“Scotiabank recognizes that developing youth empowerment is crucial for youth with diverse abilities and we love that Easter Seals summer camps provides an environment that builds confidence and independence in a fun and accessible environment,” says Zak Khokhar, District Vice President of Scotiabank. “We know that how we support young people today can prepare them for tomorrow, and that’s why we’re very proud to donate $300,000 to the Easter Seals summer camp program.”
Easter Seals is known for offering a nature-based, outdoor summer camp experience for children, youth and adults with diverse abilities, and over the last 50 years, more than 35,000 campers have experienced its magic.
“These camps need to go on,” explains Gina Duncan, mom to 24-year old Cassidy, who has autism and has been going to camp since she was 8 years old. “These camps for our children are life changing. It teaches them kindness, compassion, support of one another and not to be afraid. To be able to go out in the world and be themselves. That is the most important thing. Nobody places any expectations on them and they just shine. It’s those experiences that come home and shape them, giving them the tools to help them with their day to day life challenges.”
With a focus on abilities and empowerment, campers try activities like swimming, wheelchair basketball, climbing walls, water polo and talent shows, which in turn improves their confidence, independence and interaction with others. Campers return home with new friendships, improved skills, and become more independent and active members of their communities.
“Our campers often have to face life with others only seeing their disabilities, but camp helps them realize they aren’t defined by their disability, and they instead focus on empowerment and the challenges they can overcome with the support of counselors and fellow campers,” says Lisa Beck, President and CEO of Easter Seals BC/Yukon. “We are so grateful for the support of Scotiabank to help us continue to provide this type of camp experience to our youth for years to come.”
Easter Seals Camps provide a high camper to staff ratio with leaders who are enthusiastic and highly trained to support the needs of a full range of physical and cognitive disabilities. Along with onsite medical care, specialized meals, and customized programs, the camps also offer an important respite for families and caregivers.
Thank you Scotiabank for your ongoing commitment and support for Easter Seals Summer Camps!