Sent on behalf of Colonel T. Morrison, Director, Military Family Services –
As many of you are aware, the Support Our Troops National Camp Program has historically issued grants to defray the cost of sending qualifying CAF member’s dependents for a one-week camp experience. Eligible participants include: dependents of ill or injured members being supported through the CFTG; dependents of members who are currently deployed, on prolonged course or training program, scheduled for deployment, or serving away from their families; children of deceased members; dependents with special needs and/or their siblings; and, members nominated by a superior within their Chain of Command.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Military Family Services (MFS) had made the difficult decision to close applications to our Support Our Troops (SOT) Summer Camp Program. This was not an easy decision, and one that was predicated on the fact that MFS had no defined timetable of when social isolation measures would be universally lifted across all CAF communities, making camps a safe and appropriate activity for all. Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia are among the provinces that have already cancelled overnight summer camps for kids this year. On a positive note, the majority of provinces and territories have now made tentative allowances for the planned running of day camps this summer. Based on these recent developments, MFS has made the decision to open the SOT Summer Camp Program exclusively for day camp applications on Monday June 15th. This decision will ensure qualifying military families will still be able to participate in a safe and healthy camp experience for this summer.
This year SOT has approximately $200K earmarked for this valuable program. As in past years, we will work to prioritize first-time campers who have never received funding to attend camp in the past. Given the fact that day camp registration fees are typically half the cost of most overnight camps, we anticipate that this temporary policy change will allow us to support a larger amount of families during this challenging period. Application information can be found at the following link: https://www.supportourtroops.ca/Get-Support/Camps
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