John, with a friend's son, after a successful fishing trip!

John McBride’s Story

“Getting out in nature and learning how to master the lakes and bays teaches you a reliance on yourself and your camp mates that no other experience provides.” 

John McBride has Kawagama Lake in his blood.

His great-grandfather bought a property on the lake in the late 1800s and his family have remained cottagers there for five generations. John grew up knowing of the camp on Kawagama Lake his whole life:

“We always interacted with the campers at the waterfalls in Bear Lake…As kids, we would hike through the woods to Moorelands’ camp. It was like a treasure quest collecting keepsakes and mementos – with camp as the destination.”  

From Neighbour to Donor

For John, transitioning from neighbour to donor and Moorelands’ champion on the lake was the natural move.

 “Moorelands seemed like a magical place and when we out-tripped as kids we would encounter Camp Kawagama war canoes.

“I’m an avid camper and we would always camp with our kids. I like the idea of that tradition being shared with other kids who really need the opportunity. That’s what inspires me to support Moorelands.”

The Joys of Out-tripping

For John and his family, the importance of Moorelands Wilderness Camp and its benefits to kids from Toronto’s low-income neighbourhoods cannot be understated.

“Giving kids the chance to detach from the city and explore nature is so important… the way we bond when we’re together up there …

Nothing replaces getting into a canoe and the joy of exploring!”

John’s love of nature is profound; as he talks about camp and life on Kawagama Lake, his enthusiasm for the impact of the great outdoors on a person is clear.

“Moorelands is an incredible organisation that avails kids who, in their wildest dreams, would never be able to experience camp. This simple yet profound experience changes you. We’re exposing kids to experiences that for many can be life changing.”

Helping Toronto Families in Need

It’s clear that John is speaking from experience when he talks about the positive effects a summer on Kawagama Lake can have on a child. But he understands all too well that this can be an unattainable opportunity for so many Toronto families:

Families are under a lot of pressure and that’s especially true if you are struggling to put food on the table or make ends meet.  Vulnerable kids need opportunities. Not everyone has the support of family and community that my kids enjoyed.”

John is proud to support the “extremely defined and impactful” work of Moorelands Wilderness Camp.  As well as the ways that a week at camp teaches kids to be resilient and self-reliant, he is a strong supporter of the mentorship role that the Moorelands’ staff play in kids’ lives.”In the end,” John explains, “It all comes back to linking young people to opportunity – especially those that are starting from behind because of their socio-economic circumstancesHelping kids that have every capability to succeed to reach their goals is what’s kept me supporting Moorelands for 20 years!”

John, Moorelands salutes you. Thank you for keeping our camp and our kids close to your heart!

Like John, you can help kids experience a wilderness adventure at Moorelands.

Take a look at the equipment needed to make out-tripping adventures happen. Your donation of any size can make all the difference to Toronto kids-in-need.

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An Update from Lynda on COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and public health advice to stay at home, Moorelands Kids’ office staff are working remotely and our office will be virtual from Monday March 16th to Thursday, April 30th. After-school programs will not run. Staff members are available by email or phone. Please visit our contact page to get in touch via email or our staff directory for a list of phone numbers.

We continue to accept applications for Moorelands Camp 2020. If you would like to make a donation, please click here or call: 416-466-9987 ext. 309.

New Virtual Programs Launch!

We're excited to launch virtual leadership programs while TDSB schools are closed. Check them out here: Virtual Programs.

If you need information on COVID-19 or health advice, please visit Toronto Public Health’s website. Moorelands Kids will continue to post updates about our services as the situation evolves.

Stay safe and healthy,

Lynda Tilley, Executive Director | Moorelands Kids