It’s usually a cause for concern when a parent is called to the principal’s office but for January Lac’s mother, Carrie Stark, it was the start of a memorable summer for both of them.
Silver Star school principal Harry Adam asked Stark if he could offer Lac a place at the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation in Kananaskis, Alta. The campers are sponsored by the Tim Horton Camp Day fundraiser, with the principals at different local schools each year being asked to select a deserving student who might not otherwise be able to go to camp. Three Vernon students and 28 from the Okanagan went to the 10-day camp this year.
Adam selected Lac, a 10-year-old Grade 6 student, for her involvement in school leadership as a member of the Student Action Club and being a role model for other students.
“It was really exciting,” said Lac. “We got to ride into the mountains and camp — I had never ridden a horse before — and try rock climbing and white water rafting and archery.”
The Okanagan students met for a camp orientation before leaving and were flown to Alberta from Kelowna. Each student was given a package with a backpack containing what they needed for camp, including a camera and sleeping bag which they got to keep. All they had to bring was their clothes. Each camper kept a journal with notes and photos about camp.
“We wanted to talk about the camp experience because everyone we met was so interested in it. They said they knew about the camp day fundraiser but had never met a child who had been to a Tim Horton camp,” said Stark.“I just can’t stop talking about how great it was. They really thought of everything for the kids’ safety and comfort and enjoyment. It was really amazing.
“The lessons that were taught in such a great way through the activities were what I am teaching January, how to be a healthy, active and concerned person. January has always been a hard worker and a good student and a good friend and this reinforced that for her.”
Lac enjoyed the GREAT bead program which let participants earn coloured beads representing each achievement at camp. She hasn’t taken off the bead bracelet since she completed it.
The G blue bead was for goal-setting and achievement.
“I did that by making it all the way to the top of a hike and not complaining, and rock climbing even though it was scary,” she said.
The R yellow bead was for showing responsible leadership and the E green bead for environmental awareness.
Lac, who wants to be a famous artist, loved the A orange bead for adventure, creativity and discovery where they did an art project with masks. The red T bead was for teamwork, friendship and community.
“We all worked together on the rafting,” she said. “I liked meeting new people and making new friends and all the things we got to do and learn. I am phoning and e-mailing my new friends.”
Stark said, “I’ve always been one of the people who donates for camp day, now I see what it does for the kids from a kid’s perspective. It’s not just buying another cup of coffee, it’s making a difference in a kid’s life. We, all the parents, are very grateful that January had this amazing opportunity.”