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Celebrating Camp Massawippi 2013

2013 -06-07 284nAYER’S CLIFF: It was a day of celebration at Camp Massawippi (3161, Round Bay Road, Ayer’s Cliff) as the doors were open to parents and visitors. This amazing and well-organized camp has, for more than 60 years, welcomed both boys and girls between 6 - 30 years of age who live every day with physical deficiencies. Camp Director Nathalie Roy was on hand to greet the visitors while her very capable staff tended to the campers and helped them with special activities which had been organized for everyone’s enjoyment – the highlight of the season!

“This will be my 10th year as Camp Director and I am still excited about the work that we do here. It is very rewarding to see the smiles on the campers’ faces as they achieve things that they …and their parents had always thought were out of their reach. In 2006, Camp Massawippi merged with the Montreal Association for the Blind so now our campers include visually impaired young people as well. In addition this year, we are hosting a group from C.A.R.E. (Centre Activité Resource Educatif), from Montreal, which has brought their own staff. What is really nice about this is that many of their campers are former campers at Camp 2013 -06-07 288mMassawippi,” noted Natalie Roy.

Roy expressed her appreciation for years of support from the Boundary Rotary Club which has annually made the event even more fun for the campers by offering a BBQ and carnival-type games and Mr. Grimond, of North Hatley, who first became involved with Camp Massawippi after witnessing the efforts that were being made to enrich the lives of these young people. The Ayer’s Cliff / Hatley Fire Department was also on hand to explain their role in the community and to explain the different aspects of their equipment.

“As part of the 60th anniversary of Camp Massawippi, we took a group of campers on a pontoon ride to North Hatley for the day. It was then that we first encountered Mr. Grimond and he has been very supportive ever since. We also received a grant from l’Operation Enfant Soleil to make renovations to the beach access, installing new safety ramps and a better beach front, making wheelchair access to the water and the boats that much easier”, explained Natalie.

There was a demonstration of the newly acquired Adapted Water Skiing equipment which looks like three surf 2013 -06-07 291sboards joined together, the two outside ones a little smaller act as stabilizers and the middle one having a kind of lawn chair like system with safety straps. One young staffer pointed out that there were several different sizes of seats to ensure the campers comfort and safety. Seeing the boat take off with the camper in tow, guided by two staff life-guards - one on each side, was not only incredible for us to watch but one could only imagine how exhilarating it must have felt for these young people to accomplish such an experience –the smiles on their faces were hard to miss as they were guided back to the dock!!

Saturday was a busy day: pontoon rides, swimming, the carnival and games offered by the Boundary Rotary, inflatable games, cotton candy, popcorn, crafts, face-painting and much more. The festivities came to a close with a special performance orchestrated by the campers themselves, which proved to be a delightful experience2013 -06-07 293f for everyone. Acts included comedians, singers and dancers. Some of the acts were a blend of campers and staff while others featured just the campers alone. Two young brothers in wheelchairs put on a fantastic dance routine which had everyone cheering! It was obvious that these two young men were going to let nothing get in their way of enjoying life to its fullest. It was impressive to witness the energy and respect that the young staffers demonstrated toward their charges and the bonds that were being forged that would last for many years to come.

For more info on the incredible work being done by Camp Massawippi and its staff, you may contact 819-838-4707 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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