“Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Make a donation on #GivingTuesday (November 28th) to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.”

Natalie's Story

I’d like you to meet Natalie. She’s just one of the 133,000 children who are living in poverty in our city, right now.

Natalie was going through a tough time when I first met her.

Our BLAST leaders told me that she had been a victim of bullying at school and her self-esteem was at rock bottom. I watched her interacting with the other children at BLAST and I could see that, although she was struggling, the positive environment based on respect and caring was helping her, slowly but surely, come out of her shell.  It became clear to me that this was a child in need of the year-round support that Moorelands can offer. I determined, right then and there, to get Natalie to camp.

Fast-forward to this summer at Moorelands Camp where I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie again. This time around, it was like meeting a different person.  I saw her beaming with confidence as she sang camp songs with a group of friends around the campfire. As the campfire came to a close, her cabin group passed by. There she was, right in the middle, laughing and filled with joy as she recounted her time at camp and all she’d achieved. When I asked her what she had learned over her time at Moorelands she said;


“Moorelands has taught me how to be strong and think positively. From what I’ve learned here, I can teach others to be more confident like me.”  – Natalie, Age 10.

At Moorelands Camp, kids like Natalie get the opportunity to develop self-esteem and resiliency and to form positive, enduring friendships – the tools they need to overcome bullying and many other life challenges.

Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Make a donation on #GivingTuesday (November 28th) to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.

Thank you!


#GivingTuesday is November 28th!

This #GivingTuesday your support can give even more kids the opportunity to build some “campfire confidence” at Moorelands.

Giving Tuesday 2017

One of our amazing donors has offered a MATCHING GIFT! If we raise $3,600 on November 28th, this generous anonymous donor will match your gifts and double your impact!

Visit: to learn more about how you can give back and spread the word about Moorelands on November 28th!


Countdown to #GivingTuesday…

GivingTuesday Countdown
Mike (right) as a volunteer at camp

Mike Kim Shares His Moorelands Story

“I grew up in a loving family. For many kids it’s not like that. Moorelands taught me to be aware of more than just what’s in front of you.”

Mike's Story

Mike as a staff member at Moorelands Camp
Mike at Moorelands Camp

Mike “Squeak” Kim started working at Moorelands Camp in 2004 and went on to be a Section Head and then the Assistant Manager of our City Programs. Although he officially left in 2009, he continues to volunteer regularly.

For Mike, one thing that stands out about Moorelands’ approach is the focus on creating “the best environment possible” for the kids we serve.

Leadership for Staff and Kids

“Staff here are pushed to do more.” He explains, “It’s more than just playing or babysitting –there’s a strong focus on developing leadership skills in both the kids and the staff.”

Working at Moorelands made a huge impact on Mike’s life.  He credits Nemo and Lost with helping him overcome his fear of public speaking, but he also learned so much from them about how to lead, develop staff and empower kids: Everything I learned at Moorelands I now model in the way I conduct myself as a social worker.”

Mike at work in the Moorelands office
Mike at work in the Moorelands office
Mike with fellow Moorelands staff member Katie
Mike with fellow Moorelands office staff member Katie overlooking Kawagama Lake

A Sense of Community and Citizenship

Today, Mike works at a homeless shelter for youth and helps youth find and keep employment. When working with these kids, he uses Moorelands strategies – such as fostering a sense of community and citizenship – and makes sure never to label anyone as a “bad kid.”

“Moorelands taught me that I can be the person who reinforces the negative stereotype a kid holds of themselves, or I can show them that they are a person of value who can do great things. That’s a game changer.”

An Experience like Moorelands Can Make All the Difference

At work, he’s always struck by just how different things might have been for his clients if they’d had an experience like Moorelands.

Now, I see youth at the worst time in their life. They have been neglected; they’ve run away from home. They often ask me, ‘Where was someone like you when I was younger?’ I really believe when you invest in kids at a younger age – like Moorelands does – it negates the bad influences.”

One of the pictures taken by Mike as a volunteer at camp.
One of the pictures taken by Mike as a volunteer at camp.
Mike at Camp
Mike at Camp

Mike is so proud to continue to be a part of Moorelands: “It takes a community to help these kids. Things don’t change over-night; it’s a long-term investment.

 The work you make possible is so influential. The friendships and connections kids make at Moorelands – they continue to support us long after camp.”

Thanks, Mike, for being a part of the Moorelands’ community! We’re so glad to have you as part of our world!

#GivingTuesday is November 28th!

This #GivingTuesday your support can give even more kids the opportunity to build some “campfire confidence” at Moorelands.

Giving Tuesday 2017

One of our amazing donors has offered a MATCHING GIFT! If we raise $3,600 on November 28th, this generous anonymous donor will match your gifts and double your impact!

Visit: to learn more about how you can give back and spread the word about Moorelands on November 28th!


Countdown to #GivingTuesday…

GivingTuesday Countdown
After-school program back in "fall" swing

After-School Programs in “Fall” Swing!

Teamwork, Trustworthiness and Problem-solving

Over the past few weeks, our Youth LED kids have been learning about important leadership habits and qualities that they can use to achieve success. The nine-week program covers many important aspects through a fun variety of activities. This past week the students at Valley Park Middle School were developing teamwork and problem-solving skills and learning about the importance of trustworthiness. Check out the pics!

Getting Active After-School

Recent studies highlight the importance of getting kids active and into the outdoors to reap many physical and mental health benefits and improve attainment at school.  BLAST Gateway has been making the most of the beautiful fall weather by playing soccer and developing their physical literacy skills outdoors. Check out the pics of the fun!


Cooking Activities help kids develop important life-skills

All those active games help our kids work up quite the appetite! Last week, kids at BLAST had quite the treat when they learned how to bake delicious cupcakes! Take a look at the pics of kids practising teamwork and sharing as they worked together to bake a delicious batch of tasty goodness!

Celebrating Canada150 with some Bannock

Over at BLAST Gateway, kids also took part in a cooking activity but this time they were learning about the traditional Canadian bread – Bannock! At Moorelands Camp, kids learn to make bannock on cookouts and campouts so we brought a little camp to Moorelands BLAST and the kids got to recreate a Canadian campout after-school!
Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

Kayak the Humber

Kayak the Humber

We had such an amazing time at our Kayak the Humber event last week! Thank you so much to everyone who came out. It was so great to catch up with some Moorelands peeps right here in Toronto…and what a beautiful evening it was for a paddle! Check out the pics.

Peter and Marg Anne Jones - Century Club Members

Peter and Marg Anne Jones’ Story

“The work that Moorelands does is seminal…you have to support families and you have to start right at the beginning and keep the support going…”

Century Club Members, Peter and Marg Anne Jones, Share their Story

DCA Urban Work - Three Children with Worker, 1970
DCA Urban Work - Three Children with Worker, 1970s

Former Board member, Peter Jones, and his wife, Marg Anne, have been supporting Moorelands since Peter’s time on the board from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s.

They were introduced to Moorelands (then the DCA) as part of the congregation of St. James Cathedral. Peter reminisces, “Michael Bedford-Jones was one of the curates at St. James and he was also on the board of the DCA. He was a good friend of ours and he recruited us to generally help out.

40 Years of Support

Peter, who eventually became chairman, fondly remembers the DCA community made up of “talented people who committed a lot of time and raised a lot of money.

When I ask them what has inspired their continued support over 40 years, Marg Anne explains: “Moorelands is so effective because if you lay on the support, when it needs to be laid on at the very beginning, then families have hope and they are able to respond…

Moorelands’ mission, to support families and children in poverty sums it up, doesn’t it? That’s what you do. And you do it very well, I think.

Kawagama Kids on the Trail circa 1975
Kawagama Kids on the Trail circa 1975
DCA Associates Tea, St Pauls, 1970s
DCA Associates Tea, St Pauls, 1970s
Aerial View of Moorelands Camp, 1972
Aerial View of Moorelands Camp, 1972
DCA Urban Daycare, 1977
DCA Urban Daycare, 1977

Benefits of Both Camp and City Programs

Peter and Marg Anne’s own children went to camp. Marg Anne tells us, “They benefited immensely. They always seemed to be more grown up when they got home; they learned cooperation.

Peter adds: “another factor we found out in retrospect was that the kids who went to Moorelands Camp were frequently motivated to do well in school. They now had a vision of their future and what they could achieve.

The couple has always been very interested in Moorelands’ work in the city. Marg Anne explains, “I love the after-school program. So many parents are working parents. Moorelands provides a wonderful opportunity for the children to interact with people who are caring and good role models. They help them with schoolwork and the kind of assistance that maybe they wouldn’t get at home.”

Investing in their Community

Today, Peter and Marg Anne are both retired and continue their work in the community. Along with their support for Moorelands, Marg Anne sits on the Board of Parent Child Mother Goose, an organization that offers free parent support programs focusing on early intervention. Peter told us more about their work as volunteers at Out of the Cold.

Community investment is clearly important to them both as Peter explains, “We’re very fortunate to be where we are. And I believe that should carry with it a sense of compassion towards others who are less fortunate.

Marg Anne adds that she has always been appreciative of the thank you cards they receive from camp: “I think that is such a wonderful thing, that you really directly know that you have reached a child and benefited them.

who we are Jenga at BLAST
Two girls at the lake.

Thank you, Peter and Marg Anne, for your amazing support and for investing so much in your community!

Why not share your own Moorelands story or make a donation to empower Toronto kids in need?

Look how much good your gifts to Moorelands can do

Look How Much Good Your Gifts To Moorelands Can Do

THANK YOU for your gifts to Moorelands this year!

So far this year, your gifts to Moorelands have already made an amazing impact in the lives of Toronto kids in need.  Check out some of the ways your support in the Send a Kid to Camp campaign made a BIG difference this summer.

Your gifts to Moorelands - Camp girls hanging out

A Safe Space

YOU gave 518 campers a safe place to just be kids and explore nature away from the pressures of the city. Grace, age 10, told us she loved her time at camp because “I learned that one of my strengths is trying new things… and now I am (sort of) not afraid of spiders…!”

your gifts to Moorelands - proud boy with staff with character badge

Positive Role Models

YOU provided campers with 50 well-trained staff. 93% of campers reported that they had strong connections to positive staff role models. Ryan, age 8, told us: “I learned a lot from my cabin leaders and I can surely use respect and teamwork in my daily life to keep a good reputation. Thank you!”

your gifts to Moorelands - girl learning to swim

Water Safety

YOU gave 179 non-swimmers the chance to learn how to swim. Sara, age 12, told us: “The only chance I get to swim is at camp, and I love it so much! The water is amazing!”

your gifts to Moorelands - older boy helping younger girl on high ropes

Leadership Skills

YOU provided the opportunity for campers to improve their leadership skills: 91% said they are more responsible because of camp. Brayden, age 13, told us: “Because of camp I feel like now I care for others more. I can use this to be more respectful and responsible at home.”

Your gifts to Moorelands - boy by the frogpond

From Camp to Community

YOUR efforts through the Send a Kid to Camp Campaign paid the fees for 219 Moorelands campers. Mark, age 13, told us his time at camp will help him at home: What I learned at camp can help me outside of Moorelands because I can help spread positivity in my community.”

A special thank you from a camper parent:

“Just wanted to say this year at Moorelands was absolutely fantastic and a huge success. I know you always do your best for the kids but this year was special. The counsellors were absolutely phenomenal. Both my boys were thrilled… Keep up the very good job. Way to go! BRAVO! And a huge thank you to those who helped us get to camp,  from the bottom of my heart! :)”

THANK YOU for your gifts to Moorelands!

Scotiabank Training Weekends 2017

Scotiabank Staff Training Weekends 2017

If you really want to be a successful leader, you must develop other leaders around you. You must develop a team of leaders!”  John C. Maxwell

Staff Training - Developing Moorelands Leaders

Scotiabank staff training 2017

Moorelands staff members are an integral part of our after-school programs. We are so fortunate to receive generous funding for our staff training from Scotiabank to prepare staff for the important job ahead of them. Our staff training is focused on how team members can support Toronto kids in their leadership development. Team building and leadership focused activities are used to help staff build trust, connections and their own personal leadership skills.

Know, Grow, Show

Over several training sessions in September, staff learn about our inclusive culture, values and commitment to Positive Youth Development; Moorelands leadership habits and qualities; creating fun and engaging activities for our participants that help them know, grow and show; and how to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone at Moorelands.

At Moorelands We Are Intentional

Our staff training is vigorous because at Moorelands we are intentional: We intend that children will gain skills, experience personal growth, gain confidence and make friends because they have been to Moorelands. Therefore, it’s important that our staff leaders are intentional too. At staff training they learn how to plan activities with a purpose, create teachable moments and maximize the opportunities they have to positively influence the children and youth we serve.

Our after-school program staff are awesome and we can’t wait for them to demonstrate their skills in our BLAST, YOUTH LED and VITAL leadership programs in Thorncliffe Park and Flemington Park. All spots in our programs are subsidized. If you’d like to learn more about our programs or complete an application form for your child online, click here.

We’re so excited for after-school programs to start again next week. Thank you, Scotiabank, for giving our staff the opportunity to develop the tools both they, and our kids, need to succeed.

Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

Runners medals STWM 2016

Register for the STWM 2017

STWM 2017

STWM 2017: Walk/Run for Moorelands in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and help kids affected by poverty bridge the opportunity gap.

WHEN: Sunday, October 22, 2017

TIME: 8:00 am (5K) / 8:45 am (Full & Half Marathon)

WHERE: 5k start = Lakeshore just west of Ontario drive

Half & Full Marathon Start = University Ave between Dundas St & Queen St

Help us to continue to meet the needs of children and youth from some of Toronto’s most underserved communities.

Fundraise for Moorelands: raise over $250 and we will reimburse your registration fees!

Follow the 2 simple steps below to:

  1. Register for the race
  2. Set up your fundraising page

Need help or have questions? Contact Helen: / 416-466-9987 ext 312

Runners after the STWM 2016
Our runners after the STWM 2016

Spread the word to all your friends and family. Share your fundraising page on social media & email!

Can't walk or run?

Photos Session 5

How to Register - 2 easy steps

STWM 2016 Meagan Webb
Meagan Webb ran the full marathon in 2015!

Register for the race by October 16th

  1. Visit 
  2. Enter your username & create a password.
  3. Select the event and race you in which you would like to complete  (5k walk or run, half marathon or marathon).
  4. Complete the Participant Information and agree to the waiver on the next page.
  5. Answer ‘No’ to the question: do you want to take part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge?

Now click on Step 2 above to fundraise!

STWM 2016 Fundraise
Fundraise like the Tamil United Church who raised $2,500 for Moorelands in STWM 2015!

Create your fundraising page

  1. Create a fundraising page for yourself or your team with CanadaHelps
  2. Go to – you will need to create an account if you have never used CanadaHelps before.
  3. It will ask you to “Add at least one charity” – Type “Moorelands” into the search box and click search. Click “add charity” next to Moorelands’ name in the search results.
  4.  Complete the details about under “About your fundraiser”
    1. Type of fundraiser = Sporting event
    2. Name of the sporting event and the participant’s name = STWM 2017 + your name or team name (e.g. STWM 2017 – Team Lake Life)
    3. Title of your fundraiser = Something like: “Sponsor Team Lake Life in the STWM 2017”
    4. Set the start date to today’s date and the end date to October 31st 2017.
    5. Choose your fundraising goal. Remember you need to raise $250 for Moorelands to reimburse your fees. So if you are entering as a team of three people, you should set your goal at $750.
    6. Add “Your Fundraising Story” at the bottom – for tips and a template for this section, click here.
  5. Click “Create Your Fundraising Page” and you’re almost done! Customize your page with pics and videos – see below for some you can use!
  6. Don’t forget to email your friends and share your page on social media. Remember, regular updates and thank yous are the best way to drive up donations!

Thank you for walking or running for Moorelands in the #STWM 2017! Together we are bridging the opportunity gap for kids!

Need pics or videos for your STWM fundraising page?

Right click on any of these pictures to download to your computer. You can then insert them into your STWM fundraising page.

Or copy & paste any of these URLs into your fundraising page to show a Moorelands video: What is moorelands? BLAST kids interview Why moorelands matters Campers share great moments

memories of Wilderness Camp 2016
STWM 2016
STWM 2016
STWM 2016
STWM 2016
Wilderness Survival Skills: Campers learn how to build a fire.
canada 150 heritage and hope timeline walk

Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline Walk

Moorelands was a proud recipient of a Canada 150 Grant for our “Heritage and Hope Timeline Walk” at Moorelands Camp this summer. The initiative was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Toronto Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

The Heritage and Hope Timeline Walk was a whole camp game that took place each Tuesday of camp.  Each week, all 100 campers walked the timeline with their timeline passports, learning about their cultural heritage and taking part in fun activities and receiving a stamp for each station. The walk culminated with campers sharing their hopes for the future of Moorelands Camp and the future of Canada on a card of red or white. Upon completion, the cards were placed a giant Canadian Flag made up of all the camper’s answers.

In total 600 campers completed the Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline at Moorelands Camp.

Take a look at the Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline Activities

canada 150 paper bag beavers

Station One: The Fur Trade (1860s)

Campers learn about the fur trade and get creative with an arts and crafts activity: create a paper bag beaver.

Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline

Station Two: The Mounties (1870s)

Campers take part in camp game “Camouflage”. Campers hide and the staff member (dressed as a Mountie) has to spot them…Because the mounties ‘always get their man’!

Canada 150 Canadian Pacfic

Station Three: Canadian Pacific Railway (1880s)

Participants enter the build your own railway challenge – layout a railway with logs and tent pegs.

Canada 150 panning for gold

Station Four: Yukon Gold Rush (1890s)

Campers try their luck recreating the Yukon gold rush by panning for gold on front beach.

Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline

Station Five: Anne of Green Gables (1900s)

It’s not every day that you get to meet Anne herself! Here campers enjoy meeting PEI’s favourite daughter.

Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline

Station Six: The Great War (1910s)

Campers learn about the First World War and the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers.

Canada 150

Station Seven: The Bluenose (1920s)

Over at Canoe Bay, campers discover the Bluenose and build and sail their own paper boats on Kawagama Lake.

Canada 150 Group of 7

Station Eight: Group of Seven (1930s)

Our young artists paint a tree at camp in the style of the Group of Seven.

canada 150

Station Nine: World War II Homefront (1940s)

Campers learn about how Canadians back home helped with the war effort through recycling and rationing and take part in an activity that challenges them to think about what they could give up to support their community.

Canada 150

Station Ten: Trans Canada Highway (1950s)

Over on the Sports field, a high-energy active game that mimics the establishment of the highway.

canada 150 heritage and hope timeline

Station Eleven: Canada’s Flag (1960s)

Our flag came into being in the 1960s after a national competition. Campers design their very own flag/coat of arms.

Canada 150 CN tower trivia

Station Twelve: CN Tower (1970s)

How much do our campers know about Toronto’s biggest tourist attraction? They find out in the CN Tower Fast Facts Trivia.

Canada 150 Terry Fox Marathon of Hope

Station Thirteen: Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope (1980s)

Campers create their own superhero, then look at Terry Fox as an example of a real life hero. Campers also discuss the Habits and Qualities Terry Fox showed on his marathon of hope.

canada 150 physical literacy

Station Fourteen: Toronto Blue Jays (1990s)

How does physical literacy foster life skills? Campers find out by taking part in the Dynamic Sport and Play for Development workshop activities courtesy of the Jays Care Foundation.

Canada 150 - low ropes

Station Fifteen: Chris Hadfield Spacewalk (2000s)

Campers recreate Chris Hadfield’s Spacewalk in a low ropes activity called whale watch. Consists of balancing as a team on a platform that is very tippy!

At the end of the timeline walk, the kids shared their hopes for the future of Canada & shared their hopes for the future of Moorelands Camp.

canada 150 heritage and hope timeline walk
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