It was one of the few sunny days of summer when we visited Camp He Ho Ha this August. We visited during the Children and Teens with Mental Disabilities camp. 80 campers were participating in a variety of activities across the grounds including kite making, wall climbing, bannock making and more! One of the highlight moments was turning the corner towards the climbing wall and hearing the cheering alongside the sensed excitement as campers achieved their goals of reaching various points. Seeing the sense of community experienced by campers and created by their awesome staff was a real gift.
For years, REALTORS® have been supporting Camp He Ho Ha in a variety of ways. Most recently, the Foundation supported the repaving of pathways so that camp could be truly accessible to all.
The amazing camp experience is largely in thanks to the committed and compassionate staff who come from across Canada to work for the summer. Most of the staff end up putting in close to 500 extra volunteer hours over the course of the season, by contributing extra hours of programming and planning with the campers. The team of 35 counselors goes through and intensive 12 day training to prepare them for their jobs.
This impeccable training paired with the well-kept grounds allows for a safe, well supervised camp experience that not only benefits campers, but their caregivers. As the primary caregiver of a person living with disabilities, respite care that is trustworthy enough to truly allow the caregiver to recharge isn’t easy or cheap to come by. For a fee of $650 per camper, Camp He Ho Ha offers an accessible cost for an all-inclusive, top-of-the-line experience.
Less than 5% of the funds to operate Camp He Ho Ha are from government sources. A part of their revenue is made up by fees, but the majority is fulfilled by corporate and individual donors. Being at Camp He Ho Ha we saw kids who have had a lifetime of hearing they aren’t allowed or able to do things, conquering activities, building relationships, and being told ‘yes’.
Being at Camp we could feel the pride and confidence coming from campers who had completed the ropes course or made their own food – experiences every person should have. And thanks to Camp He Ho Ha, people from age 6 to 106 get that chance every summer.