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Mom anticipates sense of community, accountability for kids at camp By: Thandi Vera

Danielle Juenke’s two daughters, Chastity and Freyja, say the thought of spending a week at camp is both thrilling and a bit nerve-wracking.

This summer, thanks to the Winnipeg Free Press Sunshine Fund, their dreams are coming true.


“I never thought it would be possible,” said Juenke, a stay-at-home mom. “With only one income, we just couldn’t afford to send them to camp on our own. The fund has made it a reality for us.”

The Sunshine Fund, which subsidizes camp fees for low-income families, has been instrumental in allowing children like Chastity, 14, and Freyja, 9, to experience the joy and adventure of summer camp for over 40 years. Each year, MCA, through the Sunshine Fund, sends approximately 600 children to various camp programs across Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.


“This will be their first time going to camp,” said Juenke.

“Chastity is heading to Circle Square Ranch, and Freyja is off to Camp Wannakumbac.”


Chastity says she’s excited to see horses. “I love horses, so I can’t wait to spend time with them,” she said. “And honestly,


I’m looking forward to getting away from my little sister for a bit,” she said with a laugh.


Freyja, a bit more reserved, expressed her excitement about the food and activities. “I hope they have noodles,” she said. “And I’m excited to see the trees and animals.”


The anticipation of new experiences is palpable in the Juenke household. “They might not show it all the time, but they’re thrilled,” said Juenke. “As soon as school was out, it was a constant countdown to camp.”


Juenke said the benefits of camp go beyond just the children’s enjoyment. “Having four kids running around the house is a lot.


When they’re at camp, I get a bit of a break, it’s a chance to recharge,” she said. “It’s a win-win situation. The girls get to have fun and learn, and I get a breather.”


Juenke appreciates how camp also teaches valuable life skills.


“When you’re at home, chores are just chores. But at camp, they’re a shared responsibility. It builds a sense of community and accountability,” she said.

June 28 2024.webp


Chastity, Freyja and Ralph with dad Shane. Chastity is off to Circle Square Ranch, this summer while Freyja will visit Camp Wannakumbac.


Send cheques to the Winnipeg Free Press Sunshine Fund, c/o Unit 6-1110 Henderson Hwy, Winnipeg, MB, R2G 1L1

You can also call in with a credit card number to 204-784-1130. Donate online at by clicking on the “donate now” box and then going to the fund’s Canada Helps donation page.

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