Summer Sports Camp in Scarborough, Ontario

Sometimes you identify programs that are working well and help so many people. One of these is the summer sports day camps in Scarborough. This camp provides summer jobs for youth in addition to providing a fun day camp for about 250 elementary school kids. This year they even provide lunch. The kids remain active all summer, learn skills and are happy. The youth gain valuable experience in mentoring and coaching. The parents are happy because their kids are doing something other than sit on a computer for the summer. In all, it’s a win-win situation for all concerned. Sponsors include the Boys 2 Men Institute, the Cabbagetown Youth Centre and the Toronto District School Board.

This program, which is large in scale, cannot come cheaply. Funding must come from somewhere. What is odd about this program is the little information available about the leaders and sponsors of this program. When sending your child to day camp it is always important to research the leaders, so you know who are minding your kids. Odd is the fact that there is very little sent to parents and near nothing about them on the internet. This omission is not necessarily indicative of a bad omen, just an oddity in this age of online information. These sponsors are: Boys 2 Men Institute (B2M), TDSB Focus on Youth and the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC).

The program seems to be run by the Boys 2 Men Institute. I can only find 2 references to this name on the web. The first reference describes a youth development program, but does not indicate country or other location. I cannot really say that this web page is even connected to the youth All Day Sports Camp that is run in Scarborough.

The Boys 2 Men Institute has been developed to challenge the current image, perception and low expectations for at-risk males grade 3 through grade 12.

… B2M Institute chapters promote the principles of Pride, Dignity and Respect. The Boys 2 Men Institute will comprise a detailed curriculum that affords at-risk (all) students the opportunity to get extra support, volunteer in their community, gain social skills, improve self-esteem and learn about proper nutrition.

This web page is not linked for further information, is undated and there is no contact information. Of course there is no web site for this group.

The second link is from the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC), which mentions the Boys 2 Men program, but without description nor link. At least I can verify that the Cabbagetown youth Centre does exist in Toronto, Canada. There is a phone number and contact information. Here’s the reference:

I invite you to take some time to visit CYC’s site – read about our successes like our Performing Arts Program and our Summer Camp and Youth and After-Four programs; CYC’s involvement in programming across the City to help youth through the Boys 2 Men Institute; our fundraising successes and challenges and so much more!

In the Programs section of the CYC there is mention of an All Day Sports Camp:

The All Day Sports Camp is a non-competitive activity program. The philosophy of the camp is to expose children to a wide variety of sports and to develop fundamental physical movement skills, while they gain an appreciation for personal fitness through the joy of activity. A variety of activities are offered, including; cooperative games, ball hockey, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis and recreational swim. Children are asked to bring their own healthy lunch and two snacks daily; however, CYC can provide lunch for those who otherwise cannot. Special features include weekly off site trips and an end of year BBQ for the whole camp.

Surely this must be the camp held in Scarborough, though there is no mention of the camp’s location. The camp description does not mention anything about the Boys 2 Men Institute. Perchance I must triangulate logic: The CYC holds an All Day Sports Camp. The CYC has involvement with the Boys 2 Men Institute, therefore the Boys 2 Men Institute is managing the CYC All Day Sports Youth Camp in Scarborough. Then again, maybe this logic is simply incorrect.

The third sponsor, the Toronto District School Board, is much clearer. Their Focus on Youth Toronto (FOYT) program provides free summer school space to certain child and youth based organizations:

The objective of Focus on Youth Toronto is to enhance high quality summer program opportunities for children and youth in Toronto’s urban inner city areas by offering free use of school space for organized community-based programs, and by providing employment opportunities and leadership activities for the youth of these communities. The FOYT program for the second year will promote learning through play, healthy lifestyle and positive self-image for children and youth of these communities, and that this will have a positive impact on student achievement and well-being during the school year.

Of course the TDSB site does not mention the Cabbagetown Youth Centre nor the Boys 2 Men Institute. Maybe I am asking too much?

This is not to say that these programs are suspect in any way. They are legitimate programs. I have verified through real world experience that this summer camp exists and is well run. The youth are great with kids and the kids are treated well and have fun. The program runs out of a TDSB high school, in complete cooperation with TDSB staff. The kids get to use the high school equipment such as balls, gym and pool. I merely question the lack of information about these programs to parents. Am I the only parent that seeks questions about the organization that is taking care of my child for the summer? I hope not.

Then again maybe publishing the program on the internet is simply not a high priority for these grassroots organizations. Still, if you are doing such good work for the youth and kids of Toronto, publishing something might be a good idea.

If you have any further information about Boys 2 Men or the All Day Sports Camp please leave a comment and fill me in. I will be more than happy to update this document to the relevant links. Clear communication on the internet can only be good for all concerned. Transparency is simpler to achieve if all parties are public and well known.To those that work in the All Day Sports Camp, whomever you are, you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

Note: I’ve found an article about B2M from 2008 that provides more information. A possible link to the program is Hugh Keane, Camp Director.

Note at End of Summer 2010: My Little Weed had a great time and sang high praises for the camp and group leaders. Other kids who attended the camp were also happy with the experience. Impressive was the food at lunch, which was tasty and plentiful. Good on you all for providing such a great experience.

Addendum June 24 2011: sponsors include The Village, Boys 2 Men, TDSB Focus on Youth, Cabbagetown Youth Centre. L’Amoreaux Collegiate and Sir Robert Borden. HK 7396-653-614 hkeane44theatsigngmail, July 04-Aug 19 2011, 09:00-16:00.

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