Canadian Island Residential Summer Camps in English and Italian are a place where young people go to form lifelong friendships, develop new skills, create unforgettable experiences and grow as individuals in a nurturing, safe and supportive environment.
Boasting a long artistic tradition, fabulous food, picturesque landscapes and a climate that encourages you to get outside and start exploring, the Tuscan hillside is the ideal location for summer camps with an authentic Italian flavor.
Our dedicated staff guides campers in everything from sporting events to cultural activities, helping them to develop new interests and live in a group environment. Young people leave camp feeling empowered and inspired to pursue their goals. They are also enriched from having spent time in Tuscany, with locals and other international students.
- Activities and Programming
- Faq and Tips for parents
- Dates and rates
How does Canadian Island ensure my child is having fun if he can’t express himself in English?
What could be freer of language barriers than laughter? When a child is having fun, it’s written all over their face. When he’s not not, you can see it in his eyes. That’s where the tough part comes in. Without drawing attention to, or alerting the child, the entire staff is made aware of a pouting camper and we all help out in the endeavor to discover the reason why they are upset and quickly resolve the problem. Often a little extra TLC does the trick.
How do you deal with homesickness?
Homesickness is a healthy reaction to being away from home. If you think your child might be homesick, the most important thing to do is to let them know it’s normal. Reassure your child that you are confident that they can deal with this new challenge and overcome it. Remind them to communicate with the counselors at camp who are there to help them. While most children who are homesick at camp are still really having fun, they will still call home when they feel sad. In most cases children suffer from homesickness during the inactive periods of the day like rest or bedtime, or perhaps if they are early risers. A few tips for the moms and dads: whatever you do, don’t tell your son or daughter he or she can come home if they miss you too much. And when you speak to them on the phone make sure to ask them specific questions about camp activities, their roommates and the new things they are learning. Please rest assured that in any and every case of homesickness parents will be notified by the Camp Supervisor, and if we truly believe that it is too difficult for your son or daughter to be away from home, we will let you know. You can certainly call us any time to ask how your little (or even big) one is doing.
Where are the campers from?
Our campers come from all over world, but the majority is Italian. Several of them have a foreign mom or dad and therefore some extra exposure to a second language and cultural differences. Roughly 25 per cent of campers are international campers whose parents are either vacationing in Italy or temporarily based here for work.
How many campers come back every year?
A very high percentage of our campers come back every year and to be honest it’s rare to see a new face.
How many campers are there? how long do they stay?
Each week at camp has a maximum registration of 45 campers. The majority of campers participate for two or three weeks in a row. An elite few even stay all summer.
My son/daughter doesn’t speak very much english, how will he/she communicate with the staff if they don’t speak Italian?
Children are incredibly adaptable and able to learn quickly. However, there are some children who are shy or intimidated about their level of English and do not feel comfortable at first. Because of our long history in this field, Canadian Island staff has come up with several ways to overcome this problem. First of all, the camp supervisor and all of the support staff speak Italian. Secondly, a buddy system is put into action whenever necessary to ensure that a child with weaker language skills is matched up with a child of stronger language skills so that they can help each other. Lastly, the summer camp staff members are given a crash course in Italian so that they can understand basic requests and questions from the campers.
How are the formal English lessons organized?
A period of time each morning is dedicated to a formal English lesson. The campers are divided into groups according to their age and ability. Their teacher guides them through a structured curriculum over the course of the week. We maintain the objective of making learning a fun and natural experience for the kids promoting conversational skills, fluency and expanding vocabulary. Lessons include the use of songs, interactive games, role-playing and simply talking, talking, talking!
Are Canadian Island programs more appropriate for younger or older kids?
Canadian Island’s programs are quite varied. There are several programs designed specifically for younger children as well as older children. The staff members work hard to ensure that the activities carried out in our different programs are age appropriate and interesting. In order to assess whether a program is more adapt for a younger child or older child, we suggest contacting us to discuss the programs and at that time you can tell us a little bit about your child and his/her interests.
Are there any off camp excursions?
At Canadian Island, the fun never stops. Whether we’re hosting a drama group for a re-enactment of The Lord of the Rings, climbing onto a bus for a day at an ancient castle or fortress, visiting Orbetello or Santo Stefano, hiking to a pristine lagoon for a refreshing dip, spending the day on the crazy slides at AcquaVillage, trekking through the national “Parco dell’Uccellino to get to the inlet where the canoes await us or to get to the beach for some sea, sand and sun, the activities program is endless. One of our favorite past excursions has been to the River Cecina in the Nature Reserve of Berignone. We took a long, winding road through fields of lush vegetation, and swam in the clean, shallow waters of the river. Later, we climbed up the huge rock called Masso delle Fanciulle.
What are the sleeping arrangements like?
The rooms where your children will sleep are nothing short of fabulous. The options run from rooms of four to six campers and there are some mini suites that can accommodate up to eight. Most of the rooms have private baths. All of the rooms are within earshot of a camp counselor and doors are lock-free but the children sleep on their own. They love the feeling of having their own space.
What is your policy regarding phone contact, fax and e-mail?
Our phone policy harks back to the good old days when camps were a place to escape technology and we’ve made a conscious choice not to enter into the realm of instant communication. Camp is a child’s world, totally separate and different from city life with mom and dad. We also understand a parent’s need to know their child is having fun and to hear their voice. So for the first time ever we are allowing children to bring their cell phones with them (moms and dads permitting of course) on one condition: the cell phones will be kept by the Camp Supervisor and only turned on for a limited time after lunch twice a week when the child can call home. If you feel you have a special need, please discuss it with us before sending your child to camp. We can certainly make special arrangements.
Life at camp
- Typical dayYour day at camp
- Photo galleryImages from the camp
- Health and Safetyat the camp
- What to bring →to Le Valli
- What to bring →to La Capitana
- Contract →between kids and camp
What is the food like?
The food at camp is nothing short of your own grandmother’s best effort. Campers have an Italian-style breakfast with warm and cold milk (chocolate optional), tea, biscuits, cookies, toast and jam and the added Canadian touch of fruit juice and cereals. Lunch and dinner are the kickers with the expected three courses: first course, second course, and dessert. Dishes include pasta with tomato sauce, pesto, four cheeses, or garlic and oil, risotto, roast beef, veal cutlets, stuffed chicken breasts, grilled cod or sole, oven-roasted potatoes, French fries, vegetables, salads, and without a doubt pizza. A snack is served in the garden every day. The much-anticipated treats include fresh fruit, pastries, yogurt, and fresh bread with jam or Nutella. At camp, the kids do a lot of cooking and baking as well. It’s a fun change of pace and a cultural experience too given that we make pancakes with real maple syrup, chocolate chip cookies, BBQ hamburgers, Jell-O, Rice Crispy squares and of course pizza.
Who are the summer camp staff members, how are they selected and what are their qualifications?
Most of Canadian Island’s summer camp staff members are North Americans who are recruited and hired based on their experience working as camp specialists, camp counselors and/or teachers. A series of personal and telephone interviews are conducted and qualified applicants are selected based on their expertise in the areas of drama and music, art and sports and more importantly their love of children. Most of the staff members have degrees in drama and theatre, music and music education, fine arts and art education, elementary education, outdoor recreation and physical education. Several members of the summer camp staff are also certificated in basic First Aid and water safety or lifeguarding.
What are the procedures in case of an accident?
In the case of an accident, the camp supervisor will immediately notify the parents and seek any medical attention necessary. At all of the campsites, there are staff members who are responsible for providing first aid. However, in the event that a camper needs more comprehensive medical attention, the camper will be taken to the nearest medical facility.
What are the medical procedures in case of an illness?
When a camper is not feeling well, the Camp Supervisor will assess the situation, contact the parents and provide the needed medical attention.
No time to get bored
English | Italian Lessons
Two hours per day is set-aside for English or Italian lessons, with campers grouped into age and level appropriate classes. Camp counselors follow a set curriculum that encourages language development in a fun and relaxed setting that helps students speak a new language throughout the day.
Our workshops encourage kids to explore their creative side by teaching them new techniques and dedicating time to experimenting with different materials. At the end of the week campers get to go home with their very own portfolio to show you.
• Print making
• Recycled artwork
• Set Design
• Costume making
• Paper crafts
• Clay manipulation and firing techniques
Film Making, Music And Drama Workshops
Film, drama, music and theatre have the ability to bridge language and cultural barriers in a stimulating and enriching environment.
• Directing, story boards, filming and editing
• Playing musical instruments
• Creating new songs
• Musical parodies
• Introduction to theatre: mind, body, voice
• Movement activities: body language, mime, role play
• Adaptations of classic literary works
Sports, dance and cooperative games
Sport, Dance And Cooperative Games
are a major part of what make camp such a memorable experience. At Canadian Island we have a range of activities that will get your kids moving.
• Creative movement, modern, hip hop and jazz
• Blind cow
• Knight horse cavalier
• Circus activities
Water And Pool Activities
Water And Pool Activities
A fantastic climate is one of the reasons why so many campers choose to stay in Italy, but too much heat can leave you feeling hot and bothered. So let’s jump in the pool to cool off!
• Water sports
• Slip and slide
The fun never stops at Canadian Island and our action-packed events calendar is sure to get campers involved in the excitement that comes with spending a summer in Tuscany.
• Talent shows
• Bake offs
• Camp awards
• Theme nights
• Human board games
• Activities based on the theme of the week
Camp is full of surprises and we put on special events to add to the fun and make sure every child walks away with a smile on their face.
• Talent shows
• Bake off
• Human board games
• Activities based on the theme of the week
For Older Kids
In order to offer interesting and stimulating experiences to all our campers we have planned some activities for the older ones, best suited to their interests:
• Thermal pool in Casciana (also open in the evening a few days of the week)
• Theater performances and concerts (Le 10 Lune Peccioli – Musicastrada – Collinarea)
• Visit to wine cellars
• The Piaggio Museum in Pontedera
Fun In The Kitchen
The kids will have their chance to get into the kitchen and become real Masterchef testing themselves in the preparation of traditional Italian recipes.
Fresh pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, jams, fruit compotes and other and other delicacies to create and (taste!) all together.
We care about the food that your child eats, its nutritional value, taste and the place it was produced. To show this, we cater to campers with a wide variety of dietary requirements and only use organic, locally sourced produce.
Italy is known for its slow food movement, which encourages people of all ages to pay closer attention to what goes on their plate and in their body. At Canadian Island, we have embraced this food philosophy and place great emphasis on the quality of food served at camp in terms of nutritional value and variety in order to meet the needs of our campers.
We have created a tasty, nutritious and wholesome meal plan made from local organic produce and we cater to campers with dairy, nut, wheat, soy, egg and fish allergies. Celiac campers thrive on our gluten free foods while vegetarians and vegans are amazed at the variety of food options we offer.
Drinking water regularly is another Canadian Island camp initiative and we encourage campers to use the bottled water coolers that can be found all around camp.