Kids need Hopes and Dreams
FORMER LITTLE BROTHER REFLECTS ON THE VALUE OF CAMP MCGOVERN
“I remember very recently having a conversation with my wife about how she wished she went to summer camp as a kid. She was telling me how jealous she was that I got to go.
Looking back now I can recall that I didn’t feel fortunate or lucky at the time, it seemed like when the time came around to pack up and go to camp me and my brothers never wanted to leave our friends behind, but the weird thing was at the end of our 2 weeks at Camp McGovern I also never wanted to leave.
It was an opportunity that I would have never been able to experience without Big Brothers. My mom had 2 jobs when we were growing up, being a single mom was very difficult for her, and living off a tight budget raising three boys, summer camp was not something we could have afforded without the assistance of McGovern and Big Brothers. It also alleviated the burden of her trying to find or pay for daycare for us for a full 2 weeks.
When I look back at all of the things I experienced during my stays at McGovern certain things really stand out. I remember the hikes along the Niagara escarpment, where we would leave the camp grounds and spend the night in tents in the woods. Along the way we would stop and venture into some of the caverns to explore and have adventures.
Among the many things I loved most was flipping over stones in search of salamanders and fire newts. The counselors all had the same scary stories, not sure if they used them to keep the kids in line, or scare us from venturing off on our own, but a word to the wise I hear there’s gremlins in those caverns surrounding the Niagara escarpment.
On a more serious note, one of the things that brought me down more than anything as a young boy was hearing my friends talking about the stuff they did with their fathers, and talking about how awesome their dads were. My father passed away when I was 3, I never had any stories or experiences to share or contribute, I felt like an outcast. At Camp McGovern I never felt that way, it was always comforting to be around other boys who shared that common bond with me.
After taking the time to reflect on my childhood experiences it’s abundantly clear to me that I was indeed a very lucky boy to have had the opportunities I did. I still to this day tell some of the tales I heard around the camp fire as a boy at McGovern to my small children when we go out into the woods on adventures of our own.
It’s important to consider that when you vote for Camp McGovern, you’re giving a child an opportunity to do something that might not be possible without the assistance of these charitable organizations, and also providing a lifetime of memories, and learning experiences that they will carry with them forever.”
Multimedia Designer – Research In Motion
Teacher – Conestoga College
Married with 2 kids - 4 &18 months
Camp McGovern 1986-1990
OUR AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND REQUEST
We hope you can join us in support of the campers we serve which includes: little brothers, little sisters, foster children and children & youth served by United Way & other Social Service agencies. Camp McGovern makes life-changing differences in the lives of children & youth in need. This also impacts their parent(s), care-givers, siblings, teachers & ultimately our communities at large.
We have a tremendous opportunity to be awarded the necessary funds to make provincially required renovations to our Wash House. This includes updating showers, washrooms, laundry room along with making the facility fully accessible.
OUR IMPACT IN THE COMMUNITY
To give you a feel for the kind of differences we are making, we provide the following story of a single mom who shared her story about her son who is visually and mentally delayed and has ADHD (Attention Deficit & Hyper Activity Disorder). Jordan has gone to Camp McGovern for 5 years and she praised our Camp Staff and the other campers for making her son feel welcome and a part of the Camp Community.
She was in tears when she said:
“It is just us. We spend all of our time together. He goes to a special school for the blind out of town so doesn’t get to socialize with other children. He is 13, but performs at the level of a 6 year old. Camp gives us both some independence and a much needed week apart. It has helped him grow. He is no longer afraid of the dark and it means so much to see him go and have fun. We were at the mall a few weeks ago and an amazing thing happened. A young girl from camp came up to my son and said hello! It made me cry to know that someone took the time to do that”
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VOTE locally to give less fortunate children & youth a chance to attend Camp McGovern, a subsidized camping program that provides "Hopes & Dreams" so these kids will know things will be okay!
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