August 2009 marked the 3rd annual MS Summer Camp program for children and teens living with MS, a collaboration with Easter Seals, the Hospital for Sick Children’s Paediatric MS Clinic and the MS Society. Held in Perth Ontario, campers range in age from 8-18. These programs offer the opportunity for youth who are impacted by MS to take part in camps that not only boast fun and adventure, but also provide respite from the stresses associated with MS while allowing youth to share similar experiences and just be kids!
The MS Summer Camp is an opportunity for children and teens with MS to meet at the banks of the beautiful Big Rideau Lake for a week long adventure full of fun and new friends. The camp also allows participants to enjoy a break from the stress associated with MS, in a supportive environment.
When is the camp?
The camp will be held August 14th – August 20th, 2010.
Where is the camp?
Camp Merrywood, an Easter Seals camp, is a 30-acre site on the banks of Big Rideau Lake. The camp is between Perth and Smith Falls, in Eastern Ontario.
Who can apply?
In order to apply, you must:
• Be 8-18 years of age
• Have a diagnosis of MS confirmed in writing by a neurologist
• Not plan to attend another Paediatric MS camp in summer 2010
Applicants from the United States are invited to apply, though preference will be given to Canadian applicants.
What kinds of things can you do at the camp?
Participants can choose from a wide variety of activities, including kayaking, swimming, sailing, games, pottery, dance classes, white water rafting, photography, drama, overnight and day trips, bonfires at night and more! Participants can take a time out to rest when they need it, but there is always plenty going on to take part in!
How much does it cost to go to the camp?
The camp is free to attend. All costs associated with attending the camp (including travel) are covered, thanks to a fourth year of generous funding from the RBC Foundation and the Fondation Bergeron-Jetté.
How do I apply?
Applications are now available at MS clinics and MS division offices across Canada or fill out the PDF form. Campers will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application in early June.
Who is at camp to support the participants?
Easter Seals counselors lead camp activities with experience and lots of energy. Nurses from the Paediatric MS Clinic at the Hospital for Sick Children will also be on site to support medical needs of participants.
Who else will be there?
There will also be a small number of MS Society personnel on site, as well as peer support counselors who are successful young adults living with MS. This gives campers the opportunity to meet older peers who have followed their dreams despite their MS diagnosis.
What are the camp facilities like?
The camp is fully accessible, and cabins are air conditioned.
There are many different camp buildings and facilities.
Is there anyone who speaks French at the camp?
There are bilingual counselors at camp however, the camp takes place in a predominantly English-speaking environment and it is recommended that camp participants are comfortable speaking English.