Meet our staff

Meet Our Camp Staff: Baloo aka Sinoy

By Dawson Nyffenegger

Hailing all the way from Manchester, England, Sinoy Joseph has been part of our Moorelands Camp staff team for several years. A chemistry student at the University of Manchester currently doing his Master’s degree, Sinoy hopes to be able to practice medicine once he graduates. His career choice likely stems from his kindness and compassion along with his desire to do good in the world.

It all started as an average exam week for Sinoy. One day after his final exam, he realized that he had been doing the same thing every day for a long time. He had heard about a program at his school called Camp Canada through friends. Wanting to do something unique and helpful, he made the spontaneous decision to apply to the program that day. By the summer, he would be on his way to Toronto to volunteer with Moorelands Kids as a group leader for our overnight camp and have a new camp name: Baloo.

Some of Sinoy’s friends had previously been a part of the Camp Canada program, and told him what to expect. He was initially prepared for what he describes as a “Hollywood experience.” He expected late-night parties with other counsellors, hanging out in the sun, and meeting new friends. However, what he got was very different, although he says, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

While of course, making friends with counsellors and having fun were still a part of his experience, it was nowhere near as rewarding as the time he got to spend with the kids in the camp. Sinoy describes his time with Moorelands as being one of his first eye-opening experiences. He always knew to treat people kindly because they may be going through a tough time, but this, he says, really showed him how true that expression was. “I was always told that you should be kind because you never really know what someone else is going through. I always took it in stride but it never really struck me how true it was until I went to Moorelands.” It was during the nighttime talks with the kids that he realized how much he was changing as a person. He was learning so much about life in such a short time.

He says his favourite memory was towards the end of the summer. He told the kids one night that he had a surprise for them, but that they had to wake up early to see it. He woke them up the next morning at 6am, and took them to Chapel Point to watch the sunrise. Seeing the looks of awe on the kids faces was one of the happiest moments of his life, he says. Throughout university, Sinoy says he had been seeking things that had made him happy, but only provided short-term joy. This was the first time he had felt long-term happiness that still resounds today.

Sinoy came to camp as an introvert, he says, but he left it as a completely new person. Not only did it help him come out of his shell, but it also helped him learn crucial communication skills. It taught him how to appreciate what he has, to communicate in a meaningful way, and most importantly to be truly compassionate. And that, he says, isn’t something that school can teach you. 

Sinoy highly recommends the position for anyone looking to help out in the community or to learn essential life skills. But, he says, no one is the same once they come back from camp. “You have to be open to learning. You have to be open to change,” he says. Of course, the change is only for the better. He says the time spent with the kids, along with the effort put into the camps and the people he worked with are truly a testament to what makes Moorelands great. Sinoy has really worked wonders here at Moorelands, and we hope to see him again this summer!

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