Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of going to Camp Courage?

Benefits to Youth

  • Camp Courage increases their confidence, empowering them to believe in themselves and their abilities.
  • The program improves their outlook, instilling an optimistic mindset.
  • Participants gain an awareness of unlimited career options, broadening their horizons.
  • They understand their unlimited capabilities, realizing they can achieve great things.
  • Camp Courage opens more opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • The program forms an extensive support network, fostering meaningful connections with peers and mentors.
  • Youth learn the joy of challenging themselves, embracing new experiences and learning opportunities.
  • Overcoming obstacles during the program helps them realize their inner strength and resilience.
  • Camp Courage is vital in developing the next generation of confident and competent leaders.


Benefits to the Emergency Services & Community

  • Camp Courage serves as a catalyst for increasing the number of female career and volunteer applicants in emergency services, promoting diversity and representation.
  • The program generates recruits who are well-informed and genuinely interested in pursuing emergency service careers, leading to a more dedicated and passionate workforce.
  • By promoting gender equality, Camp Courage helps create an emergency services workforce that better reflects the population it serves, fostering inclusivity.
  • The program’s positive impact on participants leads to outstanding public relations for the fire department, building a favourable reputation within the community.
  • Camp Courage strengthens positive work relationships within the emergency services organization, creating a more cohesive and supportive work environment.
  • It also enhances collaboration and positive work relationships with inter-agency partners, improving emergency response and coordination.
  • The recognition received through awards and accolades for Camp Courage highlights your service’s commitment to empowering youth and promoting diversity.
  • The program’s positive focus contributes to improved staff morale within the emergency services, inspiring them through involvement in such a meaningful project.
  • Campers’ enactment of their essays leads to tangible improvements in the community, showcasing the program’s positive influence on young individuals and the community they serve.

In conclusion, Camp Courage has far-reaching benefits, positively impacting the lives of youth, emergency services, and the wider community. Through empowerment, education, and mentorship, the program paves the way for a more diverse and capable future workforce while fostering a generation of confident, compassionate, and community-minded leaders.

Is there a need for Camp Courage?
Females make up greater than 50% of the Canadian population. Female first responders comprise only a small percentage of the workforce – less than 5% career Firefighters, 23% Police Officers, and 25% Paramedics and hold significantly fewer leadership positions. The low representation of females in these careers leads young women to believe that only a rare few females are suited to this type of career, discouraging them from pursuing a rewarding career in emergency services. Camp Courage is an important step to provide young women with the vision to see opportunities and the tools to make a difference in their community.

The camp will not only help develop you into future outstanding, community minded leaders but when you help the young, old, homeless, physically and mentally challenged, and the environment by enacting your essays the benefits our community will receive will be immeasurable.

Camp Courage will broaden your perspective, brighten your outlook on life, increase your confidence, make you aware of your unlimited options as well as potential, you will learn how fun it is to challenge yourself and how powerful it is to overcome obstacles, you will develop a large support network of strong independent role models, you will be better informed and prepared for an emergency service career.

How do I qualify for Camp Courage?

To qualify for Camp Courage you must be:

  1. at least 15 years of age but no more than 19 years of age on July 1, on the camp year;
  2. a citizen in good standing as determined by your letters of reference;
  3. committed to implementing what you have described in your essay regarding the betterment of someone else’s life or the life within your community;
  4. engaged in an active life style due to the strenuous nature of some of the camp activities; and
  5. someone who has not attended Camp Courage in the past so that as many as possible can benefit from the experience.

Preference will be given to residents of Nova Scotia.


How do I apply for Camp Courage?

To apply for Camp Courage you will have to do two things. You will have to complete this online registration form by March 15th , AND send us the documents as described below. You can mail the documents to this address with a postmark of no later than March 15th :

281 Craigburn Drive,

Dartmouth, NS B2X 3V1

OR you can scan the documents and email them to – again, no later than midnight on March 15th.

You must submit this registration on time with these documents:

  • proof of your age (either a photocopy of your birth certificate or Nova Scotia Driver’s License),
  • two letters of reference and
  • a police criminal records check for those over the age of 18 at the time of registration (not at time of application).

If you have questions please email or if, they are urgent, please call 902-701-1405.

For more information about the registration process, please click HERE.

How do I get accepted into Camp Courage?

The camp is 100% free. In order to be accepted into camp the candidate must write an essay on one of two topics. The first is how they can improve someone else’s life that is less fortunate. The second is how they can improve their community. Instead of paying tuition they have to do what they say in their essay, the only limitation is their imagination. Writing an essay instead of paying tuition allows equal access regardless of economic status. It’s also aligned with the main objectives of the emergency services to help people and their communities. It illustrates how hard work creates opportunities. It shows them to be thankful for what they have and to respect others that have less. It teaches the value of helping others. In addition, it makes them feel better about themselves.

What is the selection criteria?

Candidates were asked to write an essay on how to improve someone else’s life that is less fortunate or how they can improve their community.  Instead of paying tuition they do what they said in their essay.

Candidates will be selected for their depth of volunteer commitment and the completeness of their application.

Based on your interpretation of what is in the essay and on the camp’s Mission, Goals & Objectives and Core Values, answer the questions on a scale of 0 (no indication) to 4 (definitely yes).

Essay presentation as an indication of positive attitude, effort & hard work

Is the document well formatted and has enough detail in the cover page?  

0       1         2        3       4      

Do you think the applicant has spent enough time preparing this essay?

0       1         2        3       4      

Is the message clear and easy to understand?

0       1         2        3       4      

Does the essay include enough information, as per the directions?

0       1         2        3       4      

Does the message have a positive flavour?

0       1         2        3       4      

Relevance for the applicant and the community as an indication of respect, responsibility, compassion, and commitment to constant improvement.

0       1         2        3       4      

Has the applicant given in a significant way to her community in the past?

0       1         2        3       4      

Have the applicant’s community activities been a stretch (challenging) for her?

0       1         2        3       4      

Do you think the applicant has met community and/or another individual’s needs with her activities?

0       1         2        3       4      

Did this applicant’s actions have a significant impact on the community or other individual?

0       1         2        3       4        

Did the applicant already do something as a result of this application in terms of meeting community or someone else’s needs?

0       1         2        3       4      

If the applicant has already been actively helping in their community or another individual, are they committed to continue that assistance in the future?

0       1         2        3       4      

Is the applicant planning on doing something in the near future (before the camp starts) as a result of this application?

0       1         2        3       4      

What do others think of this applicant’s core values?

0       1         2        3       4      

Are the letters of recommendation from people who are prominent in the community?

0       1         2        3       4      

Are the letters highly recommending this applicant based on her core values rather than “This is a good program for anyone.”

0       1         2        3       4      

Do you think this person embraces all or most of the camp’s Core Values?

0       1         2        3       4      



Special Circumstances to be Considered

0       1         2        3       4      

Do you think this is a candidate who could especially benefit from Camp Courage because of the barriers they have faced in their life?

0       1         2        3       4      

Do you think this is a candidate who could especially benefit from Camp Courage because of their age, either young or old?

0       1         2        3       4      

Do you think this is a candidate who could especially benefit from Camp Courage because of the extraordinary way they have contributed to their community?

0       1         2        3       4      




How do I come up with a good essay idea?
 Make a list of your five favorite things you like to do and figure out a way to help someone, your community or the environment while doing what you love to do.
Is the essay something I have to do?
Yes, you have to physically perform the task you have outlined in your essay.  Details such as who, what, where, when and why will provide a better opportunity for you to be selected.
What are some essay examples?
Some past essays were about helping the old, young, physically and mentally challenged, abused and homeless persons and the environment.  More specifically past campers have organized blood drives, sport equipment drop offs, fundraising events (competitions, BBQ), book & toy drives, create health and fitness programs, volunteer at churches, orphanages, animal shelters and habitat for humanity, plant trees, community clean ups…The idea is not to replicate one of these ideas but to create one that best suits you and your strengths.
How many letters of recommendation are required?
Two letters of recommendation are required.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
The best letters of recommendation are from people that have known you for several years and are not family members.  It could be teachers, coaches, neighbours, employers, group leaders…  It’s important to select the right people that will give you a positive recommendation.
What should be in the letter of recommendation?
How long you have known the person you are writing about, the nature of your relationship, honest evaluation of the person’s skills and accomplishments (try to include specific examples) and a brief statement that explains why you would recommend the person you are writing about.

Reviewing the camp website for information such as our mission statement and values and relating that to the applicant is optimal.

Is it true the camp is free?
Camp Courage is 100% free. The selection process includes filling out the application that contains a short-answer question describing how you can improve someone else’s life or your community. Instead of paying tuition, you do what you described. The only limitation is your imagination.

Writing an essay instead of paying tuition allows equal access regardless of economic status. It’s also aligned with the main objectives of the emergency services to help people and their communities. It illustrates how hard work creates opportunities. It opens your eyes to the less fortunate and shows you to be thankful for what you have.  It teaches the value of helping others and that even though you one and young you can make a difference. In addition it makes you feel better about yourself.

We are continually seeking new means of maintaining our free registration.  Please inform us of any other sources or ideas that you may know of.

Where does the name Camp Courage come from?

To be a Paramedic, Police Officer or Firefighter, you need courage. In addition to that courage, the camp’s name refers to “everyday courage.” The courage to believe in yourself; the courage to stand up for yourself and others; the courage to challenge yourself; the courage to choose the hard right over the easy wrong; the courage to persevere through the worst adversity but most of all, the courage to dream the biggest, most fantastic dreams because if you can believe it, you can achieve it.

Is Camp Courage an overnight stay?
The camp is a day camp only.  You must provide your own accommodations and transportation to the facilities.
Where is the camp located?

To view the locations for Camp Courage, please click HERE.

Do I need to be fit to participate in the camp?

Firefighting, Police Services and Paramedicine are all physically demanding careers.  In order to get the most of the camp you need to complete the physical activities of our program as well as our fitness program.  Please review each program (Firefighting, Police Services, Paramedicine) to ensure you can meet the fitness requirements.  Click HERE for some fitness training links suggestions.  It is recommended you get approval from your physician to participate in any new fitness training.

Can you give me a program description?
To view promotional videos and our mini reality series please click HERE. To review the first day agenda, please click HERE; the paramedic agenda, please click HERE;  the police agenda, please click HERE; the fire agenda, please click HERE and the last day, please click HERE.
Can I miss one day of camp?
You must agree to attend all 8 days for their entirety to qualify for acceptance as there is a large waiting list each year for attendees.
What is so unique about Camp Courage?
This camp is the only camp of its kind, while camps exist for police and fire services, none combine all three professions. Candidates with diverse interest’s benefit from a comparative experience of each discipline to help them make a more educated decision. In addition the campers gain a better understanding of how all three services work together as a team during an emergency.
Is there a possibility that I will get hurt at the camp?
Safety is our #1 concern throughout the week.  Participants will be supervised at all times.  Trained, experience personnel will conduct and supervise all training.  All activities include many levels of built-in-safety.  Our camp staff is made up of professional firefighters, police, and paramedics. We provide the same customer service to your children as we do to the citizens of our community.  We require an emergency contact for each participant.  We require participants to be covered by medical insurance for the week of camp.  If a camper cannot meet the requirements of participation, or displays disruptive behavioral problems, she may be sent home and/or asked to leave the camp.