A chance to forget cancer and just be a kid

Since 1985, Camp Goodtimes has been committed to providing a camping experience for children battling cancer. The remarkable camp has grown from helping 25 children in its first year to providing a supportive and fun camping experience for almost 600 children and family members each and every year. 

In 2003, UBC signed an agreement with the Canadian Cancer Society designating Loon Lake Lodge and Retreat Centre as the permanent home of Camp Goodtimes. In consideration of their use of the facility, a substantial contribution was donated for enhancements that included upgrades to the Student Centre, as well as a portion of the construction of the Walter C. Koerner Forestry Centre, new docks, a medical facility and handicap access to all of the buildings.

Lake Lodge’s serene lakeside setting was deemed the perfect place to play host to Camp Goodtimes. The clean air and magnificent fir trees that frame the majestic Garibaldi Mountain Range are conducive to fun, healing and building connections between people, nature and themselves. 

The annual summer event for kids aged 6 to 16 is a place where children can forget about their diagnosis and just be kids — where they’re not singled out for being bald or in a wheelchair or visibly impaired — and they can share experiences with others who know what they’re going through. What makes each camper’s experience so wonderful is the program’s ability to allow these children to gradually come to accept the differences that might exist for them due to their illness. For once, the cancer doesn’t define the children - the children define themselves. At Camp Goodtimes, it’s about who you are and what makes you you, and that’s not the cancer.

Participants experience adventure, take on challenges, form lasting friendships and unforgettable memories. Thanks to Camp Goodtimes, many children and teens walk away feeling empowered, and many families feel renewed by the time away from home without the stress of coping with cancer. 

Camp Goodtimes is provided at no cost to participants and is accredited by the British Columbia Camping Association and the Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncology Camps (CAPOC).

For more information about Camp Goodtimes, visit http://www.campgoodtimes.org/