Front row: Nine very excited Y campers Back row (left to right): Art Stirling (YMCA), Dustin Ryan (owner RDS Maintenance & General Contracting), Timarra Milmine (General Manager, Chatham-Kent YMCA), Kaitlin Brotzel (YMCA)

CK YMCA aims to send 70 children to camp this summer

The YMCA of Chatham-Kent is sending at least 48 children to summer camp this year through its annual Fill the Bus campaign.

But the goal is to send 70 by raising a total of $14,000.

The fundraising campaign was launched June 10, 2024 with a goal of raising $200,000 and so they can send 1,000 kids to camp across the region.

"Camp is an educational and magical experience. We believe that spending time at camp builds confidence and independence that campers will take with them through to adulthood," said YMCA of Southwestern Ontario CEO Andrew Lockie. "We appreciate that the cost of camp is more challenging for some, and our Fill the Bus campaign raises funds to ensure every child can attend camp, regardless of their financial circumstances."

The YMCA said children and youth who attend camp report increased environmental awareness, positive attitudes towards physical activity, emotional intelligence, personal development, and self-confidence.

Y officials added camp gives kids access to healthy activities that connect them to others and the joy of life beyond the screen, adding that many children are spending more than seven hours a day in front of a screen.

"As a charity, the Y would not be able to send these kids to camp independently, so we greatly appreciate the support of our sponsors like RSD Maintenance & General Contracting, with a generous donation of $5,000, as well as our staff, volunteers, and private donors. We are absolutely thrilled to help so many kids have the experience of a lifetime this summer," said General Manager of the Chatham-Kent YMCA Timarra Milmine. "Thousands of lives have been changed through the friendships, learning experiences, connection to nature, and independence they have found at Y camps."

Click here for more information about the Fill the Bus campaign. To learn more about YMCA camp experiences, click here.

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