Camp is a great place! Anxious and excited are the two emotions that I remember feeling as my parents walked me to my cabin. I set up my bed and looked around at the other anxious and excited girls ready for a week of camp. The one thing that really resonated with me is my counselor. Her smile, her welcoming attitude, and her enthusiasm for camp – she wanted her campers to have the best week of their lives!
Fast forward ten years and I became the counselor. It was my turn to welcome nervous, yet eager children with a huge smile to camp – to guide them to their cabins and introduce them to the other kids in their group!
Brightwood Ranch is one of two Hope Mission summer camps and I had the privilege to work at this camp for seven summers and get to be a positive role model in many children’s lives. A lot of the campers who come through in the summer are from low income families, foster care, or group home, so many of these children have not had the opportunity to be outside of the city and experience the activities offered at camp. These summers were some of the most challenging, but rewarding summers of my life!
I remember one girl in particular who came off the bus and was placed in my cabin. I led her and the other girls to where we would be staying for the week. She was shy and quietly put her sleeping bag on her mattress and placed her small bag of possessions at the end of the bed.
This girl mostly kept to herself and didn’t make connections with the other girls very quickly, but we made sure that she wasn’t sitting alone and tried to engage her in conversation. Slowly she started to open up as the week went on.
On Thursday evening, she wanted to talk to me alone. We sat outside of our cabin and she opened up about her life. She shared about how she didn’t know her dad and her mom struggled to take care of her. She found herself in situations that she didn’t feel safe many times at home. She then told me that camp was the first time that she really felt safe!
Camp is an amazing place for children to open up, to feel safe, and to experience so many different things that they have never done before!
Camp is currently preparing for the many kids who will be coming this summer! But, we need your help to get ready!
We are in need of some supplies. If you and your family would like to help us, take a look at the two options below!
- Camp Kits!
We need supplies to help kids have a great time at camp! Grab a shoe box and take your family to the store to pick out items on our list. Stuff them in the box and drop them off at one of the locations at the bottom.
- Stuffy Drive!
Every week on the first day of camp, we place stuffed animals on the beds of the cabins so that when the children come to camp, they can have a stuffed animal to give them comfort and to take home at the end of the week! Drop off the stuffies at one of the following locations.
Hope Mission Main Building (9908 106 Avenue)
Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm
Bargain Shoppe (2403 Ellwood Drive SW)
Monday – Saturday from 9am – 5pm
Tegler Youth Centre (3805 118 Avenue)
Monday – Friday from 3pm – 8pm
4869 Hubalta Road SE
Monday – Friday from 10am – 12pm
(Please call 403-474-3237 if you have any questions)
5217 50 Avenue
Monday – Friday from 10am – 2pm
(Please call 587-819-0015 if you have any questions)