Parent Letter to Government


Dear Wanapitei parents,

The Canadian Camping Association (of which Wanapitei is a member) and the Ontario Camps Association is seeking immediate assistance from you and from thousands of other camp parents to support a letter writing campaign for Government financial assistance to SAVE THE FUTURE OF SUMMER CAMPS in Canada – for the 2021 season and for seasons beyond.

We know we do not need to talk with you about the importance of a summer camp experience.

Throughout our country, over more than 100 years, parents know that camp has had a profound impact on millions of children and young adults. Camp has helped shape “who we are” and “how we act”. Camp creates good citizens.

The Canadian Camping Association drafted the letter below in the hope that you, as a summer camp parent, will sign it and email it directly to Minister Morneau ([email protected]).

We need your support to ensure camps in Canada survive for generations to come.


With thanks for your help.

Erin Sunstrum and Gill Thompson

Directors of Camp Wanapitei



The Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Finance

Office of the Minister

Department of Finance Canada

90 Elgin Street

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5



The Product of Summer Camp: Creating Good Citizens


Dear Minister Morneau,

For more than 100 years, Canadian Summer Camps have welcomed children from all walks of life. A Canadian summer camp experience gave those children confidence, a sense of community, and with the guidance of caring camp counsellors, those campers went on to lead productive lives that have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to the well-being of our country. The list of former Canadian campers includes our current Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers, doctors, scientists, educators, artists…the list is endless.

Current research from the University of Waterloo has now substantiated what parents of campers have always known – summer camp creates good citizens. Camp is where children learn how to be the best people they can be.  The product of summer camp: Canadian youth growing into compassionate, empathetic strong community leaders.

The closure of summer camps, including my child’s Camp Wanapitei, in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 is a devastating blow to hundreds of thousands of Canadian children. BUT – the prospect that as many as 1,000 summer camp belonging to the Canadian Camping Association may not survive to open in 2021 is more than devastating – it is unthinkable.

This is not just about this summer. It is about a professional industry dedicated to the well-being of children across Canada that has just lost 100 per cent of its 2020 revenue source, with no ability to make it up.

Provincial Governments across most of Canada made the decision to close summer camps throughout the summer of 2020 to protect our children. Having made the decision to shut down camps this summer, I believe that government must now make the decision to provide funding that will save the summer camp experience for generations to come.

As a parent of a Canadian camper, I implore you to direct targeted financial assistance for these 1,000 businesses to ensure our country’s summer camps remain viable.

Please also keep in mind the importance of ‘SUMMER CAMP’ to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Canada. Thank you.