Written by Jessica Burke-Trebell, a CAF ambassador and former young person in care.

Camp defined is a place with “temporary accommodations”. In reality, it’s so much more than that. It’s a life-changing experience where you reveal a new layer of yourself (obviously I’m biased. NOTE: not every camp will change your life.)

I think many people, (predominantly adults who never attended camp), don’t see the value in it. When I look back to my formative years, camps hold some one of my fondest memories.

This image is from a camp I attended when I was twelve.

This image is from a camp I attended when I was twelve.

I screamed and kicked and didn’t want to go. I mean, we had a trailer we went to in the summer, why did I need to go to camp?

I was quickly taught otherwise. I made new friendships and discovered more about myself in that week at camp than I ever did in any classroom or prior experiences. It was an overnight canoe trip camp, so it was my first time canoeing, portaging and being away from my family for a week. Although this picture is all I have to remember of the people that I met, my experiences were truly transformative.

To sum- up this post, regardless of the camp — whether it be a day camp, overnight camp, brownie camp or even one through school — camp has the power to positively transform a child’s life (and in my opinion adult camps/retreats are pretty amazing too!). I am and will always continue to be a camp enthusiast.

Read another young person’s post here.

About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable kids overcome the obstacles in life that hold them back. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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