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Our family's summer tradition by Evelyne Dufau

Our family's connection to CQE started simply, with a desire to immerse our 10-year-old son in new experiences, away from the comfort of city life. Our children hadn't been to camp before and we didn't know much about CQE but the YMCA core values really spoke to us and the beauty of Georgian Bay was calling.

And now, more than 8 years later, CQE holds a special spot for our entire family.

Our son has grown from a little boy who gets homesick and dislikes canoeing to a confident young man who has returned every summer, joined the counsellor team last year and loves leading canoe trips.

Perhaps not surprisingly, our daughter has followed a similar path, after initial skepticism. After her first trip to Beausoleil Island with her school, she immediately began anticipating her next trip to camp. Leadership training with CQE has been the highlight of her summer. And she has brought her love of nature and leadership home, starting an outdoor leadership club at her high school.

With CQE's opportunities to learn responsibility and independence while tackling new activities in a supportive, safe and fun environment, both of our children have developed confidence, strong interpersonal skills and become natural leaders.

Their growth inspired me to take in a little bit of the CQE magic myself, by participating in their great yoga weekends. And of course, with all three of us extolling the virtues of the camp, we’ve convinced family and friends from as far away as France to send their children to Beausoleil Island. Each and every time, they've reported a transformative experience.

When we reflect today on our connection to camp, we see a strong love for nature and simple living coupled with confidence and responsibility, and we are certain our experiences at CQE have been at the heart of this personal growth.

Thank you, CQE!

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