Zajac Ranch Offers Inclusive Family Camp Opportunity With Help From a Smart and Caring Community Grant

31 March 2022Grants & Funding, News & Announcements

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, we distributed a total of $125,000 through our 2021 Smart and Caring Community Grants program to 18 charities that support local families in need. Zajac Ranch was one of many incredible organizations that received funding to support local families by offering an inclusive family camp for children with disabilities or serious medical conditions. 
Zajac Ranch’s mission is to develop and operate an accessible, innovative, and inclusive facility for children and young adults with medical conditions, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend camp. Their vision is to provide camp experiences that empower children of all abilities to participate, foster the development of life-long skills and independence and create lasting opportunities for friendship and fulfillment. 
Although they found themselves pivoting their operations once again this past year due to COVID-19 guidelines, Zajac Ranch was thrilled to share that the 2021 season was an absolute hit with both children and families alike. Their team was optimistic that Summer Camp would return for 2021; however, since COVID-19 was still a risk, they knew it would not be possible to run summer camp as they had in previous years. For the second year in a row, they had to cancel their children and young adult camps due to COVID-19. Instead, they opted to follow the same successful strategy of running Family Camps similar to the previous year with a health and safety protocol in place.
Due to popular demand, the family camps sold out within hours of launching online registration. From July to September, they hosted Family Camps with 472 campers in attendance, including parents and children, which resulted in accommodating 55% more families since the previous year, with 35% of the campers being new to Zajac Ranch! 
                  
With some of the restrictions lifted last summer, the number of families increased per session, and guests could do more activities together outside as a group. Parents got to experience firsthand what their children could accomplish at camp while also connecting with others in the community. Campers were able to interact with their friends, and their siblings could connect with other siblings living in similar family dynamics. 

“We could not have enjoyed our weekend at Zajac more. The activities were amazing, the counsellors were kind and well trained, the food was great, the accommodations were great…and best of all, our kids were able to comfortably be themselves with other autistic kids. I can’t say enough good things about the ranch, and we’re already looking forward to next year!” – Parent from 2021 Family Camp

Since the Family Camps were such a hit, Zajac Ranch for Children is now proud to offer them as a regular annual offering. These Family Camps allow parents a firsthand opportunity to watch as their programs instill confidence in their children and the chance for their entire family to share in all the activities that Zajac Ranch offers. Their goal for 2022 is to grow their Family Camps program congruently with their continued dedication to their main children’s summer camp program.

Zajac Ranch feels as though every child deserves to experience the great outdoors and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. They shared with us that they are so grateful for the ongoing support in providing the joys of summer camp to such incredible children who would not have this opportunity otherwise. According to the team at Zajac Ranch, experiences were shared, new friendships were made, and spirits were raised! 

“Every kid should get to go to summer camp — let’s work on that together.” – Mel Zajac

To learn more about Zajac Ranch, click here.
To learn more about the Smart and Caring Community Grants program, click here

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We respectfully acknowledge that we are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation. As treaty People, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, we share the responsibility for the continued stewardship of this beautiful land.