posted on 2:45 PM, December 14, 2017
British Columbia recently lost two of its long-time camp resources for 2018 - Easter Seals Camps Shawnigan on Vancouver Island (1976) and Squamish on the Sunshine Coast (1972), both of which served a population of special needs children during the summer. Having been to each of these camps in the role of an accreditor for the BC Camps Association, I'm aware of the hard work and dedication that has gone into making them successful for more than 40 years. As a director of a not-for-profit camp myself, I'm also well aware of the challenges faced by the Easter Seals organization and other camps - rising prices, aging infrastructure, necessary large capital expenditures, reduced government support, declining philanthropy, technology, and changing demographics.
As a not-for-profit camp, one of our key objectives, and biggest challenges, is keeping program fees affordable for everyone, while also ensuring that we have the resources to maintain and upgrade our facilities so that we can continue to provide a great experience for kids. Affordability is subject to the whims of the market, the availability of funding, the reality of rising costs and the resources of parents. It's a delicate balance that I'm sure you can appreciate.
The primary role of camps is to enrich the lives of children, and every camp takes that role seriously. Camp is uniquely designed to provide every child with new experiences, new skills, new confidence and new friendships. When a camp closes, those benefits are lost for the child and for the community at large. It's a big loss.
If there is a camp you love, support it in whatever way you can.