The Camp Glow by Sheri Vanslack
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 9:00AM
ymcawo in Camp Queen Elizabeth

Sending our children to camp was never a question, it was a priority.

In a world of “helicopter parenting”, we wanted to give our children a safe opportunity to explore the world of independence, to make decisions without our constant coaching and to experience what camp is all about.

My most cherished childhood memories come from my summers spent at CQE, both as a camper and later, as a counsellor. The lifelong friendships I formed, my love of the water and my endless appreciation for nature, all of which remain an important aspect of my life today.

And now, I am able to share that same appreciation of camp with all three of my children.

Being on an island, absent from streetlights, traffic and commercial buildings, there are no distractions at CQE. My children are able to unplug from technology and instead, spend their time developing meaningful friendships, trying new things and developing skills in activities like canoeing, sailing, swimming and hiking. They are completely immersed in nature and can learn all about the environment and soak in its beauty.

They've learned the camp language, rituals, secrets and bonds. My children have not only become closer to one another because of their camp experience, but there's also a strong sense of belonging within the CQE family.

At the end of the summer, each one of my kids returned home with a complete glow: independence, mixed with happiness and confidence. Camp has a magical way of allowing kids to be who they are. At CQE, our children learned to be themselves, develop their own unique set of leadership skills and created memories that'll last forever.

Article originally appeared on YMCA of Western Ontario (
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