Campfire Circle

Founded in 1983 and 1984 respectively, Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium, combined their strengths with a merger in 2020, followed by a rebrand to Campfire Circle in 2022. What began as two humble summer camps for kids with cancer and their families now offers healing through happiness year-long in hospitals, in the community and at overnight camps, all across Ontario. Campfire Circle is often referred to as the social cure for cancer. It’s a place where kids play, grow and enjoy new experiences in a safe, welcoming environment. Their programs celebrate kids for who they are – not what they have.

The Smart and Caring Children & Youth Fund grant was utilized by Campfire Circle for overnight camps. Overnight camp programs played a key role in restoring the health and well-being of oncology kids and their families. At overnight camp, campers had the chance to recover what had been compromised during the pandemic - fun, friendship, and healing in nature. The grant from this fund enabled them to restore in-person sports and recreation programs. Campers, who may have experienced deepend isolation and long stays in hospitals due to cancer and the pandemic, were able to be active and participate in activities like swimming, canoeing, kayaking, archery, fishing and an adventure course. Overnight camps in Muskoka were focused on reducing social isolation to create connected communities and support better health - physical, social, emotional and mental along with recovery. The program provided emotional support that enhanced attitudes on life, boosted children and youth’s self-esteem, helped families function and navigate the community to find a new sense of normalcy. The camp’s medically safe environment helps kids grow independently, gain confidence through new experiences and build new and lasting friendships. These experiences make a huge difference in the quality of life of the campers.

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