will personally contact the family introducing themselves and inquiring any further information or details necessary to ensure a successful week of camp is had by all participants.

Many of the children who participate in the C.Y.O.’s “One-to-One” program have limited communication skills to actively participate and comment on the program’s design.  As such, a letter is sent home from the counsellor at the end of each day detailing the child’s successes, challenges and what will be happening the next day at camp.