Graham at WFC

Day Camp is a Way for Kids to Have as Much Fun as Possible

May 26, 2023 Stories

How Your Support is Encouraging Families and Making Summer Awesome

Beach weather. No homework. Freedom. For kids, summer can be the best time of the year. But for parents, summer can present a challenge: how to provide activities and care while still balancing the responsibilities of work and housekeeping. Enter: Day Camps.

Day Camps can often get lost in the shuffle of seasonal activities, but they’re essential in supporting kids in building relationships and having new experiences during the summer months. For the last few years, Day Camp at UGM has run three days a week for six weeks between July and August, and this summer there will be even more days available.

The team works hard to make the kids have an absolute blast. “Day Camp is a way for kids to connect with other kids in the neighbourhood and have as much fun as possible,” says Graham, a Children & Youth Outreach Worker. “Every day for the kids involves some kind of trip, whether we’re just walking to get ice cream or driving to a water park or laser tag. It’s really meaningful to get kids out of the city.”

Kids at UGM Day Camp

One day, a kid said to me out of nowhere, ‘This is the best camp ever, Graham. When I first came here, I thought that we would just introduce ourselves to each other and look around the building. But then we went to Richmond!’ — Graham, Children & Youth Outreach Worker

A typical day at Day Camp begins with breakfast, and children are welcome to hang out and play Uno, do some crafting, or play basketball. Lunch is shared in UGM’s dining hall, and then excursions ensue. Everything is provided to families at no cost, giving parents on low incomes more space to provide necessities. 

Day campers range from ages 7 to 13, and the kids that age out of the program are welcome to come back as teen leaders, meaning they can continue participating in group activities while growing their skills. “I once asked a kid what her favourite thing about Day Camp was. She mentioned seeing new places, and then with no prompting, she said, ‘Next year, I'm going to be a leader so I can give this to other people.’” 

Spring into Summer

And while Day Camp exists to encourage kids, the camp participants bring light and joy to the entire neighbourhood. “I’ve had people come up to me when we’re in the playground to say ‘I wish I had something like this when I was a kid,’” says Graham. “For people in recovery, they’ll hear the kids playing basketball and they’ll tell me ‘This gave me the extra boost I needed to finish the day.’ Having kids around is a ministry to people.”

Day Camp is a part of a vibrant network of support for families in the neighbourhood. “When we come back after our play time, the level of joy I see on parents’ faces as they pick up their kids is really wonderful,” notes Graham. “This community really, really cares for children. And it’s a blessing to be part of that.”

Camps ensure kids can build friendships—and bright futures. Transform a child’s life this summer! Give generously at