Victoria community centre summer camp needs financial help

Camp Blanshard looking for sponsors to help get more disadvantaged kids involved

Cory Olsen takes a few minutes at the park with sons

Summer camp has been a saviour to Cory Olsen.

A father of two, Olsen and his partner both work full-time to make ends meet. So when school gets out for summer break each year, the couple are left scrambling to find childcare for sons Chase, 12, and Edan, 6.

The Olsens rely on their community centre to provide affordable child and youth programs, but as is the case with many young families in Victoria, the costs can sometimes be a barrier.

For the past three years, Chase has spent his summers at Camp Blanshard, a subsidized summer camp put on by the Blanshard Community Centre for families like the Olsens.

“We’ve done the program for over a decade. It’s been really important for those children and youth who wouldn’t normally get a camp opportunity,” said Kelly Greenwell, the community centre’s executive director.

The centre relies on federal summer student grants to hire necessary staff and keep costs low, but this year they received only one of two expected grants.

“What we’ve run into this year is we’re having to max it at 12 participants unless we can get some additional contributions from community members and other supportive businesses,” Greenwell said.

Camp Blanshard has the capacity to bring in 20 children and youth each week between the ages of five to 12.

“It’s been very good for Chase and for us,” Olsen said. “He gets lots of good experiences, adventures. They get to go dragon-boating, they get to do out-trips to Elk Lake and Beaver Lake, they visit multiple water parks in the city.”

The program costs $65 per child each week, but Greenwell said sponsors are also being sought out for less fortunate families.

“They can either sponsor a day, a week or a three-week session for a child or youth. It means their families don’t have to go through the disappointment of not being able to send their kid to camp,” he said.

Olsen said Chase has made lasting friends through Camp Blanshard, something he’s sure will happen for Edan as well.

“I’ve seen the effect firsthand. I think it would be huge, I think there’s way more kids out there that need to be involved,” he said.

To donate or find out more about Camp Blanshard, visit www.blanshardcc.com.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read