Jul 05

Getting Ready for Kivita 2019

Campers, Families & Supporters.... We are just over a month away from Camp Kivita 2019!! We have 82 campers registered and our team has been busy preparing and we are beyond excited for what we know will be another epic summer camp experience. Last summer we had to make the very difficult decision to cancel camp due to an outbreak of hand foot and mouth virus. Camper safety and well-being will always be the most important factor driving every decision we make. We are very confident that we have learned from last year's challenges and are well prepared for an incredible summer - our 11'th year in operation and our TENTH summer of camp. We are deeply grateful for the kindness and support from all of you and especially from our wonderful generous and phenomenal donors and supporters who have stayed the course and believe in our magical camp as much as we do. We will be highlighting and sharing more as the summer progresses but wanted to acknowledge how instrumental your support is to our success. We thank the Citron Family and Friends, the Kidney Foundation, KRG Insurance, The David Foster Foundation, The Benjamin Walker Foundation, the Rexall Foundation, The Jacobs Family and Friends #OrganDonorSwim,  INTACT insurance, Camp Wenonah and so many generous individual donors and friends. Whether this is your first summer attending camp or you are a returning camper we cannot wait to welcome you home! Camp is such a special place. Just yesterday I ran into an old friend who is also passionate about camp. We sat and caught up and reflected on how much camp meant to us - my friend shared how camp was the place where he learned the skills he needed in his work life - being brave, taking chances, trying new things, sharing fears, opening up to new people and activities,  developing resilience, failing and getting up and trying again.... In these conversations I recalled how camp was the very special place where I felt my home away from home, where I thrived and met people who had a shared passion for canoe trips, arts and crafts and the freezing cold lake. For each of you, camp will be a unique experience. We know you will meet other kids from across Ontario with a shared health journey and medical experience - a unique window into the magical gift of life of organ donation and transplantation. For some of you it will be your first time away from home - we will be there to welcome and support you. Your fellow campers will be there to guide you and share in your experience. There will be new activities like sailing and canoeing, fishing and archery, ropes and arts and crafts. There will be loud cheering and singing in the dining hall, campfires and quiet time in nature.... This summer we have 2 campers who will be receiving their Five Year Paddle awards, an exciting camp milestone. We are also extremely proud to be unveiling our new Kindness Counts Dr. Ken Citron Bench in the new camp Reflective Garden space launched last summer. This special space is dedicated as a symbol of our deep gratitude and in memory of the passionate work of Dr. Citron who served as a committed physician on the SickKids Transplant Program as an incredible advocate of the psychosocial well-being of all children, and the ongoing support of the Citron Family and community in his cherished memory of Camp Kivita over the last decade. Over the next few weeks our team will be finalizing the program and reviewing medical forms. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We will also be sharing reflections, pictures, stories and more prior to and daily during camp on this blog. We have a truly incredible volunteer team of nurses, doctors, and staff, and are here for you. We are so very thrilled to be part of your summer experience and thank you for trusting us with your time, your children and your energy to have a summer camp Kivita experience that will last a life-time. Yours in camping, Stacey On behalf of the camp leadership (Christina, Emily and Stacey) and all of our amazing team!!