Camp GoodtimesMay 1, 2009
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Camp Goodtimes was established in 1985. Since then it has continued to grow in its mission to serve children with a history of cancer, as well as their families. Located on beautiful Loon Lake in Maple Ridge, programs operate in July and August every year. Loon Lake offers an incredible natural setting within the University of British Columbia’s Research Forest.
Our camp for children aged 6-15 (as well as 16-18 year old Leaders In Training) began on the Sunshine Coast under the leadership of its founder, Lois Youngson. Twenty-five children attended one week of summer camp ‚Äì an activity they could not have taken part in without 24-hour medical care and specially trained staff in place. Since that first week of camp, we have grown to accept more than 400 participants during the seven sessions available each year. In addition to our four one-week kids’ camps, we offer a program for teens and for families too.
Our teen program, which was established in 1990, is available to children with a history of cancer between the ages of 15 and 18. Its goal is to provide an exciting, adventure-based program that allows teens to challenge themselves at various levels and relax in a welcome social setting.
Our family program, established in 1991, is designed for whole families who have a child between the ages of 0 to 18 with a history of cancer. These two 4-day sessions are packed with opportunities to grow as a family and to connect with other families in a comfortable setting that offers fun activities and opportunities to learn.
Camp Goodtimes’ mission is to provide a fun-filled, happy, and safe camping experience that lets kids take a break from the reality of their disease and just be kids having fun at camp. The many letters we receive from parents tell us that Camp Goodtimes has been successful far beyond our dreams.
The Camp Goodtimes Program was developed, and is maintained, with the help of the oncology and social work departments of BC Children’s Hospital. Over 300 volunteers annually make our programs possible.
Arts and crafts are a central part of the Camp Goodtimes program, and for many campers their favourite time at camp is taking part in planned activities or simply using materials to make something they thought up themselves. This provides campers a means for creative self expression, a chance to make something with their own hands, and is always an opportunity to relax and connect with other campers. It is always a priority to ensure that great projects are planned, and that the arts and crafts supplies are well stocked with every imaginable material for which the campers find innumerable creative uses. With over 400 participants coming to camp over the 7 sessions that run each summer, Camp needs lots of arts and crafts materials, and donations to this area are always appreciated.
For further information, visit www.cancer.ca