Marginalized youth still denied camp opportunity at Tims Camps

Despite public backlash, Tims Camps has not budged on their decision to discriminate against unvaccinated youth.

Marginalized youth still denied camp opportunity at Tims Camps
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A few months ago, a concerned mother brought to my attention that Tim Hortons Foundation Camps were discriminating against youth based on their vaccine status. We immediately launched a petition calling for the end of this segregationist policy at LetKidsCamp.com.

When I tried to research this policy, it became apparent that nothing was posted publicly and it appeared to be a very clandestine managerial decision — as further evidenced by the fact that no one from Tims Camps would respond to my repeated requests for clarification.

My own colleague, Alexa Lavoie, recounts her enriching experience as a camp attendee and expresses her dismay at this nonsensical policy.

Finally, after weeks of investigation, I was able to obtain a copy of the policy. It appears as heavy handed as expected of an otherwise secret policy by offering no clear alternatives or accommodations to those who may not wish to divulge their personal medical information to camp staff. Still, Tims Camps staff refused to respond to my requests seeking explanation.

Yet when it came time to drop our petition off — with an impressive 26,784 signatories — the fearless leaders called the police on me!

The gate of the Tims Camps “Home Office” said it was closed but the voice message system said that camp was open. How confusing.

Regardless, “Camp Day” has come and gone. It’s the day that the coffee conglomerate asks Canadians to support Tims Camps' otherwise wholesome initiative — to send underprivileged youth to camp for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But there has been no peep from Tims Camps on if, or when, they will revoke this risky policy.

If the publication by Mid-North Monitor (a PostMedia affiliate) has anything to say, it’s that “Tim Horton’s Camp Day 2022 [was] well supported.”

The article details the wonderful things that disadvantaged youth can experience at camp, to “help them reach their full potential.” The article continues:

“The camping experience is focused on helping, 'equip young people from low-income families with the skills they need to design their future.'

“The overnight camping trips are specifically viewed as, 'uniquely powerful in quickly building strengths and critical skills in youth. Strengthening social ties and community connections can help youth develop protective factors to better cope with challenging circumstances.'

“When they return to their homes it is felt that the ones who have benefitted the most from the camp experience will be more likely to, 'pursue their education, contribute to their communities, find meaningful jobs and lead fulfilling lives.'”

However they fail to mention that camp this year is only for vaccinated children and if you made a medical decision separate from the human resources department’s wishes, then you’re no longer a welcome participant.

How does this strengthen social ties and community connections? Only vaccinated youth should be more likely to pursue education, contribute to their communities, find meaningful jobs and lead fulfilling lives?

As we look toward another petition drop off, help us get to 30,000 signatures and sign it today.

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  • By Tamara Ugolini

PETITION: Let Kids Camp

37,867 signatures
Goal: 40,000 Signatures

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