April 27, 2015

May 1 is 'Wear Your Camp T-Shirt Day'!  

I wonder what this year's staff t-shirt will look like? I am placing the order today.  

April 24, 2015

April 21, 2015

Update from Jacques: The ice went off the lake on Saturday. No damage to the docks this year. 

April 20, 2015

Merrywood Hall is undergoing a much needed renovation thanks to a generous donation from the Brockville Rotary Club. 

April 15, 2015

Early morning sunrise at Merrywood this morning.  Ice is still on the lake.

April 13, 2015

I am off to Merrywood in the morning for a 2 day retreat of the full time Easter Seals Ontario Recreation Department staff.  Always fun to see the camp in the off season. 

If we are lucky we will get Jacques famous pizza for dinner and freshly made maple syrup at breakfast. 

                                                              1958 Ad for Easter Seals in Hamilton. 

April 10, 2015

Sunday April 12th is the 32nd Annual Easter Seals Telethon. There will be a number of new videos this year, many shot at Merrywood Camp this past summer. 

This year, the Telethon will take place in five communities throughout the province, including:

    South Eastern Ontario from 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. on CKWS and Cogeco TV

    Toronto from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on CBC TV

    Peterborough from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on CHEX TV and Cogeco TV

    Windsor-Essex from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on CBC Windsor and Cogeco TV

    Sudbury from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on EastLink and Cogeco TV

April 9, 2015

I am back from my sunny and warm holiday in Florida.  It isn't that nice here in Toronto today - rain, fog and cold.  

Today I am at the nursing job fair in Toronto hoping to find a Charge Nurse for Merrywood and Woodeden Camp.  Wish me luck.

We are still looking for a couple of waterfront staff if you know anyone with their NLS please have them send their resume to bgray@easterseals.org.

Megan, Greg, Emily, Mackenzie (Woodeden Head Counsellor), Carly and Chantal

March 30, 2015

The Peterborough Mall camp out raised $3835.25 for Easter Seals!  Great job everyone. Hopefully you got a good night sleep last night.  

I am away on holidays until April 8th. if you have any questions or concerns, I will have access to my email or you can contact one of the L-Team. 

March 28 & 29

Thank you to everyone who camped out at the Peterborough Mall for Easter Seals this weekend. It looked like you had a fun time. 

March 24, 2015

Some pictures of Merrywood in March. The snow is just beginning to melt. 



March 23, 2015

We are back from Atlantic City and the 2015 Tri-State conference. What an amazing conference this year. There were so many sessions it was hard to pick which one to go to. We all learned a lot and have returned with some great ideas for pre-camp and for the upcoming summer. 

Hilary Clinton was the keynote speaker and it was a packed room for her. 

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March 13, 2015

The campsites for the Algonquin Park trip are all booked. I was even able to get side by side campsites at Achray for the first night!

We are still looking for staff with canoe/kayak experience. If you know anyone who would be interested, have them contact me. 

The Tri-State Conference begins on Tuesday. Emily, Carly and I will be spending the night at Merrywood and driving down to Atlantic City on Monday. Sarah is travelling with the Woodeden team from London. 


100 Days until Pre-Camp Begins

March 11, 2015 

There are 100 days until we are all together at Merrywood for the start of Pre-Camp! It is hard to believe that the snow will be all gone, the lake warm enough to swim in and the arrival of the first group of campers for 2015 fast approaching. 

This year I have decided to do '100 Days until Camp' and post a picture, quote or story about camp each day until June 18th. If you have would like to contribute feel free to send me your favourite camp picture, a campy quote or even a short story about camp and I will post it. You can send it to bgray@easterseals.org


March 5, 2015

Contracts have been sent out, don't forget to complete the paperwork and send it back to me! 


Don't forget that Open House is Sunday June 21 from 1 - 4 pm. Invite your family and friends to come out and see where you will be working. 


February 27, 2015

As we are facing -36C wind chills, I thought I would share a link with a very funny Rick Mercer Report that pokes fun at our Canadian weather obsession.  Click here to watch.


February 26, 2015

The Easter Seals Telethon in Toronto is on April 12, 2015. They require 2 attendants to help out for the day. If you are able to be an attendant, let me know at bgray@easterseals.org. It is a fun opportunity to be behind the scenes at a live event. 

February 24, 2015

Merrywood Camp was fortunate again to receive two donations that will allow us to purchase some more sports wheelchairs, sledges, kayaks, new paddles and other fun equipment such as hockey sticks for electric wheelchair hockey and a soccer ball specifically designed for wheelchair soccer. Thanks to the donors for this amazing gift. 


I found this poster online (Pinterest) about the power of camp. I imagine many of our campers spend even less time outside when they are at home. 


February 19, 2015

Check out this article "Ten Reasons why Batman would be a Great Camp Counsellor". 


February 17, 2015

What a cold Family Day weekend. I hope everyone stayed warm. For those on their Reading Week, I hope you are having a much deserved rest.

It has been a busy month for the L-team. Lots of interviews taking place right now. Keep an eye on the 2015 Merrywood staff page as staff are hired





February 10, 2015

Lots of snow at Merrywood Camp right now. Jacques is busy plowing the snow. He sent along some wonderful pictures. There are more winter pictures in the Merrywood off season file. 


February 5, 2015

Today I rolled up my rim and won a free coffee!


February 3, 2015

My favourite time of year, 'Roll up the rim to Win' time at Tim Hortons!

January 30, 2015

The 2015 Leadership Team is now in place. There were so many amazing applicants this year, which made it a hard decision. 

Here is the team:

Sarah Dinsdale will be the Program Director, 

Emily Orr will return as Camp Administrator and Assistant Camp Director, 

Carly Reinkeluers will be the Head Counsellor, 

Jackie Mahoney will be the Special Events and Fun Co-ordinator,  

Kevin McPhee will be the Waterfront Co-ordinator.  

The deadline for returning staff applications was today, so watch your e-mails as we begin contacting everyone to talk about this upcoming summer. 


On our way to Leeds!

January 28, 2015

I am back from my amazing trip to the UK.  A mountain of applications awaited me.  I have finally finish processing them.  Don't forget Friday January 30th is the deadline for returning staff to submit their applications.

Congratulations to Sam G. on representing Ontario at the Canadian Winter Games.  Well done! Click here for the article. 



January 12, 2015

Another snowy week at Merrywood. Here are some pictures taken on Friday. 

I am off this week to the UK for the Nyquest Job Fair in Edinburgh, Leeds & London. It should be a fun time and certainly not as cold as it has been here. 

Deadline for returning staff application is January 30th!


January 5, 2015


I hope everyone had a great holiday. Now back to work. Lots of camper and staff applications are coming in which is keeping Holly & I very busy. Just a reminder, applications for leadership team positions are due Friday January 9th and all other returning staff applications are due January 30th.  

Here is a fun video of one of our campers who received their wish. Click here to watch the video. 

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December 24, 2014

You don't want to mess with Harry B's dad.  Click here to see why. 

Also congratulations to Scott Haycock, who won the Volunteer Award from the 2014 Celebration of People Award and to Sam Graham who was a finalist. Well done!



December 19, 2015

The application package has been e-mailed to all returning staff and is available online at www.eastersealscamps.org

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family and friends.


December 18, 2014

The 2015 Staff Applications will be available online tomorrow at www.eastersealscamps.org.


 If you are looking for a great present to give someone, why not consider making a donation to Easter Seals Ontario?


                                           Emily at the Peterborough Easter Seals Christmas Party.

December 15, 2014

I am back from an amazing trip to Iceland and Europe.  I can now check off another item from my bucket list!

I have returned for the start of our busy time of year. I will be mailing out the application package to everyone on Friday December 19th - check your e-mail or you can download it from www.eastersealscamps.org.  This year we have made the returning staff application shorter and easier to complete. Don't forget to check the deadlines!  Easter Seals has also changed the age that staff must be to work at camp to 18 years (or born in 1997). 

I hope everyone's exams & essays went well and you are now able to have fun with your family and friends. 



November 28, 2014

Winter has arrived.  Here is a picture to remind us of the warm(ish) days of summer.

I am off again for another 2 weeks of holidays. I have to take all my holidays by the end of the year. Good luck to all those writing exams and essays.  


November 24, 2014

I am back from a week in Florida having missed all of the winter weather in and around Toronto. Nice to be back after the snow is gone.

Meaghan W has been busy on a project "Breaking Barriers" where students were encouraged to develop empathy towards individuals with disabilities, reducing bullying and exclusion, while promoting friendship and inclusion".  Well done Meaghan!

The 2015 Easter Seals Telethon will be held Sunday April 12th at the CBC building in Toronto. The fundraising department is looking for 2 attendants to assist with any personal care that day. You would need to be there from 10 am - 3 pm that day. Food is provided. It is a fun opportunity to be part of an amazing day. If you are interested in being an attendant, please contact me at bgray@easterseals.org.  

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November 13, 2014

Today is International Kindness Day, something that camp staff celebrate every day at camp. 


November 10, 2014

November 18 is International Wear Your Summer Camp T-Shirt Day!



November 7, 2014

Congratulations Megan for passing your RN exams.  You will make an amazing nurse. 

I would also like to thanks Emily Orr and all the volunteers who helped make the Celebrity Skate Classic such an amazing success yesterday. They raised over $235,000!


November 6, 2014

Winter is slowly coming to Toronto.  Last weekend we had some snow flurries and there might be more tomorrow. Time to put on the winter tires and get the warm coats out of storage. 

Budget planning for 2015 is going well. Dates and sessions should be confirmed in the next few weeks. 

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October 28, 2014

I am back from a few a short trip to Sioux Lookout.  We had amazing weather for this time of year, 17C - 20C each day. Normally there would be snow!

Halloween is this Friday.  What a great chance to utilize all of your dress-up skills you learned this summer to create some amazing outfits.  Send me a picture and I will post them.

I have added some archive pictures of Merrywood in the 'picture' section if you are interested. 

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October 21, 2014

Found some new pirate hats on sale.  It is a great time to find new costumes , face makeup and other items that are perfect for camp. I go to all the stores November 1st to see what they have on sale. Always a fun day.

Don't forget to VOTE in your municipal election October 27th! If you think your vote doesn't count, look what Toronto has had to ensure the past 4 years. 

I am off to Sioux Lookout for a few days. I hope it doesn't snow. 

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October 17, 2014

Here are some more pictures of the fall colours at Merrywood. There is a lovely wasp nest in the tree too. 


October 15, 2014

No wonder Macaroni and Cheese is so popular at camp!

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October 14, 2014

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. I know I did.  It was such a lovely weekend up north.  

The picture above is the 2014 staff mural. They did an amazon job. Here is the link to the nurses video (with subtitles) in case you wanted to see it again. 




October 9, 2014

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I am sure many of you will be heading home for the holidays. I am heading up to the cottage. It should be a wonderful weekend and a nice chance to catch the last of the changing trees. 

Merrywood is looking lovely today (thanks Jacques for the pictures. Check out the Merrywood in the off season for more pictures.

Here is a link to the video that 'Greyjoy' did this summer during pre-camp. It is now up on the Easter Seals Ontario YouTube page. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family & friends.


October 7, 2014

Yesterday I was able to spend the day at Woodeden Camp. It was so nice to be back at a camp. It was a beautiful fall day. The picture is of the newly renovated Tea House, now the Enviro program space and the camp's new dragon. 

Here is a link to a great article about the benefits of working at a summer camp from a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  Click here to read the article. 


Happy October!

Good luck Megan.  Today Megan writes her RN exams! 

It is also World Cerebral Palsy Day today.  



September 29th

Today Drop Zone for Easter Seals Ontario is taking place in Toronto.  Tyler, one of the Algonquin Park Out-trippers did the drop, very brave of him. 

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September 29, 2014

Happy International Coffee Day!  One of my favourite days.  

Thanks to everyone who have completed the staff survey.  Your feedback has been great. There are lots of great ideas for 2015.  If you didn't receive the survey, click here to do the  2014 Staff Survey. 

I have put up a lot of the pictures from this summer on Flickr.  If you are interested in accessing them, please send me an e-mail and I will send you out an invite.  


September 25, 2014

The Wish List has been updated, thanks to all of the programmers who provided suggestions on their EOSR!

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September 23, 2014

Today is the first day of Fall. Strange that this week they are calling for a lovely week of warm weather. 

The 2014 wrap up is almost done, I just have to go through all of the Accident/Unusual occurrence forms. I think I am procrastinating on this task.

If you would like to see the pictures from the drone that was used during the We Care lunch, click here. 

This week I will be sending out the staff survey. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide your feedback about your summer experience at Merrywood. I use this feedback in planning for the 2015 camping season. Last year some of the suggestions from  that came out of the 2013 survey, such as; receiving more information about the different disabilities and the opportunity to get to know more staff during pre-camp training were implemented this year. So please take the time to complete the survey and provide any suggestions that would  make Merrywood even better.  

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September 10, 2014

A very successful summer has come and gone and by now everyone will be busy starting classes, looking for jobs or travelling to far away places.  I wanted to thank everyone for all of the amazing summer we had. The success of this summer is due to all of the time and effort everyone put into making sure all of the campers had an amazing camp experience.  

This summer wasn't without it sad moments.  Ken Young one of our driver's passed away in August 23rd due to a stroke.  We will all remember what a kind and very patient person he was.  Also one of our campers Matt M. died on August 30th.  Matt had been a long time camper who was a very enthusiastic participant in all of the camp programs.  Both will be missed by everyone at Merrywood. 


July 19, 2014






July 19, 2014

It has been a busy summer. Lots of fun and amazing thing happening at Merrywood.  We can't believe how fast the summer is going!

On Wednesday Merrywood was very lucky to host the Friends of WeCare. They brought out tons of food for us - soft ice cream, a pizza truck and the traditional BBQ.  They also brought Build a Bear. Every camper received a bear that they could personalize.  The staff were not forgotten as they gave all the staff a gift bag.

If anyone is looking to volunteer, we could use a few volunteers over the long weekend in August. 

June 17, 2014

The 2014 Program Staff enjoyed a fun overnight at Murphy's Point last night.  After some fun activities, everyone fell asleep to the sounds of nature - owls, coyotes etc.