Seize the Day Camp, March 12-16 at the Joel Steele Community Centre

Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects' Brenda Norman (centre) poses with some other principals involved with the upcoming Seize the Day Camp in Winchester — Danny Holmes and Shannon Bowman. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — Seize the Day Camp launches a March Break program at the Joel Steele Community Centre in Winchester, March 12-16.

“Our team is made up of local people who are outstanding in their fields of education, the arts, sports, and children and youth work with our goal being to provide a positive day camp experience for families and their children from North Dundas and the surrounding communities,” explains Brenda Norman, founder of Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects (KCEP), a not-for-profit organization that is holding the “inclusive and innovative ecological Day Camp” as its latest community-minded initiative.

Norman says her team has been working with local businesses, parents and youth to make the camp a reality.

“We have created activities that inspire and support children’s interests,”  says Shannon Bowman, co-director and contact
for registrations and information. “You can be confident that your children are safe and enjoying their March Break at Seize the Day Camp.”

“School breaks should be a stress-free time for families. Seize the Day Camp will provide a fun experience, by making children’s ideas come to life while building new skills, interests, and creating friendships along the way,” says Danny Holmes, one of the Day Camp organizers and the lead for planned after-school tutoring and programs to be offered this spring.

Tutoring will be available at the coming Seize the Day Camp for families interested in getting a head start on this service, according to organizers.

The proponents tout the camp for having “flexible affordable choices for families, including subsidies through local businesses, and individual sponsorship for families who could use a little help so that their children can have an opportunity to enjoy an entertaining and cool day camp experience.”

Half-day and full-day options will be offered, along with along with flexible casual day camp, as well as before and after daycare options.  “If you are just looking for a break now and then, work part time, or need a full day care Seize the Day Camp will have you covered,” they say.

“Sharing my skills in Early Childhood Education and getting involved with my children’s creative visions for fun to help build the Seize the Day Camp and our other programs has been a very enriching experience for us,” says Treena Itterman. “We can not wait to share what we have planned with children in the community.”


Children can look forward to Serious and Silly Science on Monday, while Tuesday will be a day of creating board and other cool games, as well as planting a start up garden to take home and transplant in the spring (a day sponsored by Homestead Organics). Sports and Arts combine in a unique way on Sp’arts Day on WednesdayThursday the day camp will be at the Old Town Hall Theatre where day campers will learn about and participate in improvisation and acting, stage productions and sets, followed by puppet-making and more at the SDG library in Winchester.

On Friday, March 16, the entire day camp will turn into a sugar camp where the campers and staff will cook up all the fixings and fun that go along with the maple syrup season. “Imagine we will be cooking with food produced down the road from Against the Grain to Around the Bend and Barkley’s Maple Syrup, with  Biemond Maple Yogurt to name a few local producers, and of course Foodland will be our go to grocery store for everything else we need,” says Norman, whose organization first came to the fore as the spearhead behind Cornwall’s successful garlic festival and other local food endeavours . “It is pretty cool when kids are learning that they can feed themselves from the farms surrounding where they live. We are also expecting a special visit from Simply Baked.”

She adds that she’s grateful to the Township of North Dundas for helping KCEP bring the day camp to Winchester and to Terrace Green B&B for their support.

Upcoming summer Day Camp

Brittney Laviolette, a Child and Youth Care Worker serving as one of the councillors at Seize the Day Camp,  promises the days “will be filled with themed activities along with sports, free time, organized games and a chance to share ideas for our summer camp that we are already planning with the youth and families from the community.”

The planned summer version of the Seize the Day Camp hopes to offer seven jobs to youth from the rural area of North Dundas, and will be also hosted at the Joel Steele Community Centre while school is out. Day Camp is open for registration and will remain so for the entire week of March Break, so that families can use it casually as well as register in advance. High school students wishing to contribute and complete their volunteer hours are welcome to contact the organizers, as well as youth who are keen to take on leadership challenges and learn the ropes of being a Day Camp counsellor. Contact Shannon Bowman at 613-882-2878 or register online at

Seize the Day Care

KCEP’s day camp project comes amid Norman’s ongoing efforts to launch a day care facility in the township: Seize the Day Care.


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