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Camp countdown on thanks to donors By: Zoe Pierce

Amie Cowan is excited for her son Mason to discover his inner leader at Camp Manitou this July.

“It’s learning to be a camp counsellor and they do all of the different duties of the camp,” said Cowan. “He’s just pretty excited to be a leader and learn how to be a camp counsellor, it’s pretty much completely who he is. He loves to help people, and he’s very excited to learn more.”


Helping people runs in the family, as Cowan works in child care at Little Sprouts Montessori Daycare through the West Central Women’s Resource Centre in Winnipeg.

Cowan is thrilled Mason, 13, will be able to go to camp, thanks to Winnipeg Free Press Sunshine Fund donors.

“It’s amazing this program exists because I definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to send Mason to camp on my own,” said Cowan. “And being able to say, ‘you get to go to camp,’ … it makes me so happy that this can be provided for him, and he gets to have these experiences.”


The Sunshine Fund has helped low-income families for more than 40 years.


Each year, the Manitoba Camping Association sends approximately 600 children to a variety of camp programs across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. These camps offer kids like Mason the chance to experience fun outdoor adventures, new friendships and skill development in the months during school break.


“Everything,” Mason said when asked what he thinks his favourite part of camp might be. “But mainly the pool.”


“He’s pretty excited,” said Cowan. “We’ve been on a countdown.”


Mason doesn’t have to contain his excitement for too much longer, as he starts day camp on July 15.

The youngster’s first camp experience was a couple years ago during the pandemic, when his mother discovered the Sunshine Fund.

“He really wanted to do another camp, and so I knew right away that I wanted to apply,” said Cowan. “It’s absolutely wonderful because, we still contribute some and get help financially, and they get to go and have a great time.”

“He gets to go and experience something different that he wouldn’t necessarily experience. Meeting new people and everything, it’s just exciting.”

July 6 2024.webp


Amie Cowan with her son, Mason Cowan-Miller, 13. Mason is attending Camp Manitou this year.


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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