Kids in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood enjoyed an action-packed summer camp
On July 10th, 2017, Inner City Outreach opened its doors to over 50 children and youth from the Jane-Finch community for our very first independently-run summer camp program, Camp Freedom. During the six weeks, there were many laughs and life-time memories made as children from grades 1-8 came together to play, bond and create life-long memories.
Each morning at Camp Freedom began with all campers and leaders meeting to sing, dance and have a life lesson session. This was a highlight as it was a moment where the campers and leaders were relaxed and felt free to share their thoughts and genuinely connect with one another.
Another highlight was our Friday trips. At the end of each week everyone looked forward to going on a field trip. Over the next six weeks, Camp Freedom went to High Park, Skyzone, Riverdale Farms, Koalakidz playground, Exbury Splash Pad and Canada’s Wonderland just to name a few. We were grateful to receive funding from TD CanadaTrust (Downsview Hills branch) and Skills for Change, which allowed us to plan the most amount of activities compared to past years.
The success of the camp was much credited to our amazing camp counsellors. Through funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program, ICO was able to provide employment to local youths. For majority of the youth staff, the camp was their first employment opportunity. Camp Freedom afforded the counsellors the platform to gain transferable work skills that will be needed as they move forward in their professional lives. For many of the camp counsellors, this was their first experience in a leadership capacity. This was particularly exciting since some of them were campers themselves several years ago.
Camp Freedom concluded with a much-anticipated talent show. During the last few weeks, campers were busy working on their talents for the show. The campers were excited to showcase their performances before the counsellors, parents and staff who gathered to cheer them on. The audience was treated to a number of performances from dancers, singers and actors and actresses.
It was an exciting and fun-filled summer, here at Camp Freedom and we look forward to seeing you next year!