Alyssa Light 
Executive Director 
Telephone # (519) 364-3975
Charitable # 808623953 RR0001

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  • Fosters self-esteem, social skills, and respect for others
  • Uncover potential for personal growth in campers and staff
  • Nurture teamwork, mentoring, and leadership development

Program Story

Overnight Summer Camp 

Camp McGovern is a camp that supports underprivileged and at-risk youth, referred through social service agencies. In 2016 we served 359 children and youth from 261 families.

  • They came from 41 cities, towns and villages—50% from Waterloo Region
  • They were referred through 39 agencies across Ontario—18 from Waterloo Region
  • 8 campers were adopted and still wanted to attend Camp McGovern
  • The campers ranged in age from 6-19 years old—88% were between 9 and 16 years old

According to a research study by the University of Waterloo, kids who go to camp grow in the following areas: social integration, citizenship, environmental awareness, attitude towards physical activity, emotional intelligence, personal development, and self-confidence. Our campers take camp home – the skills they learn here are utilized in so many areas of their lives (this can be verified by referring agencies and workers). We offer them the opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun – it’s their challenge to take us up on that. This model is based in experiential learning and makes the greatest impact on campers.

Donation Impact

$385 sends a child to overnight camp for a week at Camp McGovern. This includes transportation, tuck, and a camp t-shirt; there are no additional expenses. Donations translate to a young person being given time with a positive role model, something that they thrive from and cherish. We have campers and staff who have calendars and cross off the days until they come back from camp. Donations mean that campers are well fed, cared for, challenged, and celebrated, which are often experiences they don’t have at home.

Giving Opportunity

We had 8 campers, 2% of the total summer attendance, whose parents paid the full camper fee. That means that 351 campers, or 98% of campers, needed funding to attend camp.  The opportunity to provide a session at camp for youth could be the difference in their lives in dark or challenging times (many of our campers come with mental health challenges and/or are living with people who have mental health challenges and/or addiction). Donating to camp means that children and teens have the opportunity to create themselves, be celebrated, and have a place that teaches them what safety, love, and home can feel like.