From the age of 12 to 17, I was a camper at the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps. I started my journey in grade 8, I went to Quyon Quebec to Camp des Voyageurs Tim Horton. I was put into a cabin group with 7 other girls and we had our counsellor Fuji. I met some incredible people and was able to discover my best. After camp when I got home, I had received a phone call when I was out with my mom at an appointment. It was Tim Horton Onondaga Farms asking if I would like to go back to camp for the Youth Leadership Program. When I got home my dad asked if I could do one thing over, what would it be. My response was “go to camp” and my dad’s response was “well you are”. I broke into tears and cried all over my mom’s shirt from how happy I was to return to camp.
I went back to camp for the next 5 summers in the Youth Leadership Program, I grew as a person at the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps. I discovered who I am, how to be a leader, how to believe in myself and others. I found the spark in me that encouraged others to find the spark in themselves. I made lifelong friendships, and memories I’ll always cherish. Tim’s Hortons Foundation Camps shaped the person I am today. After my first year at Camp des Voyageurs Tim Horton, I wanted to be a camp counsellor when I grew up.
This was something that was my blue bead (goal setting), every year until I graduated the Youth Leadership Program in 2013. In the summer of 2014, my dreams of becoming a camp counsellor came true. I spent my first summer as a counsellor at Quyon at Camp des Voyageur Tim Horton. That is when I fell in love with the Foundation on a whole new level, I now had the opportunity to give to my campers what my counsellors gave to me. This was support, encouragement, motivation and most of all respect. I always wanted to make sure my campers had a good time at camp, as my counsellors did for me.
I spent 4 full summers, 2 march breaks, and a session 7 as a staff member. I am returning back to camp this summer for eCamp at Camp Kentahten. Working as a camp counsellor has allowed me to grow as a professional and a person. I have helped change lives and I have had many campers change my life. I will cherish each memory I’ve made at camp over the past 10 years. Thank you Tim Hortons Foundation Camps for allowing me to discover my best.
-Sarah (Siri) Cleary