Win 4 Kids Finalist: Camp Awakening
Camp Awakening offers two summer camp programs that give youth with physical disabilities the opportunity to increase independence, make lasting friendships and build confidence. Camp Awakening campers participate in a variety of recreational activities – including at least four to six hours of instructional physical activity daily. Activities include swimming, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, basketball, sledge hockey, soccer, tennis, challenge courses and so much more!
The main focus is on instruction, skill development and of course, fun. As campers build skills many work to attain specific levels in their favourite activities. Children with disabilities often feel socially isolated, stigmatized and marginalized from society. By participating in organized sports and recreational activities that are offered at the camp, they have the opportunity to develop their skills and achieve the lasting benefits of mental and physical health.
30 per cent of the campers are from the greater Toronto area (GTA), another 20 per cent are from medium-sized city centers like Peterborough, Kitchener, Waterloo, etc. The remaining 50 per cent are from small towns and are often the only child in their whole school or community with a physical disability. The campers range from 9-18 years of age.
Funds from Win 4 Kids would be dedicated to two specific areas of the Camp Awakening program: sponsorship and adapted equipment. Sponsorship provides financial assistance for more than 60 per cent of the campers who require subsidies. Adapted equipment will be designated towards the purchase of adapted and accessible sports equipment to ensure all campers can participate and have fun.
"Camp Awakening has brought out the best in Adam and has made him realize his dreams all the way. The camp experience improved his confidence, independence and social skills. The counsellors and camp staff have been wonderful mentors for him with their positive attitudes and encouraging outlooks. Adam is who he is now because Camp Awakening took him on an adventure that nobody else could. This has allowed him to see his life so differently, so enjoyably and feeling capable of doing everything.”