Since 1947, Easter Seals BC & Yukon has been an established leader in supporting the disabled community through Easter Seals Camps and Easter Seals House. In 1976, Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan opened to provide a summer camp on Vancouver Island for children and teens with disabilities.
Easter Seals Camps are a place where everyone is welcome and no one hears the word ‘no’. It’s a place where campers can be themselves, and explore and develop their abilities in a safe, warm, fun and supportive environment. Campers return home with new friendships, improved skills, and become more independent and active members of their communities. Camp offers both a magical experience for campers, and an important week of respite for families and caregivers.
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For parents of a child with a disability, caregiving can be 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s emotionally and physically demanding, with many different pieces that go into planning and maintaining care.
Now imagine a child who couldn’t go to summer camp because of the challenges of caregiving. At Easter Seals Camps, that’s not the case.
“The quality of care, the compassion and the kindness of the staff that they have at Easter Seals camps is absolutely incredible,” says Nansey, mother of Tina who has Cerebral Palsy and has been attending camps for more than ten years. “They select and hire the most capable, dedicated and enthusiastic bubbly personalities.”
Easter Seals camps have a three-to-one camper-to-staff ratio, a 24-hour medical team on-site, and camp counsellors trained specifically to work with persons with physical and cognitive disabilities between the ages of six to 49. Disabilities vary from autism, development delays, anxiety disorders, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy, and ADHD, among others.
"The biggest thing camp does is give me piece of mind I can't even describe. Whether it's a week away, or a one-hour class, I am so happy that Tina has time that is just about her. It gives her an opportunity to break away from the life with a disability and her routines at home that are all about her care."
Grab your paddles and join the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club for the 43rd Annual Paddle For The Kids! This event is a unique fundraiser benefitting children and adults with disabilities who attend Easter Seals Summer Camp at Shawnigan Lake.
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For 43 years, members of the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club have paddled for 10 long and arduous hours taking a 75km journey from Brentwood Bay to their clubhouse on the Gorge. Their first crossing was done in 1982, in one 25-foot voyageur canoe with two crews of six paddlers. One crew would paddle to Port Angeles, while the other paddled back.
The Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club is a recreational paddling club based in Victoria, BC. The club is a not-for-profit organization devoted to the promotion of safe and skillful paddling on Vancouver Island and in the surrounding waters. Through their generous pledges, they have raised over $410,000 for Easter Seals Summer Camps in BC.