Posted 28/11/2018 7:19:50 PM by Tanya Colaco

When Cindy, a single mom, was exploring healthy, safe and fun summer activities for her 10 year-old daughter Jess, she heard about YMCA camps. Her daughter had never been away from home for an extended period of time, so she wanted to find something for her during the day.  

She was so happy to find the day camp at YMCA Camp Elphinstone. With healthy outdoor activities like kayaking, canoeing and hiking, day camp seemed like the perfect fit. Unfortunately she could not afford the fee, so she turned to the YMCA for help and Jess was quickly registered. 

At first Jess was extremely reluctant to attend as this was an entirely new experience for her. After being taken under the wing of some caring YMCA counsellors, Jess began to blossom. By day four she had gone from a shy, timid girl to a girl who had the courage to stay for the Thursday evening “overnight” experience for day campers. 

At the end of the summer, Jess told her mother that she would love the opportunity to be able to go to a full two weeks of camp the following year. Not only that, she wanted to take the YMCA’s leadership training and become a camp counsellor someday. 

Cindy knew how important this experience was for her daughter, and worked with the YMCA to set up a monthly payment plan to ensure her daughter could attend. Unfortunately, despite her best efforts, she wasn’t able to raise the funds necessary to send her daughter. She knew how disappointed Jess would be. Cindy turned to the YMCA for help and, thanks to everyone who donated through our YMCA Strong Kids campaign, we were once again able to subsidize the difference. 

Jess’ dream came true. She spent two weeks at YMCA Camp Elphinstone, learning new skills and making new friends. Jess went from a hesitant day camper to a confident overnight camper with a strong interest in becoming a leader. 

Jess and Cindy are both so thankful for the generous people who have donated to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign to make Jess’ dreams come true. 

About Tanya Colaco

Tanya is the Digital Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. She’s an avid foodie, enjoys learning new things and loves to travel. Tanya is also an “animal person” and can never resist petting any cat or dog that crosses her path!

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