“My favourite part was the art.”
“I loved camp because I could just be myself.”
“I made friends and it was FUN!”
With your support of Summer Smiles this year, we hope to give 496 children and youth in the care of FACS Niagara the amazing experience of a week-long camp!
We hope that about 20% of these children can enjoy a “traditional” over-night, outdoor camp – in a cabin or bunkhouse. We will arrange transportation outside of Niagara to the camp and outfit each camper with their own sleeping bag, bug spray, sunscreen and hat. What an amazing experience this will be for our fostered and residential youth! They can enjoy hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, rock-climbing, and nature walks. For most of them, it will be the first time they travel that far and camp for a whole week. Not only will they able to learn some time-honoured camp songs and enjoy marshmallows around a fire, their foster parents or guardians will also receive a week of down-time for themselves.
We hope that the other 80% of campers can enjoy a week-long day-camp in the Niagara Peninsula. These camps will range in their activities too. Some youth want to attend specific sports camps for soccer, hockey, basketball, cheerleading and gymnastics. Others would like to enjoy horseback riding, bicycling, learning dance, singing, drama, and making crafts. A few others would like to participate in a camp with a high-ropes obstacle course, archery, and hikes along the Escarpment. Dedicated volunteers will provide daily transportation to these experiences and each camper will receive their own bag with sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle.
With the range of camps and experiences – including transportation and their own provisions – we estimate that the average week-long camp experience will cost $400 per child or youth.
Donors to our Summer Smiles give children an experience they will never forget. These children and youth learn new things – about nature, about our world and about themselves. Donors help give them a chance to develop social skills and leadership abilities, to try a new sport, and to boost their self-confidence.
More importantly, Summer Smiles donors help give our children and youth a chance to just be themselves.
In this way, these Summer Smiles can also be “equalizer” because when they attend a camp, they are not known as a foster child or a youth living in a group home. Instead, they are just like all the other kids – swimming in a cold lake, learning to ride a horse, getting dirty, dressing up on a stage, playing hockey, and singing Down By the Bay at the top of their lungs.
With your support of Summer Smiles this year, we hope to give 496 of our children and youth the amazing experience of a week-long camp and an experience they will always remember.
Please make your donation now to help our kids who want to attend camp this July or August. We count on your backing to help us achieve our mission of protecting, supporting and strengthening the lives of our children, youth, adults and families. Thank you!