News: Summer Day Camp News
The Friendship Boulevard Foundation and Amazing Tutors raise funds to help accelerate urgently needed progress for children in Whalley, North Surrey
The Friendship Boulevard Summer Day Camp offers youth fun and unique experiences with an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. It takes place Monday through Friday each week during the summer for children in the Surrey area in need of an exciting, fun-filled and safe summer experience. The children participate in theme-filled weeks with a variety of different activities, field trips and special guests to enjoy.
This program is now in its 19th year of operation although it has run under the umbrella of a few different organizations throughout the years. It is our first under the banner of Friendship Boulevard Foundation. This year we are pleased to partner with Simon Fraser University in Surrey who is generously providing the space to us for the summer. The Amazing Tutors' Children's Foundation is helping us raise funds to run the program.
The program began many years ago to meet the needs of children who were growing up in poverty and at risk of homelessness as families were struggling to make ends meet. We wanted to ensure that every child could return to school in September excited about their summer experience regardless of economic circumstances.
The majority of children come to camp at no cost as families are unable to pay even a modest charge for their children to attend. We provide breakfast, lunch and snacks for the children as they utilize breakfast and lunch programs at school and parents are not able to provide any extras in the summer as their incomes do not increase.
Over the years our program has become a family affair with younger siblings joining older ones, neighbors, other family members coming out to join us. One of the special features of camp is the Junior Leadership Program in which children from 11 years of age to 14 years of age are mentored by our Camp Leaders.
This ensures that the young people are developing skills that will be useful as they get a bit older and able to look forward to opportunities that will help them to develop capacity in their lives to move forward out of poverty. One of the incentives for the children is that if they work hard -- do the best that they are able to and commit to positive involvement in the community that we will hire them when they turn 15 years of age.
For many years we have been fortunate to receive funding from the Government of Canada. Their supportive program funds students who have been enrolled full-time at school during the year and are planning on returning to school in September. We have been privileged over 19 years to see many of our Day Camp Leaders go on to University and graduate in medicine, health sciences, education, law etc.
Each week we host between 60 to 80 campers, 13 Camp Leaders, 16 Junior Leaders and around 10 volunteers who come on a regular basis to be involved with the program. The Government of Canada pays 75% of the students' salaries and we make up the balance through fundraising activities, sponsorships, donations from the community and through gifts in kind. Thirteen Camp Leaders receive a full-time job.
Our budget also includes food costs, transportation and field trips, materials along with supplies for activities that the children participate in weekly.
If you would be interested in supporting our program by sponsoring the program, making a donation or contributing services we would be pleased to hear from you. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss any questions you might have and or further information that you might require. I can be contacted at friendship.blvd.@gmail.com or by phone at 604.961.2170.
Many thanks for considering our request for support. We are forever grateful to those who choose to partner with the Friendship Boulevard Foundation. Thank you to the generous donors, countless individuals and caring families who support our foundation's charitable works. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to you for your support in reaching the neediest of our community.
- Jonquil Hallgate, President of the Friendship Boulevard Foundation
To see the photo gallery, click on the peace dove, move the mouse to the right side and the next-arrow button will pop up. To watch and learn more about the Friendship Boulevard's or the YMCA's Summer Day Camp, click on the triangle to see the video.
A Kind Word from the Amazing Tutors Children's Foundation
At Amazing Tutors Children's Foundation, we believe that all vulnerable families, adults, children and youth are entitled to education, protection, economic security, provision of services, health care, opportunity, and participation in community life. We understand that the Whalley area of Surrey has one of the highest rates of child poverty in Canada and we are working in collaboration with the Friendship Boulevard Foundation to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks for the children as they utilize breakfast and lunch programs at school.
The Friendship Boulevard Foundation's Summer Day Camp is a caring, positive and inclusive experience for these children -with acceptance not only based on income, but also disabilities. This year's camp includes three children who are autistic. The camp brings summer fun to the children of families who otherwise could not afford to attend such a program. Many children attending the program have already been involved with for several years. Targeting ages 5-13, the camp provides fun and educational events and teaches the campers leadership skills as they progress in age, skills that many eventually use when they become Junior and Senior Camp Leaders at age 15 or older. The programming reaches farther than just the camp-goers, with the volunteers finding their lives enriched by the experience as well.
We offer many thanks to Jonquil Hallgate for her long-standing dedication, excellence and generosity to our community. We feel extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity by Jonquil Hallgate and the Friendship Boulevard Foundation to engage with the community in such an important way, and to get our students out and volunteering that will positively impact so many lives. We extend our gratitude to the hundreds of individual donors and families from Newton, Boundary Park and White Rock areas. We are grateful to S.F.U.- Surrey, the Surrey Food Bank, and the Government of Canada for providing the grant to make this project happen. At Amazing Tutors and our foundation, we believe that providing our students with positive and community based volunteer activities is an essential part of their development into responsible and capable citizens whom we hope will continue to impact their communities throughout their lives. We wish the campers all the best in their coming adventures. Essentially, by partnering up with the Friendship Boulevard Foundation, we are able to support the families we serve and provide some amazing children with life-changing camp experiences where they can build self-confidence and develop independence, and carry those skills and experiences into adulthood.
A Kind Word from Michael Roy
Serving as a young camp counselor was one of the best experiences of my life. As I look back now, I realize that no experience I could have had working in retail or almost anywhere else would ever have amounted to the countless unique and wonderful experiences I had at the Friendship Boulevard Foundation's Summer Day Camp this year.
Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of working here, in my opinion, was the knowledge of how monumental of a difference I could make in the lives of these children. The camp is open to every child, but caters specifically to children living in adequate conditions. Many of them have no electricity in their homes, while others are caught in the tragedy of their parent's divorce. Whatever they are facing, the Friendship Boulevard Foundation's Summer Day Camp has become their safe haven; a place where they can have fun and be children without worry. Many times when children are picked up at the end of the day, I see them begging their parent or caretaker to stay for "just a few more minutes" or "one more card game." It can be a struggle sometimes to pry them away from whatever they are doing so they can go home. Often times, I believe, this is their way of saying "I feel at home here, I feel loved here."
I have also been privileged to work alongside several amazing leaders who genuinely care about the growth and protection of these children. Their task as camp counselors is not usually an easy one, yet every one of them is willing and prepared to take on any challenge that comes their way. In the midst of their exhaustion and discomfort, things experienced often when working with children, they find a way to persevere while retaining their joyful disposition. As well, they never fail to ensure that their fellow leaders are managing in the camp and selflessly step in whenever help is needed, even with their own duties to worry about. They inspire me to put as much as I can into making the camp a safe and successful one.
Looking back on my experience, I can say with certainty that I have no regrets with my decision to work at the Friendship Boulevard Foundation's camp. Having the opportunity to revisit my childhood while earning money to attend college and for my future is nothing short of a blessing. I would recommend this camp to any young person desiring a rewarding, joy-filled place to work and any parent desiring a supportive, educational, fun-filled environment for their child. -Michael Roy, Camp Counselor
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We are so fortunate to live in a community with the level of compassion and outreach that exists to support those in need. The Friendship Boulevard Foundation is a perfect example of this. I speak often about Surrey being a great place to live, but it is important to remember there are members of our community who struggle. We have a growing segment that is living in low income or poverty, so it is important that we continue to support these residents however we can. We offer our thanks to the Friendship Boulevard Foundation for their commitment. We would like to thank hundreds of individual donors and the families in Newton, Boundary Park and White Rock for generously supporting the summer camp. We would like to thank Surrey-SFU for providing the space, the Surrey Food Bank, London Drugs, Safeway Canada, A-1 Sports Ltd., Aqua Blue Water and Filtration, Fraserview Meats, and the Sikh Academy for their donations. Thank you Downtown Surrey BIA for providing the DJ Friday After Shock Music Road Show. We appreciate everyone's generosity and support. You allowed us to feed children and your generosity is astounding. Thank you for your leadership and support.
For youth, educational attainment and the development of a positive identity, feelings of empowerment, leadership, teamwork, self-governance and life skills are critical to future employment readiness. Make Amazing Tutors a part of your summer schedule, and make back-to-school time an enormous success. Your incredible child has the ability to amaze you with how how much he or she can learn at the Friendship Boulevard Foundation's Summer Day Camp or at any or our Amazing Tutors' community-based tutoring centers.
All of us are sending your way a great big "Thanks" to you today!
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