Going to camp is one of the most fun things about summer, but when you’re living away from home it isn’t always a reality. Earlier this year the YMCA of Northern Alberta recognized that children battling serious illness, and their siblings, were not usually able to be a part of summer camps. Whether finances, time, or medical schedules keep them away – it is usually out of reach. The YMCA believed they could make a difference, so this summer they are offering camp space at no charge to RMHCNA families past and present. Every weekday, volunteer drivers and staff members load up the shuttle with House Heroes who are eager to learn new skills, meet new friends, and explore Edmonton.

Quite a few of our families are from rural communities that don’t offer programming like day camps. For the Pleym family, it opened up new possibilities for their daughter Kayla, and gave them more time to be at the hospital with their daughter Kristen.

Parents Jim and Val had their daughter Kayla in two camps this summer. She learned the silly side of science through fun experiments geared towards preschoolers like her, and played leadership and confidence building games with children her own age.

“Having Kayla in the YMCA day camps meant we were able to spend more time with our daughter who was in the hospital for a few months. It was incredible to give Kayla a routine during the week. She had a fantastic time at the day camps!” said Jim and Val.

Our House Heroes have gone swimming, had a field trip to the circus, made crafts, played sports, and even had a cooking class all thanks to the generosity of the YMCA.

Thank you YMCA of Northern Alberta for opening your doors to our families.