Amici Camping Charity

Amici Camping Charity's mission is to foster personal growth and lifelong skills in children with financial need through multi-year access to the unique environment of camp. Our mission is strongly guided by our vision that all children have the right to discover their full potential, and camp is one very special way to unlock one's potential. Amici believes that camp builds leaders, but leadership development takes time. Which is why, thanks to our donors and 40 partner camps, we are committed to providing our campers access to their summer camp every year they are of eligible age; making camp a stable touchstone in their life, and allowing kids to nurture their sense of self-worth on their journey towards discovering their full potential.

Our Impact Why We Exist

For the past 50 years, Amici has provided returning summer camp experiences to youth between the ages of 7-17 facing financial and social barriers. Working with 40 Ontario Camping Association-accredited partner camps, Amici provides these children the chance to discover their potential in the Canadian wilderness through the leadership and skill-building environment of camp. “Camp has become an important part of who I am and has allowed me to learn more about myself. Each year at camp keeps getting better, with more friendships made, more self development and more of a sense of belonging. Camp has evolved from being a summer experience, to my second home.” -Amici Camper,15. 

Now, after our 50th year, and guided by our new strategic plan (constructed with the pro-bono support of global consulting firm, Oliver Wyman) Amici is looking forward to deepening the impact of camp on campers today, by providing longer stays and supporting more campers aspiring to take part in leadership programming. Amici also looks forward to strengthening its commitment to building young leaders through enhanced leadership programming outside of the camp experience. Amici is committed to giving all children the chance to discover their full potential, at camp and beyond.

Our Story What We Do

It all started in 1966, when a few teenage campers saved enough money over the years to pay for one young boy to have his first camp experience. Over time they began to support a few more camping experiences each year. And, as more donors and believers in the power of camp came on board, Amici and its program grew. Amici has helped to fund 2,500 camping experiences in the past 50 years, and supported more than 250 campers in 2016. To learn more about Amici, visit amicicharity.org

Amici by the numbers

1966 - The year Amici sent its first camper to camp.

2004 - Amici hires its first full ­time staff member.

2011 - 145 campers attend 27 partner camps. 

2012 - Pro­bono partnership with Endeavour Volunteer Consulting to develop Amici’s first­ ever formal strategic plan, “250 by 50”: to send 250 campers to camp by 2016.

2013 - Amici launches its Ambassadors Council with donors pledging $10,000 per year, over 5 years.

2014 - Amici’s Canoe Heads for Kids fundraiser exceeds $100,000 in revenue for the first time in its 8-year history. 

2015 - After achieving “250 by 50” goals a year early, Amici receives pro­bono support from Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm, to develop a new strategic plan.

2015 - Amici wins AFP Toronto’s 2015 Mo Davies Small Organization for Excellence in Fundraising Award. 

2015 - 256 Campers attended 35 partner camps. 

2016 - Amici’s Leadership League is launched with 28 donors making 5 year pledges each.

2016 Amici supports 541 weeks of camp at 40 partner camps. 

2016 - Amici’s 50th Anniversary of building young leaders at summer camp.

Our Programs How We Do It

Amici currently focuses its mission to help children discover their full potential through:

1. Campership Program

2. Leadership Programming  

Campership Program: Amici’s Campership program helps provide measurable cognitive, social, and emotional advantages to kids that need it most, through the inclusive environment of camp. Amici works with community partners and child- and youth-focused agencies to refer children who might benefit from a camping experience, to the program. Amici facilitates an intake process that measures the financial, social and emotional need of each camper and their family, to find a camp that meets these needs.

Once accepted into Amici’s program, these kids have the chance to head out of the city – some for the first time in their life – to hike on pristine trails, star gaze, sing around a bonfire, paddle and swim in sparkling waters, and go further down their path of self-discovery. Camp cultivates 21st century skills, like creativity, collaboration, teamwork, resiliency and new ways of thriving in the world. These skills are then taken back to campers’ communities and shared among their peers and families, over their many years as an Amici camper, and beyond.

Leadership Programming: For older campers, Amici encourages and supports continued camping experiences in leadership programs. These programs challenge youth ages 13-17 to discover their full potential through a variety of activities and workshops. Program elements vary at each camp, but can include: advanced certification in first aid and lifeguarding; extended wilderness trips; and a chance to become a camp staff member. Leadership campers build basic job-readiness skills and a foundation of soft-skills such as teamwork, time management, communication, and cultural sensitivity, paving the way for a successful career.

Multi-year Committment and Funding Model:

Amici’s commitment to multi-year funding for each child is unique and helps encourage:

  • lasting friendships,

  • meaningful relationships with peers and positive role models,

  • the continuous development of resilience, self-confidence and leadership skills, and

  • confidence and skills which help young people succeed beyond the camping community.

Amici's collaborative model is another unique aspect of our program, once matched with a specific summer program, Amici's 40 OCA-accredited partner camps deliver a quality camp experience where each Amici camper is integrated into the community. Each child is given the freedom to discover their full potential and “just be a kid”, free from socio-economic stigma.

What's more, all donations to Amici's campership program are matched by Amici's 40 generous partner camps, who contribute half of every camper's session fee. 

What You Can Do

You can help support children disovering their potential at camp by considering a financial contribution or by volunteering with us. All donations made to Amici are matched, dollar-for-dollar, by our 40 incredible partner camps. One-time donations are always appreciated and can be made here. Also consider making a five-year pledge to support Amici's Leadership League. Amici campers stay in our program for an average of five years, returning to old friends and new challenges at camp each summer. Learn more about Amici's Leadership League below, and here.

  • Camper Club - Support 1-2 campers for five years with a contribution between $1,000 - $2,999 per year

  • Adventurer Club - Support 3-4 campers for five years with a contribution between $3,000 - $4,999 per year 

  • Explorer Club - Support 5-9 campers for five years with a contribution between $5,000 - $9,999 per year 

  • Ambassadors Council - support 10 or more campers for five years with a contribution of $10,000+ per year

You can also consider participating in one of Amici's fundraising events, like Amici's Canoe Heads for Kids: Toronto's most unique waterfront fundraiser. Held in early June of each year, Canoe Heads draws camp alumni and other supporters from across the province for a 20km portage and paddle through downtown Toronto. Participant teams and sponsors helped raise more than $130,000 at Canoe Heads for Kids in 2016!

Volunteers are an important part of what makes Amici successful in sending more kids to camp every year. We could not do this without our amazing donors and volunteers. Volunteer opportunities exist in many forms, including Amici's Young Professionals Council, Canoe Heads for Kids Steering Committee and Campership Committee. Learn more here. 

No matter how you may become involved in supporting Amici, your generosity will assist our fundraising efforts, bringing the following benefits:

  • helping young people meet life-long friends, try new things, conquer fears, build confidence and develop 21st Century Skills like leadership, creativity, collaboration, teamwork, communication and resiliency.

  • ensuring dignity by making financial barriers invisible at camp: Amici campers are indistinguishable from the kids whose parents pay to send their kids to one of our partner camps

Thank you!