Summer – Stage 1: Jitterbugs

Ages 4-6

Jitterbugs is a full-day program for our youngest campers! Campers will enjoy creative, play-based experiences in music, dance, drama and visual arts. The highlight of the two-week session is the final performance and showing off their new skills on the “big stage”!  A typical day at Jitterbugs includes class sessions in singing, acting, dancing, and crafting spaced between playtime, both indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) and a pair of nutrition breaks.  Most days will include another special activity!

Every session is a full 10 days of camp working towards mandatory performances on the second Friday at 2:30 pm and 6:00 pm.

Campers may participate in only one session of Stage 1: Jitterbugs Camp each summer.

$550 for the two-week session
(plus handling fee)

Dates and Times:

Old Firehall Arts Centre
334 Wilson St E
Ancaster, ON L9G 2C2

Before & After Care

  • We offer extended care before and after the regular camp hours.
  • Morning Care: 7:30am – 9:00am, $10 per day
  • Afternoon Care: 3:30pm – 5:30pm, $15 per day
  • Both Before care and After care: $25 per day
  • Cancellation and full refunds are allowed up to and including the Friday before your selected dates begin. For example, if you registered for child care the week of Monday, July 19 – a full refund of your fee will be offered up until Friday, July 16.
  • In order to ensure proper staff to child ratios, refunds will not be offered for days that your child does not attend the before and after care program once the session has already begun.
Laura Bottrell

Laura Bottrell


Laura Bottrell has lovingly directed the Jitterbugs program for several years. She is a teacher with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, currently teaching Grade 1/2, and taught Kindergarten for several years which holds a special place in her heart. She holds a Bachelor of Education, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Youth and Children’s Studies and is a Registered Early Childhood Educator.

After a childhood spent on stage, she found a passion for teaching the arts to children and also working on the production side of theatre. She has previously taught in almost all of our youth programs over the past sixteen years in different roles. You may also find her backstage at Theatre Ancaster, having been very involved for many years on our productions in roles including Stage Manager, Youth Coordinator and House Manager. Laura currently sits on Theatre Ancaster’s Production Committee and is busy in the role of producer for our main stage shows throughout the year. Her favourite role, however, is “Mama” to her daughter and future Jitterbug! Directing the Jitterbugs program is a special and fulfilling part of Laura’s life and she is dedicated to ensuring that every young artist has a wonderful experience with us and grows to love the arts! 


How do I know if my child is ready for Jitterbugs?

A child that is ready for Jitterbugs is able to sustain attention to a directed activity for at least ten minutes at a time and is able to attend camp independently without their parents. Children must be independent in using the washroom in order to participate. Of course, no experience in the arts is necessary!

What is your staff to camper ratio?
Our program typically has 30 children enrolled with a staff to child ratio of no greater than 1:5. Children spend part of their day divided into small groups of 10 for their arts classes, and other parts of the day in a large-group setting.

What training and qualifications do your staff hold?
Our staff is made up of qualified and experienced educators, both in formal education settings and in the arts industry. Our staff have extensive training not only in their field of expertise but on child development, safety, and effective teaching. All staff members hold their Level C First Aid/CPR training certificates and have a Vulnerable Sector Records Check.
Do you run camp in one big group or are the students broken up into smaller groups?
Over the course of the camp day, our Jitterbugs campers will have several activities that they take part in all together, but other activities, including class time for singing, dancing, acting, and crafting will be divided into smaller groups based on age that we call our Bits, Bites, and Bigs.
Do campers spend time outdoors?
Weather permitting, the Jitterbugs will have 45 minutes to one hour of outdoor play each day.
Are there any excursions off-site?
Yes! The Jitterbugs enjoy “Wild Water Wednesday” on the second Wednesday of the program by visiting the splash pad behind the Ancaster Library. Our high staff ratio and provided camp t-shirts make this a safe and enjoyable outing off-site!
Where and when do campers eat lunch? Is lunch included?
Our summer programs follow a two-nutrition break schedule, similar to HWDSB schools. This means that children are provided with two long breaks to eat each day. The Jitterbugs eat lunch inside at tables and are then provided with time for free play. Lunch is not provided, and campers need to bring a packed lunch that is nut free.
Is participation in the final performance mandatory?
Yes, attendance at the final performance is mandatory. Our entire program is structured around the creation of the final show and children will get the most out of their experience with full participation.
How long are the final performances?

Typically, Jitterbugs final performances last about one hour including a presentation of certificates following the show. Doors open for audience seating a half hour before the performance begins.

What is your refund policy?

If a participant needs to withdraw from the program for any reason, 

100% of the registration fee will be refunded before the beginning of the program.  
75% of the registration fee will be refunded after the first class/rehearsal.
50% of the registration fee will be available after the second or third class/rehearsal.
No refunds will be issued after four classes/rehearsals.

All refunds at the participant’s request will be subject to a $25 administration fee.