Bringing Help and Hope to Neighbors in Our Community
SIM Toronto has a long history of bringing help and hope to the communities we serve. Today we contribute annually in funds and support to local organizations. We are strong supporters of the StepStones for Youth and Cybercamp Robotics Academy.
StepStones for Youth
StepStones for Youth operate a Summer Camp focused on developing life skills for girls in need. The Summer Camp offers girls aged 6-14 an overnight camping experience in Northern Ontario. Through therapeutic recreational activities and games, as well as life skill lessons, literacy programming, and swimming lessons, campers are given the opportunity to improve their self-esteem, conflict resolution skills, peer interactions, and learn about ways to make safe, positive choices.
Heather O'Keefe, Executive Director at StepStones for Youth, described the Summer Camp program as follows:
StepStones for Youth is a registered charity that offers a skill development camp for girls intended to help develop personal and social growth as well as leadership skills. Our camp, which has been operating for seven years, provides youth with a nine-day camping experience on the shores of Georgian Bay. Every year we service over 100 children and youth from areas in Toronto most in need. Our camp is unique in its design; we register small groups of campers and focus specifically on skill development within a fun and engaging environment. The benefits of our small-group programming is that the girls who attend our camp are welcomed into a close knit and supportive atmosphere where our team works diligently to boost self-confidence, self-awareness and self-efficacy through a range of activities and experiences.
This year's camp was highly successful and thoroughly enjoyable experience for the girls, thanks in large part to the help of the Toronto chapter of SIM. With Toronto SIM’s financial contribution, 3 more girls were afforded the opportunity to attend the Summer Camp. The majority of our summer camp participants face significant challenges in their lives – socially, emotionally and economically – and we rely on the generous support of donors like SIM to ensure that we can offer our programming to those who need it most.
Thanks to the generous support of SIM, over the course of the summer, more young girls learned how to swim and canoe; they attended workshops about leadership, environmentalism, equity and social justice. They participated in a literacy program and learned computer and technology skills by creating a photography project. They sang songs by the campfire and built new friendships. Thanks to SIM, the life lessons learned and memories made at camp will last a lifetime!
StepStones provides great care and attention to their campers, retaining a professional teaching staff with special education training, as well as social work experts on site. The Summer Camp program ensures a minimum 3:1 camper to staff ratio. Approximately 70% of the youth who attend the camp program have direct involvement with various Children’s Aid Societies in the province of Ontario.