Belwood Camp & Lodge [All Photos Courtesy of Belwood Camp]
For a few years now, our brother Edric [an adult with autism] has spent 2 to 3 weeks each summer at the Belwood Lodge and Camp, on the scenic shores of Belwood Lake, near Fergus, Ontario.
The camp is dedicated to meeting the summer recreational needs of children, youth and adults who are mentally challenged, and their programs are designed to provide campers with exceptional experiences while ensuring their safety and a positive holiday experience.
One of the other benefits is that the camp provides care givers a chance to enjoy a holiday and a well deserved rest without worrying about their loved ones.
The camper’s day is filled with fun, inventive and educational activities. People with social disorders, like autism, improve tremendously from the group cabin life and the outstanding care of the highly trained and committed counsellors and staff.
The Camp’s Objectives are ambitious and inspiring. They provide:
- a unique recreational program which provides a place for individuals to learn and grow and acquire a sense of belonging
- a supportive environment in which campers take on physical, emotional and intellectual challenges
- a safe place to expand and explore capabilities and limitations
- an environment that encourages social skills and provides the opportunity to make life long friendships
- to make all campers aware of their self worth, increase their self esteem and feel accepted within the group
- to increase opportunity to participate in programs otherwise not available to them and the opportunity to acquire and master skills at their own pace
- to provide opportunities for physical activities and striving for good health
- to provide sporting opportunities where team work is emphasized
- respite time for care givers
The camp was started in 1946 by the Guelph Kiwanis Club to serve the needs of under-privileged children and has since transformed into a residential camp for youth and adults with special needs, disabilities and mental disorders.
The camp still relies upon donations, gifts in kind and the open hearts of the local citizens to maintain and improve its facilities. The camp also holds an Annual Walk & Roll-A-Thon during the summer season to raise funds and awareness.
Our Edric comes home from his camping experience happy, healthy and with increased social skills. We are so grateful to have The Belwood Lodge & Camp for our beloved family member to enjoy his summer vacation.
We would like to thank all the staff, volunteers and the local Belwood community for being the OTHER Happiest Place on Earth.
For more information on the camp, or to donate, please visitÂ Belwood Lodge & Camp’s website.