Kids just want to have fun
Summer camp is a rite of passage for many children in Niagara.
The Centre de Santé Communautaire Hamilton/Niagara knows it can be a costly endeavour for some families,
and that can mean some children are forced to miss out.
Last year, with the help of a $500 grant from the Niagara Community Foundation, the organization hosted a
free, one-week summer sports camp for 40 local children, targeting low-income families.
The group’s mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for Hamilton and Niagara’s Frenchspeaking
communities. It used the mini grant to buy sports equipment — baseball bats, gloves, soccer and
basketballs, frisbees, and protective gear — for children aged six to 12 to use at camp last summer and for
years to come.
The Centre de Santé camp provided full days of learning the fundamentals of different sports, playing games
and instilling a positive sense of self-worth and self-esteem with every run batted in and goal scored.
Children got active, nurtured relationships and learned the importance of team work. They sharpened their
nutrition knowledge thanks to snacks and lunches the Centre de Santé provided to all participants. The week
also featured two presentations about portion size and the four food groups.
By the end of the week, participants reported making healthier choices in their diets, spending more time being
active and less time on technological devices, and feeling more confident in their relationships and athletic skills.
Now the Centre de Santé is planning to offer the camp over several weeks this summer and give even more
local Francophone children the chance to enjoy this seasonal tradition.