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Camp Couchiching thinking inside the box to support isolated kids

Thanks to grant from Community Foundation of Orillia and Area, local organization is offering Camp in a Box for kids missing out on summer camp experience
2020-06-05 Camp Couchiching Camp in a Box
Alex Roth, summer camp director at Camp Couchiching, and Lexi Haddock, the camp’s outdoor education director, are pictured. Supplied photo

Delivery has been a popular option for everything from restaurants to bookstores during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now you can add camp to that list.

Camp Couchiching is offering Camp in a Box, a package of physical and digital items and resources for kids and their families.

“We thought, ‘If we’re unable to deliver our traditional programming, what can we do to create that excitement among kids who come to our camp every year?’” said Ross McIntyre, Camp Couchiching’s director of community initiatives.

Staff are still determining the specific contents of the boxes, but McIntyre said they will include objects that can be used in multiple ways, accompanied with videos and other resources “to help guide a participant through all of those options” while also encouraging creativity among the kids.

“It’s very much focused on experiential learning such as problem solving,” he said. “They’ll have fun, but they’ll be learning at the same time.”

A video featuring Camp Couchiching staff will create “a whole new level of engagement,” he added.

“It is those relationships that are the defining feature of our work.”

Camp in a Box was made possible thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area (CFOA). It will allow Camp Couchiching to create a limited number of boxes to distribute to families at no cost.

If the program is a success, Camp Couchiching will continue with the boxes, though there might be a “nominal” fee for the ones handed out when the grant money is gone.

“The CFOA is such an incredible catalyst for things we want to try in the local community,” McIntyre said.

Camp Couchiching will also be looking at distributing Camp in a Box to teachers for use in classrooms in September and to charities and other organizations in the community in November.

McIntyre encourages those interested in the camper/family boxes to email campinabox@campcouchiching.com to express interest. The goal is to start distributing them in early to mid-July.

Find out more about Camp Couchiching on its website.


Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an experienced multimedia journalist and editor who covers Orillia and other parts of Simcoe County.
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