2013: A Summer to Remember
It's hard to believe that another summer has come to an end. Campfires, canoe trips, mosquitoes and laughs shared with cabin mates will have to wait until next summer, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Summer 2013 was our biggest summer yet! 175 Amici campers attended over 400 weeks of camp at 30 different accredited overnight camps across Ontario. A huge thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers and partner camps for making this past summer so memorable for so many children and youth!
Applications for Summer 2014 will be available online at the end of September on our website. We look forward to growing our numbers next summer and sending even more deserving children and youth to camp!
In Memoriam: Jack Pearse
The camping world lost an icon on Wednesday, August 21 with the passing of Camp Tawingo founder Jack Pearse. He was 87.
Over 42 summers, Jack was the Director at Tawingo where he inspired thousands of children and staff members. Jack was also an acclaimed song leader, having led singsongs in countless countries and producing many recordings and books on camp song and program. His singsongs serve as defining camp memories for generations of campers.
Jack was renowned for his camp leadership. He served terms as President of the Ontario Camps Association, Canadian Camping Association, and Association of Independent Camps. He also co-founded and served as Chair of the International Camping Fellowship, bringing together children and camping professionals from around the world.
Camp Tawingo’s John Jorgenson wrote, “Jack’s passion for camping and youth development extended far beyond the borders of the Tawingo home that has shaped so many great young people into great adults. His belief in sharing his leadership and energy with others extended into so many other areas of life that it is difficult to mention them all. Friends in the Ontario and Canadian camping associations as well other camping associations the world over will miss his memorable contributions to the camping movement. Dear to his heart for so many years were his friends in the International Camping Fellowship because he believed that the world truly can become a better place through camping and that we can make a difference – if we try.”
Camp Tawingo has long been the summer home of many Amici campers, and continues to be a strong supporter. We offer our condolences to Director Mike Pearse and his family, as well as the greater Tawingo community. Jack will be missed by many, but his great legacy lives on at both Tawingo and at camps around the world.
For more information on Jack Pearse’s legacy, please click here.
Reflections on Canoe Heads for Kids 2013
Canoe Heads for Kids was an outstanding success. It was also the biggest ever! With close to 100 participants on 12 teams joining this year's event, it will go down as a remarkable day. Our participants and donors have made a big difference. Canoe Heads for Kids raised over $97,000, sharing the gift of almost 200 weeks of summer camp with deserving children from low-income families. On behalf of every child who will benefit from your generosity, THANK YOU!
Teams began to arrive at Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak around 8:45 am on Saturday June 1st. The forecast on Friday evening was calling for rain and thunder storms, so the participants were happy to wake to clear skies and calm waters. Historically Mother Nature has not been so kind to Canoe Heads for Kids in the past; their fingers were crossed that the weather would hold for the duration of the day. The participants ended up having luck on their side this year and only experienced some tail winds and a few drops of rain during the final stretch of the paddle.
The canoes were divided among the 12 teams and the participants were ready to begin their journey. Canoes were hoisted and the participants set off for the portage portion of the day. Headed east, they navigated through Toronto’s downtown core; a sea of 47 red, blue, yellow and green canoes among a concrete jungle. They travelled along King Street, having a short break to refuel at Roundhouse Park before making their way towards Lake Ontario and the waterfront trail. By noon participants began to arrive at the Humber River, beginning to feel the effects of the journey but still smiling. Teams were proud of their members to have the bulk of the distance covered and were still looking forward to the paddle that lay ahead of them.
Lunch proved to be a great celebration of finishing the portage and reconnecting with old friends and family. At lunch, the participants, families, volunteers and supporters heard some amazing testimonials from a few Amici-sponsored campers, providing a heartfelt reminder of why this event is so important-a way to send kids and youth to camp who would not have had the opportunity to do so. Camp gives children the chance to experience outdoors, make new friends, learn new skills and appreciate their surroundings. The self-confidence and independence developed at camp will last a lifetime. Once speeches were over, the participants were finally able to get their paddles wet. The weather remained favourable and it was only in the last couple of kilometres that strong winds challenged the small water crafts. All participants made it to the finish without incident, only a few sore muscles.
In the words of one of the Canoe Heads for Kids 2013 Steering Committee Members, “A sense of satisfaction washed over us as our historically Canadian adventure, set in a modern city, came to an end seven hours after it started. Although the base of my feet feel bruised and my thumbs are stiff from holding the boats, it was definitely worth it as over $97,000 has been raised which will send almost 100 kids to camp this summer and provide close to 200 weeks of camp experiences.”
Summer 2013 Campership: Watch us Grow!
Summer 2013 will be our most exciting summer yet! With the help of our donors, community partners and partner camps, Amici will be sending 170 campers to 30 camps across Ontario. We are also excited to announce that 16 of those youth will be participating in specialized Leadership Development Programs and/or advance wilderness tripping programs at their respective partner camps.
Amici is committed to funding an increasing number of youth in outdoor recreation programs, to ensure that camp becomes a stable path to a brighter future for more children, year after year. As the number of applications that we receive continues to grow each year, our key strategic component is increasing our ability to fund these programs. Endeavour Volunteer Consulting recently developed an ambitious four year strategic plan that encompasses all aspects of the organization. We are calling our vision: “250 by 50” – to provide 250 underprivileged children and youth with summer camp experiences by 2016, when Amici will celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary.
Our waiting list continues to grow this year as the needs of the community continue to increase. We continue to have families applying every day, even those interested in securing a spot for Summer 2014! We anticipate that by Summer 2014 our campership will grow to a record number of campers, aligned with our goal of 250 campers by 2016.
Summer camp experiences give youth an opportunity to become role models for future generations, as well as equipping them with the skills to effectively contribute to their camp, home, and school communities. 170 children and youth will spend their summer building their self-confidence, increasing their independence and learning what it truly means to be part of a caring and supportive community.
Canoe Heads for Kids Returns on Saturday, June 1!
The sixth annual Canoe Heads For Kids event will see 10 teams of camp enthusiasts strap canoes to their backs and embark on a 20 km paddle and portage along Toronto’s Waterfront and through the city streets to raise funds for Amici Camping Charity, which sends underprivileged kids to summer camp.
Now in its sixth year, Canoe Heads for Kids has grown from a solo trek to a 100-person endeavor. To date, Canoe Heads for Kids has raised over $100,000 and given more than 100 kids the summer camp experience of a lifetime. Canoe Heads for Kids is on track to raise another $100,000 this year, which will send 100 deserving kids and teenagers to summer camps across Ontario for two weeks.
Why do supporters become involved in Canoe Heads for Kids? Because they believe in the transformative power of camp. It provides a natural and supportive environment where kids can learn the importance of cooperation, teamwork, responsibility, leadership and hard work – all values participants will rely on as they paddle and portage!
To learn more about Canoe Heads for Kids, or to get involved, please visit www.canoeheadsforkids.com
To support Canoe Heads for Kids, please click here.
2013 Camper Applications
With a successful 2012 season behind us, we are now looking forward to an exciting 2013 season at Amici!
In 2012, we were thrilled to be able to support 155 campers to attend one of our 27 partner overnight camps. We are looking to expand our numbers even further for next summer, as we look to help even more kids experience the magic of summer camp.
New and renewal camper applications are now available. Any family that had a camper attend camp through Amici in 2012 was sent a renewal application by mail and email.
If you are interested in applying for sponsorship for your child for the first time, please contact the Amici Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-588-8026) to request an application package.
Looking Back at Canoe Heads for Kids – June 2, 2012
After a rainy Friday that saw Union Station flood, we were all a little nervous to find out what the weather would have in store for us. Teams began arriving at Harbourfront around 6:00 am to find white caps in the inner harbour. There was a wind warning in effect which meant that paddling across the open water between the Leslie Street Spit and The Beach was not an option. Not one complaint was heard as we moved to "Plan B", shouldered our boats and headed east towards the Distillery District. Besides, what is a canoe trip without a little foul weather?
This year the event continued to show growth as we had a total of ten teams participating, eighty five paddlers and also featured a new half distance (20 km). Once again the good folks at Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre, Kilcoo Camp, Onondaga Camp, and The Complete Paddler were gracious enough to provide boats for the day. We could not have run the event without them!
The mood was high as our 41 canoe convoy made its way from The Distillery District through the downtown core. We travelled across King Street, met up with the CBC photographers in front of Roy Thomson Hall before making our way back towards Lake Ontario to join the participants doing the half route. As we reconnected with the waterfront trail the wind showed no signs of abating. Passing cyclists and pedestrians did so with caution as the wind tossed us around. Learning a thing or two from horse shows, teams eventually had to have people holding on to their bows leading them west. By noon participants began to arrive at the Humber River, weathered but still smiling. Relieved to the have the bulk of the distance covered, yet a little afraid to sit due to tightening muscles.
After our lunch break we finally got a chance to get our paddles wet. With the wind at our backs we travelled inside the calm of the break wall to the symphony white caps crashing into the concrete barricade. We made our way as far as Ontario Place before the wind forced us off the water once again. Teams picked up their canoes and placed them on their tender shoulders to carry them back to the Harbourfront.
A sense of satisfaction washed over us as our historically Canadian adventure, set in a modern city, came to an end eight hours after it started. Although the base of my feet feel bruised, my thumbs are stiff from holding the boats and I can't stand up straight, it was definitely worth it as over $75,000 has been raised which will help send at least 75 kids to camp this summer. This would not have been possible without your support!
Until next year,
Stuart Snyder, Willie Macrae, Tim McMartin & the rest of the CH4K 2012 Organizing Committee
Jays Care Foundation Goes to Bat for Amici
Since 1992, Jays Care Foundation has been empowering children and youth in need. They help them realize their dreams by providing access to programs that support physical activity, education, and life-skill development and what better place to access these programs than summer camp! Jays Care Foundation has generously donated over $50,000 to Amici in the past two years!
This year, Jays Care Foundation invited Amici to participate in the 50/50 Program at Roger's Centre. Amici's 135 volunteers attended 5 Jays games to sell raffle tickets in support of sending more deserving children to summer camp. In addition to their generous financial contributions, Jays Care Foundation invited Amici campers to enjoy a Jays game from their phenomenal Skybox and seeing the excitement on our camper's faces was a testament to the wonderful work that Jays Care Foundation does!
Jays Care Foundation's philanthropic efforts and commitment to children and youth have enabled Amici to continue to grow its program sending 145 children and youth to summer camp in 2011. Jays Care Foundation offers many programs that support children and youth including Field of Dreams, Grand Slam Grants, Home Run Scholars, Rookie League Baseball, and Jays Care Community Clubhouse. Their unwavering dedication has touched the lives of thousands of children setting them on a path to a bright stable future. Amici is proud to have Jays Care Foundation as an Amici supporter.
For more information about Jays Care Foundation, please visit their website at toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/tor/community/tor_community_jayscare.jsp