“Going to camp helps kids in so many ways. The chance to be away from home, new experiences, opening their eyes to new opportunities. But Moorelands Camp equally helps in socialisation, it helps kids learn to make new friends and develop teamwork skills. Learning how to interact successfully with people is so important.”Ada, Camper Parent
When Ada and her three children, David (now 19), Hope (now 16), and Mary (now 12), first arrived in Toronto in the late 2000s, they faced many challenges. For Ada, leaving her secure job as a teacher in Nigeria for the better life Canada offered her kids, came with a great deal of risk.
Ada explains, “Starting a new life in Canada was not easy. It was very hard for me to get work as a teacher here… there were so many challenges and struggles that my husband went back. These past years have been hard. I am praying that it will all work out. I just want the best for my kids.”
Ada was at her local community centre when she first heard about Moorelands Camp. David, then only 9, had never been away from his mother. The idea of an overnight camp frightened Ada yet she felt that she had to let him go: this was an opportunity that was too important for David to miss:
“I felt that he needed to develop some independence and I wanted him to have the feel of what I had growing up – to be able to run around and play and feel the sense of freedom of the woods. And to know those nature skills like how to start a fire. I wanted him to be in a natural environment with more light and less technology and for him to enjoy the outdoors. As a mother, it was gut-wrenching to say goodbye to him at the bus but as a teacher, I knew that I had to be strong because those experiences are so important to a child.”
It was another risk for Ada but one that definitely paid off: “I saw the change in him right away when he got back. He was very happy and seemed more confident. I saw that going to the camp really improved his communication skills. He made so many friends and was very eager to go back the next year.”
Today, David is thriving. Thanks to his hard work and determination; Ada’s support and encouragement; and the skills and qualities he learned at Moorelands Camp, he is on a path to achieve his dreams and is currently studying Computer Science at the University of Toronto.
Like David, his younger sisters, Hope and Mary, are also gaining a tremendous amount from their experiences at Moorelands Camp. This summer Hope has applied to attend STEP (Serve, Transform, Excel, Practice) an advanced leadership camp opportunity for high schoolers. Little Mary just wants to get back to camp!
“The pandemic has been very hard for the kids.” Ada continues, “It has disrupted everything. They are now glued to screens 24/7. I am so grateful for everything that Moorelands has done like the interactive online programs and grocery support – it has been such a help.
“Hope and Mary are so looking forward to Moorelands Camp this year. They miss their friends and they feel so stuck -they just want to be part of the outside world. They are desperate to go to camp! They have been reminding me every day to check if their applications have been accepted. They just don’t want to miss out!”
For the whole family, the benefits and value of camp are clear:
“Going to camp helps kids in so many ways.” Ada explains, “the chance to be away from home, new experiences, opening their eyes to new opportunities. But Moorelands Camp equally helps in socialisation, it helps kids learn to make new friends and develop teamwork skills. Learning how to interact successfully with people is so important.”
But camp doesn’t come without costs. Without your donations, Ada would not be able to send Hope and Mary to camp.
“Without the subsidy my kids would never have this opportunity… I always say that when I win the lottery I will give back to Moorelands to make sure that other children benefit in the way that my own have!”
It’s clear your gift to Moorelands Kids makes a huge difference.
“To all the people who have made it possible for my children to go to camp over the years, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart and I pray that your generosity will come back to you; for your own families to be blessed in the way you have blessed mine.”
At Moorelands, we believe we will be at camp by summer 2021. Our best estimate is that the province will allow camp to happen, but with modifications to the number of children allowed and with new spacing /safety protocols. We anticipate that the cost of camp per child will go up significantly as so many camp costs remain fixed, but with fewer children. We also have plans to provide virtual camp again if necessary, so whatever happens, children will be supported in their learning and development this summer.
“We are preparing for a range of possibilities for how Moorelands Camp will run based on the most current advice and likely scenarios,” Say Camp Directors, Amos Tilley and David Borsook. “By our best estimate the cost to send a kid to camp will increase this year to $1,530 in 2021 and we hope to knock that cost down if and as more children are allowed to attend in person.”
Please help us send Hope and Mary to camp, any amount you choose to give will make a difference. Thank you for your support – This summer let’s get kids outside again. Let’s Send Kids to Camp!
At Moorelands Kids, our vision is to empower kids to transform their lives. It costs $1,530 to send a child to Moorelands’ virtual camp. Please make a donation today to help send a child to camp this summer. Any amount you choose to give will make a difference!
*Please note, the family’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.