It’s All About the Kids!

Participants of Guelph Mercury Kids-to-Camp program posing at a playground.

(2005 Guelph Mercury Kids-to-Camp Fund): This past Thanksgiving, the Guelph Mercury successfully revived the historic Thanksgiving Day Races. Over 300 runners and walkers participated and over 1000 people took in the festivities of the Family Fun Day on a perfect fall day.

At the end of the day, $2500 was raised for the Guelph Mercury Kids to Camp Fund. The Fund, held by The Guelph Community Foundation, provides disadvantaged children and youth the opportunity to experience the thrills of summer camp.

It’s through efforts like this that The Guelph Community Foundation was able to grant $8,556 last summer to 12 camps. Over 100 local children were then able to attend a camp specific to their needs and interest.

Brenda Wiseman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph stated that “many of the children in our program do not have access to the natural outdoor environment, live in high-density housing, and are in families with limited financial means. Over the summer, their time is unstructured. Time is filled hanging out in the neighbourhood and sometimes getting into trouble with both their parents and peers. Having a break from their parents, while spending their energies constructively in the outdoors learning new physical skills, teamwork, and problem-solving strategies, contributes to their growth and confidence.”

It’s not just about sports, games and roasting marshmallows:

“Bobbie was sent to Camp Huronda shortly after he was diagnosed with Diabetes at age 10, because he was turned down from attending the camp he had gone to the previous summer. They said because he had diabetes he would be too much maintenance, and they didn’t feel they could supervise him properly,” stated a parent from a camp grant recipient.

Gaining knowledge about diabetes gives a child the opportunity to take responsibility for their disease and gain some independence from their parents. The $1,351 received from The Guelph Community Foundation subsidized 3 children from Guelph to attend Camp Huronda. For a two week period the children learned to manage their diabetes and become confident in their own ability to handle the disease and enjoy the ‘usual’ camp experience safely.

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