Willowgrove guarantees camp programming this summer

Before COVID-19, southern Ontario not-for-profit Willowgrove offered summer camps, outdoor education and seasonal events in Ontario from its Willowgrove Day Camp and Outdoor Education Centre in Stouffville and Fraser Lake Camp in Bancroft. In order to maintain its mission but move its work online, Willowgrove has created Camp @ Home, a unique online camp experience that allows children and youth to have personal, genuine camp connections under the supervision of a live counsellor. Each day, campers log on from home for a three-hour condensed camp schedule. Alongside their peers, campers participate in various interactive camp-wide competitions, in addition to smaller focus groups of skill-based sessions including environmental education, art, peace and social justice, and fitness. But what really makes this program unique is in the “cabin time.” Twice a day, campers break off into small, age-specific groups that function as their online cabins. These groups remain consistent throughout the week to provide campers with the opportunity to meet new friends, build confidence, and develop meaningful relationships outside their usual circles. Camp counsellors supervise via live video, leading discussions in cabin, offering mentorship, and cheering on their campers during each activity. Recognizing the gravity of the current economy, families are provided with a “pay what you choose” fee structure that offers $4, $8 and $12 an hour options. The program is currently set to begin in June, but may start earlier due to popular demand. For more information visit campathome.ca.

—Willowgrove

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