Out of Her Shell: Mariah’s Camp Story

When Mariah arrived at Moorelands Camp for the first time in 2019, she was nervous. “I was scared because I had never been to camp before. It was all new to me and it was very far from home. At first, I didn’t want to be there,” Mariah admits. 

“One of the main challenges was getting used to not being at home with my parents. The first time I went, I didn’t want to sleep there because I missed home a lot.”

But with the support of her cabin leaders, camp staff and new friends, she became more comfortable and was excited to return to camp the next summer. “I overcame my fear,” she says proudly. 

Now, Mariah is 15-years-old, and has attended Moorelands Camp for three summers. Each time, she comes out of her shell a little bit more. As summer rolls around, she looks forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Moorelands Camp connects peers who would never have met otherwise, turning campers into life-long friends.

“My favourite part of camp is definitely getting to meet new people,” says Mariah. “After my first year at camp, I was still kind of nervous, but it is a good feeling that I get to make new friends every summer.”

“It is a good feeling that I get to make new friends every summer.”

– Mariah, Moorelands camper.

At camp, Mariah learns the Moorelands Kids Habits & Qualities, and how to use them when she goes home to her own community. “We learn leadership skills, like taking responsibility for ourselves. We learn to reflect on our actions and how they affect others.”

One of Mariah’s best camp memories was her first canoe trip. Older campers have the opportunity to go on an overnight excursion on Kawagama Lake, taking their leadership and skill-building to the next level. At first, Mariah did not want to go—she had never been canoeing before—but it ended up being her favourite experience and she was glad she did it. Many of the activities at Moorelands Camp allow campers to step outside of their comfort zone and try new things—whether that be canoeing, swimming in a lake or climbing on the high ropes course. These new experiences empower kids to take that open mindedness and courage back into their lives in the city.

“I feel like Moorelands Camp showed me to not always stay in my shell,” says Mariah, who is excited to attend camp again this summer for our LEDGE program, an intensive leadership experience that provides a more hands-on approach, including a 3-day canoe trip! “It’s good to try new things, talk to new people and open up more.”

You could help us get Mariah back to Moorelands Camp this year — Read more about our Send a Kid to Camp campaign here.

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