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At Camp Vincent, one week of camp allows children to be their favourite superhero. Register file photo

Camp Vincent, where superheroes come out to play

By 
  • March 21, 2015

This summer children at Camp Vincent can cast off the shackles of life and spend a week living as superheroes.

“Each week has a different theme and it is a story line that starts on the Sunday and ends on the Friday when they get picked up,” said Kerri Wright, camp administrator. “There is never a repeat of scene so every week in the summer is different.”

One of those weeks, many young campers are already excited about is Super Hero Showdown, Wright said. From July 26 to 31, campers can pretend to be Superman, Batman or the Flash, among a number of other crime fighters from the comic book world, while participating in traditional camp activities, including canoeing, archery and crafts.

“It builds up the child’s self-esteem and it helps them with team work,” said Wright.

Other themes over the summer include the Olympics, the Tales of Robert Munsch and a World of Wonders.

All of this takes place on Camp Vincent’s 27-hectare property located on the outskirts of Bothwell, Ont., about two-and-a-half hours west of Toronto. The property contains 10 cabins where the campers are housed, a rec hall and a soon-to-be finished salt water swimming pool spread across the rural landscape.

Opened in 1967 by the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Camp Vincent welcomes up to 115 kids aged six to 15 each week from July 5 through Aug. 21.

“In May schools rent it out for field trips or a lot of people use it for retreats” until the summer program begins, said Wright.

This is repeated after the summer program ends in August until October when the camp closes for the season.

The primary reason the camp exists, according to Wright, is to give young people an opportunity to escape the hardships of modern life.

“A lot of the times they are escaping everything they know,” she said. “But they know about their home life so it is hard for them at first, but then they can interact with other kids, maybe choose to do the same things and then learn that they are not alone.”

Although a non-denominational organization, the camp partners with many churches and religiously affiliated organizations who sponsor disadvantaged children who could otherwise not cover the $250 to $350 registration fee.

“A lot of the kids are sponsored by churches and agencies,” she said. “But it is definitely not the only type of children that come here. They come mostly from St. Catharines, Windsor, London... (but) they come from all over.”

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