Camp Goodtime!

Organization Sponsor: Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division


Program Description

Our camps and programs are for kids, teenagers, and families living with cancer. Our goal is to create a safe and fun environment where friendships and lifelong memories can be made. Each of our programs is uniquely designed, but all of them take place in the comfortable and relaxed setting currently located in New Glasgow, NS (at Scotian Glen Camp).

The Canadian Cancer Society's Camp Goodtimes Kids’ Camps are for children aged 6-15 with a history of cancer, as well as some spaces set aside for siblings.

It’s a place to make new friends, go swimming, play games and spend time in the great outdoors. Themes, costumes, arts & crafts, and other summer camp activities are offered in addition to special events such as a carnival and big dance at the end of the week!

The Canadian Cancer Society's Teen Program has recently moved from a winter sport setting in order to offer a teen week to twice as many teens as well as to those who might not yet be ready to take on skiing or snowboarding.

A great deal of careful planning has been going on to ensure that this evolution of our teen program is what our past and future teens want. We have consulted with most of our teen population to understand what it was that always made this program popular.

We will of course continue the traditions of the program and remember where it all started.

Naturally, we cannot ski or snowboard at our lakeside location. And the teens have said that it is important to have activities that are more challenging than the ones we offer at our Kids’ Camps. We will offer this higher level of programming, while making sure that there is a lot of time for relaxing, talking, and having the option to do a variety of other levels of activities.

Program Approximate Cost: 


Funding Sources: 

Canadian Cancer Society provides funding for those who can't afford the camp.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Camp Goodtime was established with the mandate to increase the self-confidence and independence in children who have cancer. Social skills of children with cancer often lag behind their contemporaries due to frequent hospital visits, severe treatments with accompanying side effects, and the stigma society often attaches to ‘cancer.’ Camp Goodtime helps children develop new skills and interests in a fun environment that can continue to grow beyond Camp. Offering a natural setting where outdoor living and respect for the environment is stressed.

Impact Of Program: 

More than 100 children attend camp every year and are supported by trained volunteers and staff, ensuring that everyone has a safe and fun-filled week.

Evaluation Tools: 

The committee and staff provide feedback of successes and difficulties.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Kids with similar problems camp together so they understand each others experience. Camp provides the assistance needed for the individual needs of the kids. Survivors of childhood cancer are invited to attend Camp Goodtime as support for counsellors and as friends to campers. Siblings or friends to Camp Goodtime have always been viewed as a necessity, both to the camper and to the invited guest.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

For 125 kids a staff of 60 is required. Recruiting and training of staff is a challenge.

Length and Stage of Project: 

Camp Goodtime was founded in 1985.

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