We asked our 2015 Campers and their Families if their/their child’s camp experience benefited them in anyway, and if so, how? Here’s what they had to say:

INDIVIDUAL CAMP (Explorers, Pathfinders, Sports, Arts, Discovery, Out-Tripping, Leaders-in-Training, GEAR-UP)


“The camp helps me to become more social, and makes it easier for me to make friends at camp as well as giving me the skills needed to interact with people outside of camp.”

“This camp experience helped me to develop my leadership skills with other campers in the context of fostering positive relationships between them. It helps me to continue to develop my passion for helping people.”

“Yes. I made new friends, improved skills, and had a good time.”

“Got me out of the house, away from my mom. Got to spend time with my friends who aren’t close to me.”

“Yes. It helped me realize stuff that I never thought I could do like being really flexible on the rock wall.”


“While our child was learning life-skills, character-building, learning new things, being socially well-rounded and enjoying every minute at camp, we went for a short 4-day holiday also for a much needed respite. It is great for our family.”

“Yes, it really challenged him. He does not like change, new activities, large groups, or break in routine. The camp counsellors really helped a lot with this and helped him adjust.”

“Yes – Increase in independence. Nice break for the kids and families! We are very grateful that this camps exists. The staff are amazing!”

“It was stimulating for him. He loved being with his peers and LOVED the counsellors!! Spending all his time outside was so good for him and the white water rafting was an experience for him he would not have otherwise experienced!”

“Immeasurably. He looks forward to it for 11 months before and afterwards!!”

“It was a great benefit. First time away at an overnight camp, and she had an amazing time!”

“Always makes my child feel independent and I have a break being a single parent.”

“Yes – more independence for choosing daily programs. No parents around for her to insist that she needs help. Allowed parents some time alone.”

“Yes. We have a difficult time getting our child to exercise. She loves to swim at camp. Also it is a terrific break away from our regular home routine.”

“Everything is accessible. Our child has low tone and wouldn’t be able to manage any type of rocky or rough terrain. The staff are incredible. We tried another camp but she couldn’t manage.”

“Very much. Our daughter thrives on the relationship with the counsellors and their enthusiasm. You could see this when she was greeted on arrival day. She enjoys camp Merrywood and she was excited to go…this is great in itself. Thanks go to all the staff for their care and energy. I think the program’s help her to learn different activities…archery, nature, etc.”

“Yes, she loves camp and comes back full of stories and experiences she would not have at home. We get couple time which happens once a year.”

“Yes, he has a lot of confidence and a very positive outlook after he has been to camp. Now if we could find a school that does the same thing.”

“My child comes home so invigorated and thrilled each time. He also can’t wait to get there when we leave for camp. Very heart warming!”

“Yes…reducing her anxiety of new situations. She seems to be adapting to ‘not sleeping in her own bed’ and sharing with others.”

“Gave her the experience of helping others and trying out new athletics.”

“Yes it did. I think it was an excellent step for our son to have such a great time with kids his age and like him (without Mom) and good for me to see I can trust he is safe.”


“It benefited all of my children – my Easter Seals child got to see other children like him and participate in all of the activities like any other kid. His siblings got to see other kids like their brother, meet siblings like them, and do so many awesome activities that we often can’t do due to lack of accessibility. We had a great chance to meet other families and see our kids have the time of their lives without any worries about standing out or feeling out of place.”

“Absolutely! It was adorable to see the kids make friends with each other. And great to connect with other parents too. And we got along really well with the families in our cabin.”

“Absolutely! It was adorable to see the kids make friends with each other. And great to connect with other parents too. And we got along really well with the families in our cabin.”


“We are thrilled to have our son home with us again!!! We missed him so much. But we are also very grateful for the opportunity for him to have this experience. We are even more thankful for the amazing staff team that kept him safe and loved him during his stay. Year after year we are so amazed at the exceptional staff that are at Camp Merrywood. I don’t know how you find them but I give full kudos to Barb and the leadership team – wow! Our son has developed strong bonds with some key counsellors and it was obvious when we left today. I snapped a few pictures that says it all. Hard to express in words how thankful we are for Merrywood and the people that make it is special.”

“I just wanted to thank you so much for allowing our son to come back this year. He had a wonderful time and we have noticed a great deal of maturity in him seeing so many other kids facing similar difficulties that he faces. It was a tremendous success in our eyes and you and your staff did an incredible job making this camp a highlight for him. He is already talking about coming again next year! Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for families like ours. It was a wonderful blessing!”

“Thank you so much to all the amazing staff who worked with our son (directly and indirectly). What a wonderful group of people. Loved the beautiful send off. And the huge smile on his face. Can’t thank all of you enough. Have a wonderful rest of the summer!”

“Our son had an awesome time. He hasn’t stopped smiling about it. Thank you so much for all you do and for making our son’s summer perfect. We’ll be sure to watch the website for next year’s application for sure!”

“Our family is very thankful to your organization. It is such a blessing to have Easter Seals around. Your help to our family is invaluable.”

“Woodeden was amazing! One of the best family experiences we’ve ever had.”

“We are so impressed with Merrywood! The staff are second to none!!! So loving, caring and FUN!!!! We have no issues sending our son. He is in very good hands. A huge standing ovation to Merrywood staff and what they do with and for the campers!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️”

“Our daughter really enjoyed camp. I would like to thank all of the counselors and staff who make this so much fun for the kids. I just watched the dvd that was sent home. It is great to see so many smiles. Thank you!”

“I would like to thank all the staff at Merrywood for another great session. Our son is always ready to take on anything life throws at him once he leaves camp. I especially appreciate the reports from camp – they are always written in such a positive way that it assures his confidence continues and it is nice to hear something positive about your child for a change since parents of disabled children are always overwhelmed with negative reports about their abilities. Thank you for being the highlight of his year!”

“Kudos go out to entire staff and especially the Camp Administrator for all her help, care and reassurance of an initially concerned parent :)

“It’s the third year in a row and the care has been excellent and he made a few friends while he was there. Great experience!”