A summer camp in Overbrook needs the community’s support to offer the best it can for its kids.
The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre has partnered with Pro-Active Education for All Children’s Enrichment (PEACE) to run a summer camp this summer for underprivileged children. The idea to start the camp only emerged about two months ago — a relatively short period of time to get everything in place said coordinator Lauren Touchant.
And even though numerous community partners, museums and organizations have stepped forward to offer the camp discounts and outings, there is a funding gap of $7,000 to make the camp all that organizers hope it to be.
“If we don’t get the funding – it will be really hard, we won’t be able to get the buses to take the children out,” Touchant said. “Every kid deserves the chance to have a wonderful summer, and it’s not fair that some can’t go because it is becoming so expensive.”
There are 60 kids registered for the camp, with 40 of them completely subsidized and many of the others at a discount rate. The regular rate is $20 per day.
Touchant said the camp made specific spaces for Syrian refugee children who will attend the camp, offering them the opportunity to learn about Ottawa and English over the summer before starting school in the fall.
The camp can only accommodate 60 children, but Touchant said the ultimate goal is to expand the program next year.
“This is the first year, if it works well, we will increase the number of kids,” she said.
The resource centre believes the camp is filling a need for affordable care for families during the summer months.
“Camps are becoming really expensive, and many families can not afford to send their children all summer,” she said. “We were told subsidy barely covers two weeks of day camps, so we decided to make this work.”
Depending on family income, the camp offers families the opportunity to send their children to a camp on a sliding scale between free at an income of less than $34,999 to $20 a day on a family income of $79,000.
The $7,000 still needed will mainly go to busing needs, to get the children to and from outings as well as cover other small activities.
The resource centre hosted a barbecue and garage sale at its 225 Donald St. location on June 18 as one way to raise some of the funds needed. Donations can also be made to the camp online atcanadahelps.org/en/charities/rideau-rockcliffe