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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Tim Hortons Holds Camp Day

From left, Vermilion Tim Hortons owner Greg Whitney, Tim Hortons team members Billie Isaac, Jas Pingul, Kairi Perrault, Janaka Rankothge, and business owner Kirby Whitlock. Photo Lorna Hamilton

Vermilion Tim Hortons hosted its annual Camp Day on July 19, aiming to make a positive impact in the lives of deserving youth. The event sought to support the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps, which provide opportunities for underserved young people across North America.

The generosity and support shown on July 19 will help connect more disadvantaged youth with Tims Camps, empowering them to believe in their own potential and create better futures. Customers had various options to contribute to the cause, including purchasing individual hot coffee or the refreshing Take 12, and iced coffee. Additionally, they could buy a camp day bracelet for $3 or round up their orders in the restaurant or on the Tim Hortons app.

The Tim Hortons Foundation Camps aim to unlock the potential of young people, offering much more than just a typical camping experience. As stated on the Tim Hortons website, these camps challenge and inspire young individuals to envision their best selves. The foundation works with them in schools, communities, and at its six camps located across North America. These camps provide a multi-year leadership development program specifically tailored to address the challenges faced by underserved youth, and the program comes at no cost to the participants or their families.

In the spring of 2022, Tim Hortons conducted one of the largest camper alumni surveys in the history of the camping industry. The survey reached out to all summer program participants who had attended Tims Camps between 2003 and 2021. Through this extensive survey, the foundation made several noteworthy discoveries.

Firstly, Tims Camps proved to be instrumental in opening doors to education and employment for the alumni. In fact, the survey found that for every summer spent at camp, alumni were 1.5 times more likely to complete a Bachelor’s degree, leading to increased chances of securing meaningful employment. Furthermore, the survey indicated that the impact of the camp experience is amplified with each additional year spent at Tims Camps, affirming the effectiveness of the foundation’s multi-year programming model.

The survey also highlighted that the skills learned at Tims Camps are often unavailable in other settings. Participants identified the camp as the primary environment where they acquired crucial skills such as perseverance, leadership, and appreciation for diversity. Since 1974, Tim Hortons has worked with over 300,000 young people, utilizing the camp experiences to develop social and emotional skills, as well as learning and innovation skills. While memories of canoe trips and campfires may endure, the focus of the foundation remains on equipping youth with the necessary skills and opportunities to thrive, pursue education, secure meaningful jobs, enrich their communities, and lead fulfilling lives.

The selection of youth for the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps is a comprehensive process, aimed at serving youth from every Tim Hortons community in Canada and the United States. Tim Hortons Restaurant Owners, in partnership with local organizations and the public, play a critical role in identifying youth from disadvantaged circumstances who would benefit from the multi-year youth development Summer Program.

To be eligible as a first-year camper, certain guidelines must be met. The camper must be 11 or 12 years old as of December 31 of the year prior to attending camp, turning 12 or 13 in the year they attend. Furthermore, they must come from a low-income home according to the criteria established by Statistics Canada. They should also be capable of participating in a group setting and not require ongoing 1:1 health care, emotional, or behavioral support. Finally, the camper must be referred by someone from a community-based organization or a Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner.

In Canada, Tim Hortons operates six camps spanning across five provinces. These camps are located in Ontario (two camps), Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta. Each of these camps serves as a gateway for young individuals to unlock their potential and embark on a transformative journey.

Greg Whitney, owner of Vermilion Tim Hortons would like to express his thanks to everyone who supported their Camp Day initiative.

“It is always great to see how Vermilion comes together to help days like this become a big success. Without their support we would not be able to help the children who are so deserving of attending the camps each year. I would also like to thank my staff for all they do to help promote and collect donations on these important days that we hold at Tim Hortons,” commented Whitney.

Business owner Kirby Whitlock was also on hand to help encourage patrons to support the Tim Hortons Camp Day event.

“It’s always great to help support local initiatives such as this that help children,” stated Whitlock.

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