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Virtually, the best summer ever

Summer camp is something of a rite of passage for Canadian children. But for kids facing cancer, it’s so much more – it’s a chance to forget their diagnosis and just be kids.  

For 35 years, CCS camps have given children and their families a chance to connect with others and enjoy the great outdoors. But when COVID-19 hit, we had to reimagine camp for this summer.

“We had to keep everyone safe but knew our families still needed community,” says Danielle McVicar, Manager of Camp Goodtimes. “So, we asked ourselves: How do we bring camp online? How do we foster a connection?”

The result was Camp Goodtimes at Home. And, thanks to your gift of Help Send a Child to Camp, close to 200 children and their families had the opportunity to experience the magic of our first-ever virtual summer camp.

Our inspiring camp team worked hard to create a “camp in a box” that was delivered to each camper at home. The boxes contained everything they needed for activities like arts and crafts, magic, nature, and science. The boxes also included some great classic camp swag like T-shirts and sunglasses.

Campers spent their days participating in activities from the safety of home while connected online with their “Zoom-mates.” Through the virtual aspect of the camp, they enjoyed chats, sing-alongs, and other special events.

“Our goals are to allow kids and their families to be part of a community, and to increase their self-esteem to achieve more independence,” says Danielle. “I think we made that happen this summer, and the family feedback has been great.”

As one parent told us: “It was an amazing time full of fun, laughter and happiness. Thank you for bringing us that little ray of light during an uncertain and anxious time.”