Seize the Day Camp organizers aim next to establish Winchester day care service

Seize the Day Camp participants at the St. Paul's Church garden they looked after in Winchester this summer. Courtesy photo

WINCHESTER — Seize the Day Camp, located at 518 Church Street Winchester, explored a summer of fun in and around Winchester — and organizers hope to build on this success with a ‘Seize the Day Care’ program.

Led by an all-North Dundas Youth Team, the day camp’s themes and activities gave children ages four to 12 a chance to enjoy summer fun and learn through experiential play and planned programming. The season began with the Amazing Race Canada theme, when campers went on adventure racing all around the community, finding clues that saw them learn about Winchester and Canada all at once.

Kozroots  Community Empowerment Projects has expressed gratitude for the Summer Job Grants, St. Pauls’s Church, the Winchester Masons, Community Food Share and Terrace Green B&B — all contributing in various ways to make the new summer camp possible. “Henderson Hall is a perfect location and it really felt like a summer camp should, children felt at home, it was conducive for what we had planned,” explained Brittney Laviolette, the Coordinator Administrator of the Seize the Day Camp.

While day camp is almost done for the summer, organizers are preparing to meet with the Child Care Department at the City of Cornwall later in September to learn more about moving forward on the establishment of a ‘Seize the Day Care’ in Winchester in near future. The proponents argue that Winchester has every other resource a family could want in a village setting — except for a licensed day care centre that meets the needs of parents doing shift-work at places like Winchester District Memorial Hospital, commuting out of the area for employment and generally working extended hours.

Having showcased the possibilities of more child care and child and youth programs in North Dundas, the Seize the Day Camp founders are calling on citizens to help support an innovative day care by sharing their vision for such a service. “In the meantime we are so grateful to everyone who lent a hand in making the camp work and give children a summer time experience that offered time to just be in the moment, to choose what they wanted to do. as summer time should be, as well as structured activities that were led by a great team of youth counsellors,” said Laviolette. In it’s first year, Seize the Day Camp had low ratios, met the needs of children and families, went swimming often and among many other activities took care of the Community Food Share Garden located at St. Paul’s Church. “In the week coming we will be using some of the produce we helped grow to make spaghetti sauce and coleslaw as we celebrate the end of camp with the Edible Engineering & Boot Camp Baking theme,” says director Brenda Norman.

Norman says that Seize the Day Care & Programs is also looking at developing PD child care and fun day activities, after school tutoring, youth leadership, innovative workshops and social skill programs.

With the GIAG Day Camp closed next week, Seize the Day Camp invites families in need of child care for the last week before school starts — or those who just might want to have a break while their kids have some tasty fun — to learn more about the upcoming week’s activities and the registration process  — at or call 613- 408-0373.

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