James Gagnon, Director, Camp Programs and Facilities Easter Seals BC/Yukon
Dear Prospective Camp Families,
As we prepare to enter our 54th year of offering Easter Seals summer camps I’ve been reflecting on what creates the “magic” of camp. There’s something bigger than all of us at camp, you feel it when you come through the gates, there’s a magic in the air.
Maybe it’s the echoes of a history rich in laughter, fun, community and most importantly acceptance, no, celebration of who each individual is in any moment. Over my years I’ve seen staff arrive wondering how they can impact the lives of each camper and leave changed forever from the experience, not only of loving and caring for individuals as they are, but from BEING loved and cared for exactly as they are.
Campers and families, understandably arrive at camp with some anxiety and trepidation. No one can predict what is involved or how things will turn out in any new situation. Now add to that a disability and a camper who may have never been away from their primary caretaker, and that uncertainty is intensified.
Then the magic happens. A combination of training, experience, love, fun, friendship, independence and so many ingredients I haven’t even figured out turns one week of camp into the best time of our campers’ lives. Rarely do we see a camper just once. We have many campers who have grown up at camp and continue to join through adulthood. Speaking to campers many will quickly tell you they look forward to camp all year. Checking to see when registration opens daily, to counting down to the big day. This is our Disneyland. It's magical, safe, fun, welcoming and behind the scenes strings are being pulled night and day to make sure each one of our campers creates lifelong memories.
At camp campers and staff will:
- Gain confidence, independence, and responsibility and CELEBRATE WHO THEY ARE.
- Have opportunities to challenge themselves, take risks and try new things in a safe, warm and supportive environment
- Become active members of a community that embraces the beauty and diversity of self, others and the environment.
- Have opportunities to cultivate meaningful friendships and experiences that contribute to their personal growth and development.
- HAVE FUN!
Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Myself and our Assistant Camp Director, Dale Kilgour, are here to make sure you feel confident sending your family member to camp.
Director, Camp Programs and Facilities Easter Seals BC/Yukon