We asked our 2016 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)


“I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the chance to come to WEC for another year. That place is truly an incredible place to go to in the summer. Every year i have the time of my life and i honestly have taken SO much away from it. Its beyond words. I wish this wasn’t just it…. I wish there was more opportunities like this. I can speak for everyone i came across.. Its changed my life and I’m forever grateful”


“Camp did benefit me because I got to do things that I do not usually get to do at home.”

“It was a fun experience and I made some friends that will last beyond the week at camp.”

“It builds my independence and allows me to develop my social skills while making new friends. It also gives me the opportunity to try new things that I may otherwise not have the chance to try at home.”

“It gave me millions of opportunities and I really enjoyed that.”

“It gave me more independence and taught me how to be a better leader.”

“This year was my ninth year attending Woodeden Camp. I call it my summer home. I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this camp each year!!!! Thank you!!!”

“I became a more independent person as well as a better leader and I benefited greatly from camp.”

“I always enjoy the camp, so that’s why I keep coming every year.”



“My son is an only child and spends too much time alone….we get him as heavily involved in sports and social groups as we can….he plays sledge hockey and belongs to a youth group, but the summers are really hard….this camp is truly the highlight of his summer and means a lot seeing him so happy to go and coming home chattering about it non stop….Thank You!!”


“My Daughter came back this year with an increased self esteem after a very challenging school year. She is very happy these days. I think that camp had a lot to do with this.”

“The camp experience was a great benefit to my child. It was amazing to hear her describe to me why camp was so great. She said “I didn’t feel like I had a disability”. I couldn’t ask for a better experience than her feeling included, accepted and happy to be herself. She was also very happy with a specific camp counsellor who she felt made all the difference because she got down to her level and really listened and engaged her. Most people have difficulty understanding when she speaks. She hasn’t stopped talking about the counsellor. What an awesome individual! She really made the camp experience amazing for my daughter. Please express our gratitude and high praise for the amazing job she did. And it was her first year!”

“It definitely benefited him. He is 16 and being away and having time away from parents and to be able to be independent as possible is helpful. He also likes being with other teenagers like himself where everyone gets it and he can just be himself.”

“Our son seems to enjoy his camp experience more each year. He made friends (which he does not have back at home) and he got along very well with the campers and the Councillors. It was a great break away from his parents.”

“The camp was amazing! The staff were fantastic and my son had a great time! He enjoyed every aspect of the camp! Thank you so much!!”

“Merrywood has a tremendous impact on my son – it builds his independence, his resiliency, his social skills, his connections to other people.”

“Both of my boys benefited from the camp. They learned how to be more responsible and gained a bit more independence. They had a wonderful time and can’t stop talking about it.”

“Gives child freedom and time to spend with friends. For example , high ropes and rock climbing feel like freedom to her.”

“It is truly his favorite 10 days of the year. He has developmental disabilities and is in a wheelchair. He’s 13 and wants to hang out with friends but its really challenging for him. At camp its not because he’s surrounded by them. He’s been going to camp for 3 years and has become more independent and outgoing. At camp he doesn’t have behaviour issues, laughs non stop and comes home completely exhausted, carrying round and showing a photo album of camp to everyone.”

“Our son had a great time whitewater rafting and 4 day overnight canoe camp trip.  They must take great care of him as he doesn’t come home with one mosquito bite or sunburn.”

“This was his first time at the camp. He was hesitant about being away from home as this had never happened before (with the exception of hospital stays) and he survived and it made him a little bit more mature and responsible. He had many wonderful and funny stories to share when he got home! Thank you everybody for a wonderful week!”



“The camp was an incredible experience for our family. My disabled son was able to participate in activities he hasn’t experienced since his disability developed, he felt so empowered, staff and other families didn’t hesitate to speak with him directly although he’s non-verbal something that doesn’t often happen in public. His sibling was able to spend time just being “normal” with other siblings, no one questioning about his brother. This is the first time we have been able to vacation as a family since my son became ill 4 years ago. He is very medically fragile so most places would not be safe or accessible for us to get to, we felt secure our entire time at Merrywood. The activities, meeting other families, the dynamic staff all contributed to our incredible experience.”


“We were so impressed by the staff at Merrywood. They made our family feel welcome and comfortable, encouraging all of us to try new activities, adapting anything offered to accommodate everyone’s needs. Thank you all for the wonderful experience.”

“Both our children enjoyed the camp very much, it was a very positive experience for our family! Thank you!”

“Nice to meet other parents and families. Knowing we are not alone in this type of journey.”

“Our son went for two sessions and his experience was fabulous for both. The councillors were great with him and managed to bring our son out of his comfort zone and try new things (food and activities). He is sure missing camp already. Thanks for providing such a well run facility for us to send our high needs children to and know that they are in good hands.”

“The counselors were wonderful and well trained I got the impression that they love what they do. It was great to know that my child was okay if I sat and let her go off and play with out me.”



“The camp is unique because it is fully equipped to meet the needs of kids with physical disabilities. But what makes the camp truly great is the phenomenal staff it hires each year. Their energy, patience, humour and compassion are exceptional and that’s what makes it an absolutely amazing experience for everyone. Keep up the great work! Thank you!”


“Easter Seals camp is an amazing place and my son shines there……he is still talking about it.”

“The opportunity to meet and interact with new people is wonderful. Regardless of need level, all campers are treated with the utmost respect and offered an amazing range of activities. Campers truly come to understand that anything in life is possible for them as well.”

“Our daughter has attended camp Merrywood four times and gets really excited as the date gets closer. She truly loves meeting new people and finding out what new cabin she will be in. She frequently will talk about her past camping trips, the cabin names and the nice councillors and campers she was lucky to meet.”