GNSC - Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition


A day to celebrate the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition’s summer camps

A day to celebrate the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition’s summer camps

July 26, 2019

All-Camps Day at Waverley Public School Wednesday saw 200 campers from six different camps run by various neighbourhood groups actoss the city
July 24th 2019 : Tony Saxon

It was a day of fun in the sun and a chance for the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition to celebrate Wednesday at All-Camps Day.

The GNSC has 13 neighbourhood groups across the city, providing activities and support through everything from yoga classes to food banks.

There are eight summer camps being held in the city this year, with the Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Group having two locations due to its sprawling coverage area.

The roughly 200 campers from all the camps were at Waverley Drive Public School on Wednesday for a day of activities and a barbecue.

Brendan Johnson, the GNSC’s executive director, said the camps are inclusive and play an important role in the neighbourhoods.

“Today is a day we brought together as a celebration day, get them out of their neighbourhoods and into a new neighbourhood,” Johnson said. “They get to hang out with other kids, mingle and connect.”

There’s six neighbourhoods running camps right now with two more joining in August.

“A lot of families just need a break and they need somewhere for the kids to go. The camps are in the neighbourhood, they’re run by people they know and they know a lot of the kids there,” Johnson said.

About 40 camp leaders and supervisors are hired through fundraising efforts by the GNSC, funding through the federal government’s summer jobs program and support from GNSC corporate partners.

Camp fees are charged on a cost-recovery basis and no one is turned down.

“People pay in the $50 to $100 range at most and we have subsidies and other financial assistance so we don’t say no to people,” Johnson said.

There are also about 60 volunteer leaders-in-training.

Johnson points to one young woman who started out as a camper at the Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group, later became a leader-in-training, then a camp leader, and is now a camp supervisor.

This article was originally posted in the Guelph Today