New program offers summer camp experience to Syrian newcomers

Glen Bernard Camp opening spaces for 24 female Syrian newcomers this summer

TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - For thousands of Canadian children, summer camp is a quintessential rite of passage. This summer, 24 female Syrian newcomers to Canada will be able to experience that same rite of passage, thanks to a new program announced today by Glen Bernard Camp. Through Glen Bernard for Syria: A Canadian Summer Camp Experience, 24 spaces at the camp will be set aside for Syrian girls between the ages of 11 and 13.

"We know - from scientific research and from years of first hand experience - that summer camp can have a real impact on a child's sense of belonging, self-confidence and self-esteem. This is true for all campers, but especially true for girls," says Jocelyn Palm, Owner of Glen Bernard Camp and Order of Canada recipient. "This year is our camp's 95th anniversary. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by opening our doors to these new campers."

In fact, the Canadian Summer Camp Research project found that 65% of the campers showed strengthened social skills and 69% of campers demonstrated heightened emotional intelligence by the end of their camp session.

"Every Syrian newcomer to Canada is here building a new life for themselves," explains Leen Al Zaibak, who is herself a Syrian-Canadian and is co-founder and director of Jusoor, an NGO focused on continuing education for Syrian students through scholarships at Western universities. "They're excited to learn more about Canada and its traditions. And what more Canadian a tradition is there than summer camp? This is an incredible program that will give these girls memories and friendships that will last a lifetime."

Application forms for the program are now available on the Glen Bernard Camp website at gbcamp.com. Private sponsors are encouraged to apply on behalf of girls ages 11-13 in their Syrian family. Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2016.

All of the costs for these campers are being covered by Glen Bernard. In addition to covering the camp fees, Glen Bernard will provide supplies and equipment through donations from past and current camp families.

Glen Bernard is located on 700 acres of land just west of Algonquin Park, and offers a range of activities including canoeing, sailing, high ropes climbing, arts and crafts and swimming. This year, Glen Bernard Camp is celebrating its 95th anniversary.

"Canada has been called on by the world to help address the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII," says Palm. "We're so proud to be able to play a role in helping build a new life for these newcomers. We can't wait to meet them this summer and introduce them to our community."

SOURCE Lamont Communications

Image with caption: "Glen Bernard Camp logo (CNW Group/Lamont Communications)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160229_C8511_PHOTO_EN_630866.jpg

For further information: on Glen Bernard for Syria: A Canadian Summer Camp Experience, please contact: Lisa Pasquin, 647-969-7444 | lisa@craftpublicrelations.com

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