Lakeland Summer Camp: The camp where children with FASD can be themselves!
Back in the early 2000’s, the Lakeland Centre for FASD recognized the need for a specialized summer camp for children diagnosed with FASD. Regular summer camps typically do not cater to the needs of campers with FASD and many children are punished or even kicked out of camp due to behaviours, creating a negative camp experience. From that, in 2006, the Lakeland Summer Camp was developed. At our camp, we understand the complexity of an FASD diagnosis, and we work with each campers’ strengths and unique needs. We strive for a positive camp experience for all campers!
From 2006-2015, our camp was run out of the Girl Guide camp at Camp Vanier. As this cabin was not owned by LCFASD, only borrowed, the dream of our own camp location emerged. Finally, in 2016 from donations and a small mortgage, our summer camp received a new and improved permanent home, Stepping Stone Lodge. This beautiful cabin is located at French Bay Provincial Park, just outside of Cold Lake. It is a short walking distance from the lake where campers take part in activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming.
We take part in many different activities throughout the week and keep our campers active while having fun. We go on a variety of field trips including 4 Wing Military Base tours, swimming at J.J. Parr, Cold Lake Provincial Park tours, Lakeland Humane Society, and Bonnyville museum. We also do tons of activities at our cabin including drumming, yoga, beading, reading, Lego building, colouring, nature walks, superhero night, spa nights and so much more! We also help teach our campers daily living skills, leadership, socialization skills and respect for self, others, culture and the environment.
Our camp is planned with the uniqueness of our campers in mind! We keep our camper to leader ratio low; 2 campers to 1 leader and we typically have a limit of 8 campers per week. Our camp leaders go through extensive training for a month prior to camp. This training includes two full day FASD training, standard first aid, bear safety, non-violent crisis intervention, drug administering, food safety, and class 4 driver’s license test. Along with this training, our leaders have related post-secondary education. This preparation is necessary to help camp run smoothly and successfully. This overnight camp, that runs Monday-Friday, is thoroughly structured and supervised to help children with FASD have a memorable camp experience.
Every year we have many returning campers, but unfortunately this year will look a little different. It was a big decision but with heavy hearts we have cancelled Summer Camp 2020 due to the current COVID-19 crisis. Even though this brings great sadness, we cannot wait until 2021 to see all our amazing campers again! If you know of a child that would benefit from our camp in 2021, please complete an application and change a life today! Our camp has a cost of $500/week but help with funding is available. For more information, please contact Lakeland Centre for FASD at 780-594-9905.
“Nobody has gotten mad at me since I’ve been here”
“I’m definitely coming back next year!”
“I wish camp was a month. I don’t like it here, I love it”