In the midst of the adventures going on at summer camp or outdoor school, we notice the connections our staff are making with students and campers. We see the relationships forming between kids and nature and the building of community in cabin groups. We hear the laughter during skits and the questions pondered about how ecosystems work. We feel the sense of calm during nature nooks (journaling spots) and the warm embraces from kids as they depart after “the most stellar summer camp week of their lives.” But what about after camp or outdoor school is done? What kind of lasting impact have we made? This is perhaps one of the hardest things to measure or even place a value on.
Thanks to Camp
The Thanks to Camp movement is an initiative from the Canadian Camping Association (CCA) aiming to promote the positive impact camp has had in the lives of millions across the country. Gabrielle Raill and Stéphane Richard, both camp professionals, wanted to find a concrete way to show that camp is more than just fun, it actually helps children grow, and gives them all kinds of tools to succeed in life. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, along with their team and dozens of participating camps, they gathered stories from campers, parents, staff and alumni, completing the sentence “Thanks to camp…” In the fall of 2017, these stories were used for a social media campaign, as a prelude to a country-wide marketing campaign (a first for the CCA!) in late winter. Just in time to let new families learn about the joys of camp before registration season! For more information on Thanks to Camp please visit www.thankstocamp.ca
This summer Kamp Kiwanis joined the movement interested in why our campers, staff, outdoor school participants and teachers are thankful for camp and especially how Kamp Kiwanis has made a positive impact on their lives. You can let us know by completing the sentence "Thanks to Kamp Kiwanis..."
1. Using the hashtags #ThanksToKampKiwanis and #thankstocamp and tagging @KampKiwanis in your social media posts on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
2. Emailing us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your post or testimonial could be featured on Kamp Kiwanis Social media, in future blogs or in promotional material.
Here are some of testimonials we have received about Kamp Kiwanis:
Thanks to Kamp Kiwanis I travelled the right path and have a future. Words cannot express how Kamp has had a profound impact on my life! I was kamper, staff, and now an alumni. At Kamp I discovered who I am and the unlimited dreams that can become reality. I learned to believe in myself. I discovered life long friendships that support one another through good and dark times. I discovered my passion for the outdoors and working with kids. Without Kamp, I'd be lost. Heather
Thanks to Kamp Kiwanis I met some of the most supportive people in the world to help me on my journey of self acceptance. I probably would have have a much more turbulent and less supportive coming out story if Kamp Kiwanis did not exist. I wouldn’t have learned my passion for influencing young lives for the better. Josh
Thanks to Kamp Kiwanis I was given the chance to change the lives of amazing children. Brittany
I have no idea where I’d be. I wouldn't have half the confidence and ambition I have now. I wouldn't be studying to become a teacher. I wouldn't have met so many amazing children and staff. Kamp Kiwanis changed my life and thousands of others. Thanks Kamp Kiwanis. Morgan
Thanks to Kamp Kiwanis I am a better person who has discovered a passion for working with youths, and I have learned to live lightly on the earth! Kamp Kiwanis was a major turning point in my life! In fact, it represents the biggest turning point of my life and set me on the path of being a teacher. Without it, I don't want to think of where I might be. I was in a dark place when I decided to go for broke, travel across the country from New Brunswick, and work at Kamp! First time away from home, making friends, finding out what I was capable of. I have made friendships and had experiences that will last a lifetime! Paul
Thanks to Kamp Kiwanis for starting my journey as a leader. I was gifted a trip to the leadership camp in 1998 and from there was. LITE, and then a maintenance person, a counsellor and a board member. Kamp initiated my relationship with nature, with other incredible leaders and my relationship with service work for children and youth. I successfully manage programs for a nonprofit today where I continue to use the concepts and teachings gifted to me around the fire, through experience and through sharing space...all at KK!! Jody
I loved Kamp Kiwanis so much, it has become part of my life and a home for me. I made lots of friends and memories at Kamp Kiwanis. In my opinion Kamp is the best place on earth and it's a great place to be. I love Kamp so much. The counsellors make you feel welcome and feel at home. I will never forget Kamp, the people I have met and the memories I have made. Camper
The place is lit! I mean it’s a perfect place to make friends and to like experience nature and man, the food there is alright, except for the drink. They only give you like a small portion of juice and for anyone doing a job they get more. It’s cool though. I loved being there. It was an amazing time. The pool and PBK (Polar Bear Klub), man, it was lit. We got to go to the pool in the morning, but we did go at night once. It was fun. Our counsellors were Platypus and Moose. They were amazing people and I miss them so, so, so, so much. I hope to see them again for leadership camp. Camper
One of my favourite childhood memories. I would send my kids there in a heartbeat! Former Camper
The staff was amazing. This was my son’s first time attending camp. And they were all above and beyond amazing. ❤️❤️ Parent
The past few days at Kamp Kiwanis for Outdoor School have been an amazing and unimaginable experience for myself, our staff and most importantly "our kids". I refer to them as "our kids" because that is truly how we, as a school community feel about every one of them. To come to a place that not only shares this belief, but practices it every single day was so rewarding and touching to see and be a part of. Your staff were remarkably accommodating and caring to the needs of our kids: Everything from helping with cuts/nose bleeds to randomly peeling apples, washing dirty clothes/sleeping bags or providing a shoulder to cry on, you and your staff did it all and never once complained or rolled an eye. There are hundreds more examples of how all of the Kamp staff went out of their way to give our kids the best week possible. I have heard from numerous students that this was the best week of their lives. Knowing their back stories and having seen their remarkable growth/successes over the past few days, I believe them when they make such a large statement. The care and support that you and the staff provided to our Special Needs kids was not only remarkable but heartwarming. Adapting to the needs of these complex kids is difficult at the best of times. Whether it was yourself, playing guitar until a bunk of boys fell asleep each night or "Fox" jumping in on day one to support one of the most "stacked" bunk groups there could ever possibly be. Whatever was needed, the counsellors and staff were there to help. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU...FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, THANK YOU. I think the highlight of my time here was during the final camp fire. A skit was taking place where one of the staff was pretending to be on a roller-coaster (little did she know, the Kampers were imagining her on a toilet). I looked across the fire to one of our kids, who suffers from severe social-anxiety causing a form of select-mutism. He was smiling and laughing. I have known this child for 2 years and have never once seen him laugh and smile. Kamp allowed him the opportunity to forget about everything back home and simply be a kid. This is what I have learned Kamp is all about. Please do not ever forget the impact that this place has on kids. I commend you for your leadership and guidance with the staff. They are an amazing group of young people who have exciting futures ahead of them. It is people like those who work at Kamp Kiwanis who make the world a better place, one kid at a time. Thank you so much and please pass along my most sincere gratitude to each and every counsellor/staff member. Assistant Principal from an Outdoor School Experience at Kamp Kiwanis
I wanted to thank you Josh (Outdoor School Director) and Matt (Kamp Chef) for the exceptional week you and your staff gave our daughter. When she was diagnosed last November, we didn't think going to camp was an option. Thanks to Matt's amazing work communicating and paying special attention to her needs, she found out she can really do everything she wants. I found a lot of post-its in her bag. 😉 I am sure first camp means a lot to many families, but it was really extra special for us. Thank you! Parent, Outdoor School