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Ball Hockey League Sends Three Kids to Camp

Big Thanks to the Lytton Park Ball Hockey League, for donating $3,000 in League dues to help send kids to camp with Amici. This awesome donation was confirmed and announced at the League’s year-end banquet at Drums N Flats on November 9th. We could not be more grateful to the League and its 30+ members for making summer camp possible for children in financial need.

members of the Lytton Park Ball Hockey League


Compass Leadership Program at Camp Kawartha

The Compass Leadership Program, in partnership with RBC Foundation, aims to transform camp skills into life skills. Through regularly scheduled workshops and activities, coupled with mentorship from leaders with a background in camp, Compass aims to foster the personal development of young people. Learn more about the program here.

Amici kick-started the Compass Leadership Program at Camp Kawartha on October 14 -15, 2017. There, Amici hosted 21 young people, between the ages of 15 – 28, in a series of leadership-building camp activities like rock climbing, archery and high ropes. We can’t wait to share updates from the workshops as they take place over the next couple months.

Leadership Advisors and Campers at Camp Kawartha

Youth Leaders on high ropes course at Camp Kawartha


Another Successful Year at The Great Outdoors

September 30th marked another incredible evening of friends, games and camp memories at the Amici Young Professionals’ Council event: The Great Outdoors. Beer from Bench Brewery was enjoyed, Whiskey from Auchentoshan was flowing and delicious s’mores, foot-stomping live music and a lively silent auction were highlights for everyone in attendance. Congrats to Mi-A-Konda for taking home the Camp Champions trophy, and to Trevor Findlay and the members of the YPC for organizing an amazing event. Thanks for the Day, campers!

Campers and friends from Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da


Aon Charity Golf Tournament

On September 6th, Aon hosted its 21st Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Glen Abbey Golf Club. Amici was honoured to be selected as the 2017 charitable recipient and received a $25,000 donation to help send kids to camp! Amici Alumni Calvin Miller and Derek Plewes shared their experiences at the event’s cocktail reception, helping to demonstrate the impact of Amici and camp in their lives. It was an unforgettable day on a beautiful course and we could not be more grateful for Aon’s generous support!

From left: Derek Plewes, Calvin Miller, Rosie Michel, Catherine Roe, Jodie Adams, Terry Dodsworth


2017 70’s Guys Golf

Golf for a cause! Join the Kilcoo 70’s Guys on June 22 at Westview Golf Course for a day on the green in support of Amici campers. Registration of $65 includes 18 holes and a cart. Tee times start after 2 pm; a la carte dinner on the patio afterwards. Donations of $50 are welcome and you will receive a tax receipt. Please email Bill Meeker (wemeeker1@gmail.com) to register or learn more.

70s Guys

 


Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2017

Canoe heads 2016Join us on June 3rd, 2017 for our annual Canoe Heads for Kids.  This 15km urban canoe trip is one of the most fun ways to raise money to send kids to summer camp.  Participate on a team, or join us as a volunteer.  Learn more by contacting Robyn at robyn@amicicharity.org.

Since 2006, Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids has brought together camp enthusiasts, former campers, and portagers of all skill levels to raise funds that help create leaders through summer camp.  Today, Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids involves over 130 paddlers and portagers, who travel 15km over land and water to support Amici campers and bring awareness to the overwhelming benefits of summer camp programs.  Over $900,000 has been raised by Canoe Heads participants to date, funding over 900 summer camp experiences for deserving children.

 


Mina’s Story

Camp Cabin B[1] EDIT

My family moved to Canada from Bulgaria the year before I went to camp. Camp helped me bridge the transition between immigrant and Canadian through immersing me in the beautiful Canadian nature and culture, and helping me improve my English.

Although I HATED my first 3 day canoe trip – paddling hurt my arms, portaging was brutal and the pack felt like it was bigger than me – I fell in love with Algonquin Park. And the feeling of accomplishment and pride I felt at the end of my trip kept me going back on longer paddles year after year.

The beauty of the forests and lakes and wonderful Canadian landscapes that we are lucky to have truly captured my heart. Many city kids never get the chance to see this beautiful place and to feel its tranquil yet powerful presence. We must teach our children to respect and preserve it – a job that camp did very well for me.

It was also a place where I could stay a child just a little bit longer. Girls are bombarded with messages that tell them they need to wear make-up, follow fashion trends, and act in certain ways in order to be prettier, cooler, better. At camp – and especially at an all-girl camp – we all shed this burden from day one by throwing on a t-shirt, shorts, and crocs, erasing the make-up, throwing our hair in a messy bun, and singing at the top of our lungs while stomping our feet with glee on top of the dining room benches when our favourite camp song was called during dinner.

Camp is a place where true childhood lives on. There’s no need to impress anyone, and you can just be you, free to run, get dirty, get bright pink fruit punch all over your lips, dress-up, laugh for no reason, and play.

Thanks for helping me have the chance to be a kid and grow up in a safe, warm second home and become the adult I am today. I hope you’ll consider making a donation to help a new generation of kids just be kids and experience the awesome beauty of Canada’s landscapes.


 

Give the gift of camp right here.

 

Mina Tzenova Signature

Mina Tzenova

Former Camper

Account Executive (Marketing)

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Summer 2015: Amici campers’ best summer ever!

This summer was one for the books. How do we know? Amici campers are an outspoken and enthusiastic bunch! As soon as campers started to return home from camp this summer, the Amici staff was receiving letters, pictures, stories, poems, you name it! With 256 Amici campers at 35 different partner camps across Ontario, Amici supporters provided more camp experiences in 2015 than any other summer. And the campers and their families are excited to share their experiences with you:

“My sons said that camp was like heaven – lots of enjoyable moments and full of positive energy. They grew in many ways. They became more responsible and learned how to get over challenges. On the way home from camp, I just asked “Would you like to go back to camp next summer?” They replied, “Definitely, Mom. Two weeks was kind of short. Can we go 4 wks next time?”. My husband and I were very pleased to hear that and see big smiles on their faces. We just wish to express our heart-felt thanks to Amici once again. Without Amici, summer 2015 for my sons wouldn’t be as wonderful as it was.”  – An Amici Parent

“One of my most vivid memories of camp was one from our trip in the Algonquin Park, a place I had always dreamt of going. It was day four of our seven day canoe trip and we had just found a beautiful camp site on Kioshkowki Lake.The fire pit was top notch and it was overlooking a glorious sunset. Attached to the site as a beach that led to an old railroad trail. I remember walking across this land “bridge” looking at the trees go by, while the sun went down in the distance. It was the most surreal feeling ever. I went to sleep that night after looking at the stars and I knew that everything was alright in the world.  – An Amici Camper

“I feel as though in one month in the leadership program, I learned so much about myself. I also strengthened my leadership skills by learning to become more vocal and proactive. Throughout the month we had the opportunity to run activities for younger campers. Some of the things we did included running a Wizard of Oz themed evening program, running activities for the day campers, and even re-enacting stories for the oldest girls cabins. I had such a great experience! I wish I could tell you the one favourite activity that I had, but truly all the activities were all really fun! I hope that with your continued support, I may return to camp next summer and beyond.”  – An Amici Camper

Medeba 2

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Camp Builds Leaders – Khamil’s Story

I was a bit of a trouble-maker when I was a kid.  My mom worried about the kids I was hanging out with in middle school. Amici changed all of that. I’ll be going to camp this summer as the new Waterfront Director – and I’m still as excited as I was when I was a kid.

My first time at camp was the most amazing two weeks of my life. I went from being a city kid with no wilderness experience to lifting a canoe onto my head – SOLO – for portages on my first 5 day canoe trip. 

I can’t imagine what my life would be like if my mom hadn’t heard about Amici and applied. As a single mom, she couldn’t afford camp without Amici’s help.

I think camp really is for every kid. Every kid should get the chance to push himself and see just how far he can go. It was donors who supported me. And it was life-changing. I remember what it was like each spring. I couldn’t wait to hear from Amici about going to camp again. I know how much kids are counting on you.

I’ve had the best camping experience ever. All thanks to Amici. And thanks to donors – people just like you – my life is better in so many ways.

 

Khamil Alhade

Former camper,

Incoming Waterfront Director, YMCA Camp Pine Crest (Amici Partner Camp)

Queen’s University Computer Science student

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Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2015 – A Massive Success!

Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2015 on May 30, 2015 brought together Amici friends, camp enthusiasts, and former campers all with one goal: to help send at-risk children and youth to summer camp in 2015! Despite the rainy weather, this year’s event brought out 130 participants, over 50 volunteers, and so many supporters, who all rallied together to portage and paddle through the rain after rousing speeches by CBC’s Scott Russell, Former Amici Camper Khamil Alhade, and Mayor John Tory. Team CBC kicked off the portage to Sir Casimir Gzowski Park along the Martin Goodman trail at 1 pm, and our 18 additional teams followed closely. By the transition point between the portage and paddle, the rain had set in, but the delicious snacks and ice cream revived the enthusiastic teams for their paddle back.

The event was celebrated at The Fox on Bay with well-deserved drinks and snacks. Our supporters raised a staggering $160,000 in pledges, sponsorship, and in-kind donations this year! Their impact on deserving children in Amici’s summer camp program has grown to be bigger than ever. Thank you to everyone who gave their time and energy to make this year’s Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids the best yet! For information on how to get involved in Canoe Heads for Kids 2016, please email Christine at christine@amicicharity.org.

Check out the Amici’s Canoe Heads Website to learn more about the event and how you can get involved!

 

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Amici’s YPC’s #FLASHBACKFRIDAY at Neubacher Shor Contemporary

This year’s annual Amici’s Young Professional’s Council’s (YPC) fundraiser #FLASHBACKFRIDAY was on April 10th at Neubacher Shor Contemporary, in the heart of Parkdale, downtown Toronto. In true camp  fashion, the YPC welcomed party-goers with camp games and tuck shop treats. Attendees perused the silent auction and caught up with camp friends while sipping Okanagan Springs beers, Peller Estates Wine, and Amici-tini’s (our signature lemonade cocktail). After a warm welcome from the YPC Co-Chairs Bronwyn Gorsline and Tim Usher-Jones, and a few words from Amici’s Executive Director Kate Horton, our amazing band The Diamond Dogs started their first set, bringing the crowd to the dance floor! Our amazing silent auction was brought to a close with people taking home items from Stinson Studios, Oconto Paddles, Barbour, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Poler Outdoor Stuff, and many more amazing providers! Our generous event sponsors Goldcorp Inc., Chubb Insurance, and Colliers International, along with our many event supporters allowed for an incredible night that helped to change the lives of deserving children across Ontario by raising funds to send them to summer camp this coming summer! Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our event! Don’t miss our next Amici’s YPC event – our Fall Pub Night, coming November 2015, and check out the photos from #FLASHBACKFRIDAY, provided by Turquoise Films.

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Amici’s Partner Camp Reception, OCA Conference 2015

Amici’s Partner Camps are some of our biggest supporters. They help fund our campers by matching every dollar given to Amici’s summer camp program, and without them we wouldn’t be able to provide the escape from the city that is so necessary during those long summer months! On January 29th 2015, we got the chance to say thanks at the Ontario Camping Association’s conference in Markham, Ontario. We invited staff from our 35 partner camps to join us and celebrate years of successful partnerships. Thank you to Duncan from Onondaga for his kind words at the reception, to Dave from Hogtown Brewers for supplying some delicious refreshments, and to the Amici Board members who came to welcome our partner camps. Since 1966 our partner camps have helped to support over 2000 summer camp experiences, and we think that’s worth celebrating!

Huge thanks to all those who came out and we hope to see all those who weren’t able to make it sometime soon! Check out the photos below.

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YPC’s Fall Pub Night

On Thursday November 20th, Amici’s Young Professional’s Council hosted a Pub Night to fundraise and bring awareness to Amici! The night was filled with good food and drinks, great music, and tons and tons of camp friends! For their third event, the YPC returned to the Fox and the Fiddle at Yonge and Heath St and partied til the wee hours. While listening to the musical stylings of Chuck and Seb, and Ben McPhee, attendees caught up, reminisced, and reunited with old friends. The event raised almost $1,000, which will allow for even more disadvantaged children to attend camp this summer! Huge thanks to everyone who came out! IMG_9899-17

Amici’s YPC works to network with former campers and current camp enthusiasts to raise awareness surrounding Amici and to send more deserving children to summer camp each year. Special thanks goes out to the YPC for throwing an incredible event and for engaging even more people this year in Amici’s cause: Tim Usher-Jones, Bronwyn Gorsline, Geoff Scott, Calvin Miller, Maria Stern, Chuck Joyce, Allan Bean, Jeremy Hill, Emily Davidson, and Ian Ritchie. Thanks to Turquoise Films for the photography, Fox and Fiddle for their wonderful hospitality, to Biehn Brothers, Oconto Paddles, Zane Mersky, and Tim MacKay. Check out photos from the event Here.

Interested in learning more about the Young Professional’s Council? Check out the site Here or contact info@amicicharity.org for more information!

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2015 Camper Applications

 

Kid jumping in the lake

With a successful 2014 season behind us, we are now looking forward to an exciting 2015 season at Amici!

In 2014, we were thrilled to be able to support 210 campers to attend one of our 33 partner overnight camps. We are looking to expand our numbers even further for next summer, as we look to help even more kids experience the magic of summer camp.

New and renewal camper applications are now available. Any family that had a camper attend camp through Amici in 2014 was sent a renewal application by mail and email.

If you are interested in applying for sponsorship for your child for the first time, please contact the Amici Office (info@amicicharity.org or 416-588-8026) to request an application package.

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Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2014

_MG_3863Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2014 was an outstanding success.  It was also our biggest Canoe Heads event ever, with close to 120 participants on 15 teams joining this year’s event, it will go down as a remarkable day.  With the sun shining and our supporters cheering, Canoe Heads participants began their portage on the afternoon of Saturday May 31st. 7.5km later, in high spirits, Canoe Headers gathered for the paddle back to Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre. Both the portage and the paddle were completed in record time and our participants enjoyed sandwiches, drinks, snacks, and pizza throughout the event. The day was full of smiles and cheering as all of our participants and supporters enjoyed speeches by past and present Amici Campers, as well as Amici staff and volunteers.

The generous donors of Amici’s Canoe Heads for kids 2014 raised well over the goal of $120,000, surpassing $140,000!!! An incredible accomplishment that will help to provide over 300 weeks of summer camp to so many deserving children! Huge thanks to everyone who helped to make this day one to remember and helped to fund the unforgettable summer camp experience of Amici campers.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day.  The sun was shining and the wind was non-existent as we crossed 15km of Toronto’s waterfront with our canoes.  The most powerful part of the day was provided by the Amici campers, and a thankful grandmother, who shared personal stories of how camp has changed their lives.  To quote one of my teammates “I will be back next year for sure.” “

– Stuart Snyder, Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids Steering Committee Co-Chair

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Paul’s Head Shave to Send Kids to Summer Camp

Our wonderful Chair of our Board of Directors, Paul Steven, pledged to raise $10,000 for Amici by May 8th 2014! Having come close to reaching his goal, Paul shaved his head and is still hoping to fundraise the full amount for Amici. Help Paul to fill an entire cabin of Amici campers for this coming summer. Each $1000 donated to Amici means that another camper can participate in a life-changing 2 week summer camp experience. Paul’s pledge supports camp programming for underprivileged children who will spend 2 amazing weeks connecting with nature, building confidence, and making lifelong friendships. To donate to Paul’s cause, click on the link below!

Paul’s Head Shave to Send Kids to Camp

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Amici Young Professional’s Council’s #TBT Throw Back Thursday

Summers at camp were some of the best of our lives! On March 20th, 2014 the YPC and 150 Amici supporters celebrated those camp days gone by at Steam Whistle Brewing downtown Toronto.

The event was a huge success! Camp enthusiasts started filing in at 7:30 and were greeted by our Young Professional’s Council and volunteers as well as unlimited beer provided by Steam Whistle Brewing and food galore. The Silent Auction was a highlight of the evening and featured items from Mountain Equipment Co-op, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Moksha Yoga, Hermes, Disney, and The Running Room among many others. Our sponsors Clark and Horner Chartered Accountants and Palm Bay were present to see everyone having an amazing time. Soon enough our guests got into the YPC Baggo game and were relaxing by our tent in the muskoka chairs. Our amazing speakers Tim Mackay, Paul Steven, Calvin Miller, Connor Pires, and Tim Usher-Jones brought the house down with their camp stories and kind words about Amici.

Throughout the evening people got their groove on to the campy tunes provided by The Lonely Hearts band, and the house music DJed by Jackie Trehorn. Huge funds were raised through the Silent Auction, and we saw the competitive side of some of our guests in the last seconds that they had to bid on their favourite items.

Some of our big ticket items included 4 tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs game, a foursome of golf at The Club at Bond Head, and an Alpine Ontario Ski Suit. A surprise fire alarm did nothing to dampen the spirits of the party goers and the band played through the noise making for a fun twist in the evening’s festivities!YPC and Volunteers tbt2

Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters in the evening’s event! We certainly couldn’t have done it without you. Stay tuned for our next event which will be posted to our Facebook page.


2013: A Summer to Remember

2013 - A Summer to Remember

It’s hard to believe that another summer has come to an end. Campfires, canoe trips, mosquitoes and laughs shared with cabin mates will have to wait until next summer, but the memories will last a lifetime.

Summer 2013 was our biggest summer yet! 175 Amici campers attended over 400 weeks of camp at 30 different accredited overnight camps across Ontario. A huge thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers and partner camps for making this past summer so memorable for so many children and youth!

Applications for Summer 2014 will be available online at the end of September on our website. We look forward to growing our numbers next summer and sending even more deserving children and youth to camp!


In Memoriam: Jack Pearse

In Memoriam: Jack Pearse.jpg

The camping world lost an icon on Wednesday, August 21 with the passing of Camp Tawingo founder Jack Pearse. He was 87.

Over 42 summers, Jack was the Director at Tawingo where he inspired thousands of children and staff members. Jack was also an acclaimed song leader, having led singsongs in countless countries and producing many recordings and books on camp song and program. His singsongs serve as defining camp memories for generations of campers.

Jack was renowned for his camp leadership. He served terms as President of the Ontario Camps Association, Canadian Camping Association, and Association of Independent Camps. He also co-founded and served as Chair of the International Camping Fellowship, bringing together children and camping professionals from around the world.

Camp Tawingo’s John Jorgenson wrote, “Jack’s passion for camping and youth development extended far beyond the borders of the Tawingo home that has shaped so many great young people into great adults. His belief in sharing his leadership and energy with others extended into so many other areas of life that it is difficult to mention them all. Friends in the Ontario and Canadian camping associations as well other camping associations the world over will miss his memorable contributions to the camping movement. Dear to his heart for so many years were his friends in the International Camping Fellowship because he believed that the world truly can become a better place through camping and that we can make a difference – if we try.”

Camp Tawingo has long been the summer home of many Amici campers, and continues to be a strong supporter. We offer our condolences to Director Mike Pearse and his family, as well as the greater Tawingo community. Jack will be missed by many, but his great legacy lives on at both Tawingo and at camps around the world.

For more information on Jack Pearse’s legacy, please click here.


Reflections on Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2013

Reflections on Canoe Heads

Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids was an outstanding success.  It was also the biggest ever!  With close to 100 participants on 12 teams joining this year’s event, it will go down as a remarkable day. Our participants and donors have made a big difference.  Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids raised over $97,000, sharing the gift of almost 200 weeks of summer camp with deserving children from low-income families.  On behalf of every child who will benefit from your generosity, THANK YOU!

Teams began to arrive at Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak around 8:45 am on Saturday June 1st. The forecast on Friday evening was calling for rain and thunder storms, so the participants were happy to wake to clear skies and calm waters. Historically Mother Nature has not been so kind to Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids in the past; their fingers were crossed that the weather would hold for the duration of the day.  The participants ended up having luck on their side this year and only experienced some tail winds and a few drops of rain during the final stretch of the paddle.

Group photo

The canoes were divided among the 12 teams and the participants were ready to begin their journey. Canoes were hoisted and the participants set off for the portage portion of the day. Headed east, they navigated through Toronto’s downtown core; a sea of 47 red, blue, yellow and green canoes among a concrete jungle.  They traveled along King Street, having a short break to refuel at Roundhouse Park before making their way towards Lake Ontario and the waterfront trail. By noon participants began to arrive at the Humber River, beginning to feel the effects of the journey but still smiling. Teams were proud of their members to have the bulk of the distance covered and were still looking forward to the paddle that lay ahead of them.

Lunch proved to be a great celebration of finishing the portage and reconnecting with old friends and family. At lunch, the participants, families, volunteers and supporters heard some amazing testimonials from a few Amici-sponsored campers, providing a heartfelt reminder of why this event is so important-a way to send kids and youth to camp who would not have had the opportunity to do so. Camp gives children the chance to experience outdoors, make new friends, learn new skills and appreciate their surroundings. The self-confidence and independence developed at camp will last a lifetime. Once speeches were over, the participants were finally able to get their paddles wet. The weather remained favourable and it was only in the last couple of kilometres that strong winds challenged the small water crafts. All participants made it to the finish without incident, only a few sore muscles.

In the words of one of the Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2013 Steering Committee Members,
“A sense of satisfaction washed over us as our historically Canadian adventure, set in a modern city, came to an end seven hours after it started. Although the base of my feet feel bruised and my thumbs are stiff from holding the boats, it was definitely worth it as over $97,000 has been raised which will send almost 100 kids to camp this summer and provide close to 200 weeks of camp experiences.”


Summer 2013 Campership: Watch us Grow!

Summer 2013 Campership

Summer 2013 will be our most exciting summer yet! With the help of our donors, community partners and partner camps, Amici will be sending 170 campers to 30 camps across Ontario. We are also excited to announce that 16 of those youth will be participating in specialized Leadership Development Programs and/or advance wilderness tripping programs at their respective partner camps.

Amici is committed to funding an increasing number of youth in outdoor recreation programs, to ensure that camp becomes a stable path to a brighter future for more children, year after year. As the number of applications that we receive continues to grow each year, our key strategic component is increasing our ability to fund these programs.  Endeavour Volunteer Consulting recently developed an ambitious four year strategic plan that encompasses all aspects of the organization. We are calling our vision: “250 by 50” – to provide 250 underprivileged children and youth with summer camp experiences by 2016, when Amici will celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary.

Our waiting list continues to grow this year as the needs of the community continue to increase. We continue to have families applying every day, even those interested in securing a spot for Summer 2014! We anticipate that by Summer 2014 our campership will grow to a record number of campers, aligned with our goal of 250 campers by 2016.

Summer camp experiences give youth an opportunity to become role models for future generations, as well as equipping them with the skills to effectively contribute to their camp, home, and school communities. 170 children and youth will spend their summer building their self-confidence, increasing their independence and learning what it truly means to be part of a caring and supportive community.


Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids Returns on Saturday, June 1!

Canoe Heads for Kids

The sixth annual Amici’s Canoe Heads For Kids event will see 10 teams of camp enthusiasts strap canoes to their backs and embark on a 20 km paddle and portage along Toronto’s Waterfront and through the city streets to raise funds for Amici Camping Charity, which sends underprivileged kids to summer camp.

Now in its sixth year, Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids has grown from a solo trek to a 100-person endeavor. To date, Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids has raised over $100,000 and given more than 100 kids the summer camp experience of a lifetime. Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids is on track to raise another $100,000 this year, which will send 100 deserving kids and teenagers to summer camps across Ontario for two weeks.

Why do supporters become involved in Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids? Because they believe in the transformative power of camp. It provides a natural and supportive environment where kids can learn the importance of cooperation, teamwork, responsibility, leadership and hard work – all values participants will rely on as they paddle and portage!

To learn more about Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids, or to get involved, please visit www.canoeheadsforkids.com

To support Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids, please click here.


Looking Back at Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids – June 2, 2012

Teams portaging through the streets of Toronto

After a rainy Friday that saw Union Station flood, we were all a little nervous to find out what the weather would have in store for us.  Teams began arriving at Harbourfront around 6:00 am to find white caps in the inner harbour.  There was a wind warning in effect which meant that paddling across the open water between the Leslie Street Spit and The Beach was not an option.  Not one complaint was heard as we moved to “Plan B”, shouldered our boats and headed east towards the Distillery District.  Besides, what is a canoe trip without a little foul weather?

This year the event continued to show growth as we had a total of ten teams participating, eighty five paddlers and also featured a new half distance (20 km).  Once again the good folks at Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre, Kilcoo Camp, Onondaga Camp, and The Complete Paddler were gracious enough to provide boats for the day. We could not have run the event without them!

The mood was high as our 41 canoe convoy made its way from The Distillery District through the downtown core.  We travelled across King Street, met up with the CBC photographers in front of Roy Thomson Hall before making our way back towards Lake Ontario to join the participants doing the half route.  As we reconnected with the waterfront trail the wind showed no signs of abating.  Passing cyclists and pedestrians did so with caution as the wind tossed us around.  Learning a thing or two from horse shows, teams eventually had to have people holding on to their bows leading them west.  By noon participants began to arrive at the Humber River, weathered but still smiling. Relieved to the have the bulk of the distance covered, yet a little afraid to sit due to tightening muscles.

Group photo

After our lunch break we finally got a chance to get our paddles wet.  With the wind at our backs we travelled inside the calm of the break wall to the symphony white caps crashing into the concrete barricade.  We made our way as far as Ontario Place before the wind forced us off the water once again.  Teams picked up their canoes and placed them on their tender shoulders to carry them back to the Harbourfront.

A sense of satisfaction washed over us as our historically Canadian adventure, set in a modern city, came to an end eight hours after it started.  Although the base of my feet feel bruised, my thumbs are stiff from holding the boats and I can’t stand up straight, it was definitely worth it as over $75,000 has been raised which will help send at least 75 kids to camp this summer.  This would not have been possible without your support!

Until next year,
Stuart Snyder, Willie Macrae, Tim McMartin & the rest of the Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids 2012 Organizing Committee


Jays Care Foundation Goes to Bat for Amici

Jays Care Skybox Camper

Since 1992, Jays Care Foundation has been empowering children and youth in need. They help them realize their dreams by providing access to programs that support physical activity, education, and life-skill development and what better place to access these programs than summer camp! Jays Care Foundation has generously donated over $50,000 to Amici in the past two years!

This year, Jays Care Foundation invited Amici to participate in the 50/50 Program at Roger’s Centre. Amici’s 135 volunteers attended 5 Jays games to sell raffle tickets in support of sending more deserving children to summer camp. In addition to their generous financial contributions, Jays Care Foundation invited Amici campers to enjoy a Jays game from their phenomenal Skybox and seeing the excitement on our camper’s faces was a testament to the wonderful work that Jays Care Foundation does!

Jays Care Foundation’s philanthropic efforts and commitment to children and youth have enabled Amici to continue to grow its program sending 145 children and youth to summer camp in 2011. Jays Care Foundation offers many programs that support children and youth including Field of Dreams, Grand Slam Grants, Home Run Scholars, Rookie League Baseball, and Jays Care Community Clubhouse. Their unwavering dedication has touched the lives of thousands of children setting them on a path to a bright stable future. Amici is proud to have Jays Care Foundation as an Amici supporter.

For more information about Jays Care Foundation, please visit their website at toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/tor/community/tor_community_jayscare.jsp