Camp Kirk is still relatively young. Indeed, exceptionalities such as Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders are only just beginning to gain their fair measure of recognition in the fields of mental health, education and recreation.
For that reason, our goals and aspirations are flexible and we acknowledge the fact that adjustments will have to be made along the way to suit the demands of the children and the families we serve.
Camp Kirk is presently seeking to expand in the following areas, hence the purpose for our fundraising:
- Experimental Learning and Adventure Based Programming through the expansion of our ropes course, climbing walls and our canoe tripping programme.
- Ecology and Natural Sciences, through the enlarging of the gardening programme and the possible inclusion of small farm animals care programme.
- The introduction of a combined Drama and Music program, including the building of an actual stage with sound, lights and seating to be located in our existing Recreation Hall.
- A possible program held at camp during the shoulder seasons and/or Winter months to serve both as a feeder programme to the summer operation, but also as a "re-connecting" opportunity for our existing campers.
- A Family Support Group to allow parents of our campers the opportunity to come together, socialize, discuss issues and network with each other in an informal yet structured setting.
- An Advocacy Programme involving public speaking and media coverage throughout the year.
- Employment service for adults suffering from learning disabilities.
The annual cost of operating Camp Kirk is well over $575,000
Here are some facts about Learning Disabilities that may best illustrate the reasons for Camp Kirk’s existence and it's mission:
- 1/10 Canadians has some degree of learning disabilities.
- The most common long-term condition suffered by children up to the age of 14 is Learning Disabilities.
- Only 3% of school age children with Learning Disabilities receive special services within schools.
- The majority of students with Learning Disabilities are either not identified or receive minimal service.
- Almost 60% of adolescent suicides had previously been diagnosed as having Learning Disabilities.
- In the past 2 decades, the link between Learning Disabilities and delinquent or criminal behaviour has been established and confirmed.
- Research shows that between 40-70% of young offenders have learning disabilities.
- To keep a young offender in a group home the annual cost is $70,000. A reform centre is $95,000.