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Cool Play! All kids have a right to play!

ACF13454 Camp Winston Kilworthy, Ontario

Created September 24, 2012 by Camp Winston


Kilworthy, Ontario

Funding Level

$50k - $100k (< 2014)

Community Size

Between 100 - 1,000


We believe that every child has value.
Help kids with special needs play, dream, learn, grow and have fun!

At Camp Winston, we see the magic inside and provide the most disadvantaged campers and their families with a respite, hope and a place where they can feel good about themselves... some for the first time in their lives.

One summer can profoundly bring changes that last a lifetime. Camp Winston delivers a rare opportunity for kids with special needs, ages 7-17, to have a place to learn, grow, play, make friends and learn social and recreational skills.  We are a unique organization providing residential camp experiences for children who have a complex combination of neurological disorders including Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourette’s, Learning Disabilities, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

These kids face challenges most of us can't begin to imagine! Every family has or knows at least one person who struggles with some sort of neurological disorder.  Your support is critical to ensuring these disadvantaged young people will have a transformative recreational and educational experience that will benefit them for a lifetime.  Supporting Camp Winston strengthens these children’s social skills and gives them the ability to build on their successes for the rest of the year.  

Each child is encouraged to thrive according to their individual abilities Campers are encouraged and supported as they participate; often for the first time – in various recreational activities including sports, swimming, tubing, kayak and canoeing, crafts, theatre, ropes courses, nature studies and canoe trips. While having fun, they learn vital social and gross motor skills specific to their needs.  Located deep in the woods on a picturesque lake-front property in Ontario, our campers come from far and wide to have the opportunity to be free... to just be kids... and to be themselves.

Our kids are the ones who get kicked out of other programs, get bullied at school and are often misunderstood for behaviours often beyond their control.    We understand them at Camp Winston and we build successful relationships and help our kids develop self-esteem and skills that were deemed impossible by other caregivers! In their home community, many are very isolated.  Most have no friends.  With a maximum of 4 kids per cabin and a ratio of over 2 staff for every camper, Camp Winston provides a welcoming and stimulating environment for the campers, giving them an opportunity to flourish.    We ask for kids’ and parents’ goals before each two-week session and encourage our campers to learn to face challenging and intimidating obstacles and experience the joy that success brings.   All of our outcomes are measurable and personalized. We inspire them and, in turn, are inspired by them.  With success brings a sense of confidence and an opportunity to be happy.  We celebrate all achievements, no matter how small.    Most of our campers’ fees are heavily or fully subsidized thanks to the generosity of donors.  Our waiting list is long.  We do not discriminate – and we make a profound, often life-saving difference!

   Please vote for our kids and ask your friends to do so too!   Having sensory equipment is essential to the camping program at Camp Winston for our special kids.  Our playground, with swings, tunnels, slides, climbing ropes and more is a very popular place for the children to play.  Built 15 years ago, our playground area is deteriorating and out of date.  Heavy use has taken its toll, and it is becoming structurally unsound.  Although we have taken steps to safely reinforce and repair the equipment to meet building codes, this solution is only temporary.  Given that it is one of the most popular play spaces at camp, we consider it a priority to replace the equipment.

You can help make this area the coolest place to play at Camp Winston!   We have researched climbing structures that would be perfect for our special needs campers.  Our plan is to replace the old playground equipment with new, modern play equipment and add a Geodome climbing structure.  The only thing holding us back is finding a sponsor. We estimate the cost of the new sensory playground equipment to be $65,000.