After 2 years away from the in-person camp experience, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) was thrilled to welcome campers and volunteers back in person for another summer of fun and adventure at Camp Goodtimes.
Camp Goodtimes provides unforgettable summer camp experiences for children and youth affected by cancer and their families. Through a medically supervised, safe, and supportive environment, the program encourages families affected by cancer to form a community with others who share similar experiences and promotes self-esteem and personal growth through recreation.
Camp Goodtimes volunteers help create special memories and experiences for all campers. One person who knows the value of volunteering is Bailey Saguin, who volunteered with Camp Goodtimes from 2016-2020. Bailey first became connected to the program when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006, when he was only 9 years old. It was a difficult time for his family, but that summer they decided to visit Camp Goodtimes together. Camp became a haven for Bailey, a place where he could connect with other kids who had also experienced cancer.
Bailey looked up to the volunteers at Camp and he knew that one day he would want to give back to the community that did so much for him. Now healthy and in his 20s, Bailey kept his commitment and devoted 5 years as a volunteer to the program and currently works as a full-time employee at CCS.
“I’ve known some of these kids since they were 12 or 13 and now, they’re young adults getting ready to go to college. It’s really special to see how much they’ve grown because of programs like Camp Goodtimes, and what a positive impact it has had on their lives,” says Bailey.
This year, Camp Goodtimes had approximately 100 volunteers supporting the program and an additional 25 medical volunteers ensuring the safety of the camp. The volunteers help support the return of in-person camp.
“When I see someone from Camp who I knew from when I was a camper, it’s a special experience to reconnect and reflect on the memories we made,” says Bailey. “The impact these programs have on the lives of these kids is super important. It really helps in their development through treatment, as a young teenager and into adulthood.”