As you might already know, every year, we collaborate with summer camps to provide camp experiences for our super CityKidz children and youth. Since 2007, camps across the region have provided opportunities for adventure, curiosity, exploration and unforgettable fun to thousands of children in our community.
What you might not know is that this year, we got to try something different!
This summer, we continued to send hundreds of kids on adventures to established summer camps like Widjitiwin and Mini-Yo-We, but we also piloted our own summer camp project!
This past winter, an unexpected – and amazing – opportunity came our way. Blair McKeil was visiting with our Executive Director, Rev. Todd Bender and mentioned that he owned an expansive farm property just outside the city and that we would be welcome to use it to host summer programming for CityKidz children and youth.
Their property, Canfield Estates, features broad open fields perfect for games, trails ready for hiking, a fire pit perfect for telling ghost stories and a giant lodge with big tables and comfy couches perfect for eating, resting and games of all kinds.
Not only that, there was a talented chef on-site who would make sure all our kids, staff and volunteers would be filled to the brim with all the delicious meals and snacks they would need to fuel the non-stop fun and activities.
The chance to put together our own camp experience for CityKidz children was exciting. A little overwhelming at first, but mostly just exciting! There was so much we wanted to do! Our team immediately set to work organizing games and activities, sorting out logistics and registering kids for what would become four camp days at Canfield Estates.
The first and fourth group to get the Canfield experience were our CityYouth participants.
The days were hot and sticky but our youth were intrepid hikers, creative tie dyers and eager water fighters. By the time the sun began to set the youth were sun-kissed and exhausted and in the perfect mood for a bonfire complete with s’mores.
For some of our pre-schoolers, the bus ride out to Canfield was their first time outside the city limits. They stared in awe at the rolling green pastures. They squealed with delight at the sight of various farm animals we passed on route. Once on site, the little beans dashed from one activity station to another blowing bubbles, throwing hoops and scoring goals.
Our CityKidz spent the day playing kickball and capture the flag, making bracelets and cooling off with a water fight. They gobbled up freezies and enjoyed a delicious lunch to refuel for the afternoon’s activities. They had a care-free day in the country filled with nature and new adventures. The day went off without a hitch and the kids were in consensus: camp Canfield rocks!
Thank you, Blair and the Entire Canfield Estates Crew!
Thank you so much to Blair and everyone at Canfield Estates for generously sharing your beautiful space with the CityKidz community. You have given over 100 children and youth the gift of summer memories they will cherish for years to come.