Better Support for Military Children with Camp Maple Leaf
Camp Maple Leaf is a non-profit camp for children of Canadian military families and children living with unique challenges. Beyond that however, it is a place that children can call “home base”. Centered around providing children with a place of connection and support, Camp Maple Leaf hosts a variety of sessions that target a number of life challenges that children of military families cope with, such as moving difficulties, frequently changing schools, leaving friends behind, and missing parents when deployed.
The camp is set up with a no phones, no technology policy where children are encouraged to build lasting relationships that they can foster throughout their various visits to the camp. “Everyone gets a ‘friendship that follows you home’ book before leaving the camp,” April Young, the Camp Director says, “this book is full of the contact information of the other kids at camp so that they can stay in contact, even when they’re not at camp.”
In the week-long visit to camp, children are given the opportunity to participate in a series of fun activities including canoeing, performing arts, wall climbing, and more. “It’s a place where kids can be kids and gain support through fun and friendship”, April goes on.
And the best part is that no-one is turned away. “It’s pay what you can,” April says. Camp Maple Leaf is just one of the many camps that is funded through the generous support of our donors.
True Patriot Love began working with Camp Maple Leaf in 2011 and has been providing both advisory and financial support ever since, with over $895,000 in funding provided to the camp.
About April Young
April Young grew up at camp from the age of 8. At 16, she realized that being a Camp Director for Children with unique challenges was her calling. April received her Master of Education along with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Therapeutic Recreation and Special Education. Since 1988, April has held many camp positions, from Counsellor to Director of Fun! April directed two camps for children with cancer and a camp for children of all abilities. She was also on the teams that founded a camp for burn survivors and a camp for children with congenital heart disease. April is committed to safety at camp and has shared this passion with other camps through volunteering with the Ontario Camps Association, as a past Chairman of their Standards Committee. April and her husband Shawn have two campers of their own, Joey and Lily. It is April’s dream come true to be part of the island magic of Camp Maple Leaf!
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