Sarah and Cheryle circa 1999

Sarah Le Bar Shares Her Moorelands Story

“Moorelands’ camp is so much more than canoeing & kayaking. It’s learning how to express yourself…to persevere until you get to where you want to be!”

When Sarah Le Bar’s mother first suggested that she go to Moorelands’ camp, Sarah, aged 9, was seriously unimpressed.

“I’d been to another camp the year before and it was a terrible experience. I was very reluctant to try camp again.”

But Sarah’s mom, a single-parent raising a child in a low-income, inner-city neighbourhood, knew that the opportunity to get her daughter to Moorelands was too good to miss. And boy, was she right!

After two or three days at Moorelands, I had been transformed.  I loved it so much; I became a camper for life!

An Adventure Away from the City

What was it that made Moorelands’ camp such a different experience for Sarah?

It was ALL fun. The counsellors and staff were amazing. They gave us boundaries but they let us be individuals, let us be ourselves…

 “Going to camp expanded my experiences and helped me learn so much. I did things I’d never have gotten the chance to do back home. I learned to swim!  And not just to swim, but swim in a lake!”

Lessons in Self-Expression

At camp, Sarah’s favourite activity was arts and crafts. She would often spend the treasured “free time” sessions in the arts and crafts cabin learning to express herself.

In fact, learning how to communicate properly and express her feelings is one of the enduring skills that Sarah attributes to camp.

“Camp built up my confidence. A lot of people don’t realise that in some households, kids just don’t learn certain skills – like how to communicate effectively – it’s hard to express yourself when no-one teaches you how.

“That’s why camp has so many benefits for inner-city kids. It builds their confidence and teaches them leadership. They learn that they have a voice. They learn that they are important.”

Treasured Memories

Sarah’s favourite camp memory is of one evening before dinner when the campers were gathered around the flagpole for camp songs.

“I got up and read one of my poems. It’s a moment that’s stayed with me. It felt great to be a part of a community, a team. I would never have had the confidence to do that before… 

These days Sarah is busy working at H&R Block and studying taxation part time. Has camp left any lasting impressions on her?

So many! Moorelands is a beautiful place – you can’t get any better. It taught me a respect for the wilderness that’s stuck with me. I still reminisce about my great times at camp and I’m still in contact with friends I made there.

“I guess the enduring impact is that Moorelands taught me that life is not just about me. It taught me to think about how I can help others, how I can make a difference in my community.”

Thank you, Sarah, for being a part of our community and sharing your story. We’re looking forward to seeing you at camp’s 100th birthday celebrations in the New Year! Merry Christmas!

Help other kids like Sarah 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.

DONATEWe are gathering Alumni stories in advance of Moorelands Wilderness Camp’s 100th Birthday in 2017. Share your story online with our easy form or contact Helen, hbanham@moorelands.ca, 416-466-9987 ext.312 to share yours!

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STAY UP TO DATE WITH WHAT’S GOING ON AT MOORELANDS!

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 until June 8th. 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.

On Tuesday, May 19th, the Government of Ontario announced that overnight camps must remain closed throughout the summer. While we are so sad that Moorelands Camp will not be able to run as usual this year, this news was not unexpected and we understand this decision: the safety of our campers and staff is always our first priority. We are refunding all camp deposits/fees already paid. Details have been emailed to registered camper families.

But we do have some good news! In anticipation of this announcement, we had already made extensive plans for a fun virtual camp experience and we’ll be Sending Camp to Kids this summer! More details coming soon including how to apply starting May 25th!

We commit to maintaining our beautiful camp property. We will continue to do everything we need to do to make sure that we can be at camp next year and for many more years to come! That’s why we need your support now more than ever. 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. We'll be making announcements soon about our new Virtual Camp for summer 2020. Stay tuned!

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