“What Moorelands Kids’ online programs provide is the opportunity to increase emotional fortitude…”Ingrid Palmer, Moorelands Camp alum and camper parent.
Today, Ingrid Palmer is a social advocate who makes use of her lived experiences, including being a Crown Ward and legally blind, to build awareness and promote the need for community programs. But back in 1986, when she was a child in a group home, Moorelands Camp was a place that fostered her sense of belonging and made her feel truly at home.
Moorelands Camp is now a family tradition for the Palmers. Ingrid’s eldest daughter, Dorrett, not only attended as a child, but went on to work at Moorelands Camp and met her husband there! For the past few years, Ingrid’s youngest children, OJ (age 13) and Makeba (10) have treasured attending camp too:
“Being at Moorelands Camp the past few years has been so helpful for OJ who is on the spectrum and struggles a bit with anxiety. The social aspect was so good for him; the staff helped him learn coping mechanisms. He gained skills and felt safe – he always wants to go back!”
For Makeba, “an extremely active girl who loves adventures,” going to Moorelands Camp on Kawagama Lake was a perfect match. “It’s such a safe and nurturing space! It’s good for the kids to be away from you, they learn so much independence and build amazing connections. It’s character building. You can see the changes when the kids arrive home.”
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, everything for the family was of course was very, very different.
“The mental stress aspect was the toughest thing for the kids.” Ingrid explains, “At the beginning, the kids definitely felt the loss of connection with friends. Online learning is so different and it was a difficult adjustment for everyone.
“Like everyone, the kids hated being confined. They were REALLY looking forward to summer, the date to go to Moorelands was something we were holding onto… Of course, it was really disappointing when they learned they wouldn’t be going.”
However, there was a ray of light! Moorelands Camp Lead On offered the kids a chance to connect with their familiar leaders and make new friends. Ingrid registered her kids for all six weeks and it gave them some much-needed structure to their days!
“They enjoyed the online camp a lot! Even though he went for 6 weeks, OJ was so happy to attend; he told me it wasn’t long enough!”
For Ingrid, the power of online camp is the opportunity to come together:
“Any opportunity to connect is valuable. Kids need socialization and connections. Getting to see the counsellors they knew, all those familiar faces, it was so comforting to them. Although a Virtual Campfire isn’t the same as a real one, the ability to come together and be cheerful was so necessary during lockdown! Plus they still have supplies leftover from the craft boxes to keep them busy into the fall!”
“[Your online programs] are so important because they offer kids the chance to get some support, take part in recreational and social activities and talk about things of concern. Having a teenager and a pre-teen, I know it’s an age when they really need extra support: self-esteem issues and anxiety are something I see coming out more and more.
“What Moorelands Kids’ online programs provide is the opportunity to increase emotional fortitude, to become comfortable in your own skin, to forge friendships, and as you grow, share big emotions with a peer group you can trust.”
THANK YOU everyone for making this support available to our kids as the pandemic continues. YOU are keeping kids connected, resilient and STRONG!
The impact of Online Programs You made possible this summer: THANK YOU!
KEEP KIDS LEARNING AND GROWING THIS FALL!
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