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Hi Camp Kawartha Families,

If you are like myself, this “alternative,” universe we have been living in since March has been a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions with that constant buzz of anxiety in the background. Our website and leadership check-ins have been set-up to bring some camp traditions into the home, but they can never be a replacement for what camp represents for each of us. The Summer of 2021 is our token to get us back there.

This was to be my 41st summer at overnight camp with the past 15 summers in the role of Summer Camp Director at Camp Kawartha. In all those years, there was never the risk of losing a summer at camp. The closures of overnight summer camps this summer was an excellent decision in regards to our campers’ and staff’s safety and the greater good. It’s heartening to see that as a nation, we are working together to put safety first with some very successful results to this point.

Unfortunately, like many other businesses and the camp industry as a whole, this has come at a cost. As we continue to tie up the loose ends from 2020, including the completion of our refund process, the price has been the loss of 100% of our operating revenues this summer. As a charitable organization, some donations are trickling in, but the impact has been tremendous as we plan on how to sustain our operations with the task of making summer camp operational again in 2021. We are looking forward to and have already begun planning for the “Best Summer Ever,” in 2021! As both a business and as an industry, in order to do this and maintain the great things we do, we ask for your help!

Your support, patience and belief in what we do at Camp Kawartha has been overwhelmingly positive throughout this new normal and has fortified our resolve to make use of all resources to make 2021, our 100th anniversary, as momentous as possible. This will be a summer 2 years in the making! In order to help get us there, we are asking you, as camps throughout Canada are doing the same, to lobby the Federal Government in support of summer camps.

Here’s how to help:

  1. E-mail a personal letter to your local MP requesting immediate assistance for summer camps and copy

Let your MP know how summer camp has shaped your personal/professional life and/or has helped your children. Explain how camps create better people, with strong Canadian values shaping us to be the best citizens possible. Camp gives children the leadership, communication and people skills that they need to be successful in life as a camper, and on staff. Share your concerns that thousands of kids will not be able to go to camp next summer because there has been no financial support for the hardest hit industry; one of the only to shut down for 12 months! Let them know that camps help the most vulnerable, and those who face challenges. A template is attached (see bottom of this page) to make the process easier, but please share your personal experiences as we have learned that personal letters from the heart are far more powerful. To find your MP’s contact information, link to

  1. If you have a contact in the media, please ask if they are willing to report on the plight of the camp industry and share the following information with them
  • Camps are one of the only industries that have lost 100% of their operating revenues this year, but have expended, on average, 40% of their operating expenses.
  • Camps are not just good for the local economy, adding over a billion dollars across the country and 70,000 jobs, they have the more important benefit of teaching good positive values which in turn contribute to a better Canadian society.
  • Camps are the cultural fabric of our nation. If there is any industry that should be financially supported it’s the one that supports our Canadian youth and young adults.
  • If they are interested, please have them contact Adam at
  1. Share government contact information

If you have any contacts in the Prime Minister’s Office or in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office, or with any high-level government official, and you feel comfortable contacting them, please let me know as the OCA has been lobbying the government for support over the past several months. Every Minister they have connected with has validated the need for a sustainability grant for the Camp industry, however, their specific ministries do not fund camps. Unfortunately, nobody has been willing to take responsibility for this file. The camping industry needs an ambassador and it appears it will have to be in either the PMO or Finance office.

Thank you for taking the time to urge the government to help all Canadian camps to continue. I’ve always marveled at how united the camp industry is and I know together we can make an impact to lead us into Summer 2021 back to our happy place and our summer home. See attached template to assist you.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Strasberg
Summer Camp Director
Camp Kawartha