Bryerswood Youth Camp in McGregor can now host six more children overnight thanks to a $25,000 contribution from the Windsor Essex Community Foundation for the construction of a new cabin.
The cabin, which has a concrete foundation to allow it to be a permanent structure, will be insulated so it can be occupied during the winter, said Kathi Poupard, president of the Bryerswood Youth Camp Optimist Club, which runs the park.
The camp is popular with children, who come from across Windsor-Essex, because it’s a nice property with good facilities, said Poupard. ‘It’s a nice piece of property, at 26 acres of well-managed maintained grass, trees, nature, there’s a pond, lots of equipment, lots of things for them to do.”
The new cabin means more children can stay overnight and engage in activities.
“It’s great to welcome (campers) and it will be great to welcome them to use the cabins in the near future,” said Poupard. “These cabins will be available for overnight camps year-round and they will become the kids’ little home away from home.
“A place where they can learn more about the outdoors, where they can learn about nature, where they can learn new life and leadership skills, and of course, making those fantastic memories with new friends.”
The Windsor Essex Community Foundation is supporting “legacy” projects, which have a lasting impact, to celebrate its 40th year, said executive director Lisa Kolody.
The Vital Signs report prepared each year by the foundation helped pave the way for the donation. “We look at things like our investment in youth education, our environment and our sense of belonging,” said Kolody.
“We thought Bryerswood Youth Camp hit all of those boxes. It is an investment in teaching people about the outdoors.
“It’s an investment in our young people and it’s also an investment in building a sense of belonging, and that’s one of the biggest indicators of happiness.”
Bryerswood, which was established as a non-profit in 2018, provides outdoor educational experiences and programs designed to foster leadership, confidence and life skills and increase self-esteem in campers.