Although our traditional overnight camps were not able to open this summer, Easter Seals has been thrilled to welcome families on-site in a reduced and adapted capacity. As public health restrictions lifted and with vaccination rates on the rise, Camp Merrywood and Camp Woodeden were both able to open their doors in mid-July for Family Visits.
Over the past four weeks, 53 Easter Seals families have enjoyed the camp facilities and activities free of charge for day visits, and even one or two overnight visit options at Merrywood. Easter Seals clients, along with their siblings, parents and caregivers, have participated in swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, arts and crafts, pottery, outdoor games, and more. They have met and engaged with other families in a socially distanced, yet interactive, setting. These Family Visits, which will continue through the month of August at Woodeden, have served as an excellent opportunity for new campers and families to try out camp while allowing experienced campers to return to a place they love for the first time since 2019!
Whether they were there for a few hours or a few days, families have been overwhelmingly positive in reflection on their time at camp. The underlying message from families upon departure or once they’ve returned home has been one of gratitude for the opportunity to get away as a family and to try new activities together. One mom, Cindy, sent the following message after her family’s visit to Merrywood:
“Thank you to everyone at [camp] for making our first family trip there such a great experience and memorable. We went canoeing for the first time as a family! This is definitely one of the highlights of another unusual year.”
Some spots remain open for Family Visits to Camp Woodeden on August 19, 20, 26 and 27. Activities will be offered between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on these days. Spaces will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. To register, please do so at eastersealsontario.campbrainregistration.com. For more information, please contact Katrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.