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Second generation of campers ‘so excited’

Melissa Doerksen helped her father direct the Valley View Bible Camp during her teenage years.


Now, her two daughters get to experience the same camp — bridging time and creating new memories.


“It’s really exciting to send my kids to the camp that I grew up at,” Doerksen, who lived at various camps throughout her childhood, said.


Micaiah, 11, and Jorja, 9, have been counting down on their calendar until they pack their bags for three to four days starting in August.

Thanks to the Winnipeg Free Press Sunshine Fund, which helps low-income families send their children to camp, Micaiah and Jorja will be attending for their third time.


Micaiah will be spending her days in the stables caring for her favourite horses — Cargo, Fred and Misty. Doerksen said her daughter looks forward to riding the horses all year.


Micaiah is excited to develop her riding skills and become more confident in her abilities.


“She likes to be good at something as soon as she learns it. So, horse riding for her has been good to show her that it doesn’t always come easily,” her mother said.


Jorja is a social butterfly who is excited to make new friends, go on the zipline, do arts and crafts, practise her archery skills and swim.


Doerksen said Jorja can get homesick, so she packs hand-sewn clothes that make her feel like she’s getting a hug from her mother every day.


The two children will also participate in morning and evening conversations and prayers at the camp’s chapel.

They are beyond excited and couldn’t believe they were able to attend the camp again this summer, Doerksen said.

“They wrote these big letters to the Sunshine Fund saying, ‘Thank you for giving us the opportunity to go to camp,’” she said. “They’re just so excited to get to join in on these big things that we weren’t able to do on our own.”

The Sunshine Fund relies on donations and grants to subsidize camp expenses for children. Applications are available on the Manitoba Camping Association website, which processes funding requests on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Based on the Statistics Canada’s low-income chart, a family could be eligible for up to $700 per child per year in assistance.



Micaiah, 11

Tessa Adamski


Jorja 9


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