Campers, supporters and York staff celebrate a 31-year connection


Above: Marylynne Campbell (centre) executive vice-president of SNC-Lavalin Group, celebrates with campers at the final showcase and barbecue of the York Youth Connection’s 31st season

The joint was jumpin’ as the York Youth Connection camp ended its 31st successful summer with a showcase of talent and special presentations at York’s Keele campus last week.

More than 200 guests, including York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, packed into Winters Dining Hall Aug. 25 to enjoy a barbecue provided by one of the camp’s generous supporters, SNC-Lavalin Group. About a dozen SNC-Lavalin employees visited Winters Dining Hall for the occasion, including Marylynne Campbell, executive vice-president, and Michael Winter, president of SNC-Lavalin Profac Inc.

Right: From left, Winter, Campbell, Mullin and Marsden applaud at the camp showcase event

In her remarks, Marsden noted the long-term connection with the York summer camp of several of the campers and counsellors and also noted that there were York alumni among the visiting SNC-Lavalin staff members. “When you come to this camp, you sort of come to York for life,” Marsden said to great applause.

Susan Mullin, vice-president, development of the York University Foundation, served as MC for the occasion and thanked Campbell and Winter on behalf of York and the hundreds of campers who come to the Keele campus each summer for one or more of the camp’s four two-week sessions. Mullin also thanked SNC-Lavalin and all its staff for its support of the camp through SNC-Lavalin ProFac’s annual golf tournament and for its corporate donation to the University.

Right: A camper reacts to some of the fun during a showcase performance

During each session, campers participate in a range of activities including art, sport, drama, science and leadership. This year’s sessions also featured day trips to the Ontario Science Centre, the Kortright Conservation Area, the Rogers Centre for a Blue Jays game, the Rexall Centre and the Toronto Zoo. (For more about the York Youth Connection camp, see story in the May 8, 2006 issue of YFile.)

Every two weeks, campers perform in a showcase event for parents and friends, demonstrating things they have learned in camp. This final showcase for the 2006 session included presentations to many of the people who support the camp. Campers presented awards of thanks to SNC-Lavalin, as well as Carol Carpenter, master of Vanier College, where many of the camp activities take place. Vanier donates use of office space and the Renaissance Room. The Tait McKenzie Centre provides free pool time for the campers and York Facilities Services provides use of campus classrooms at no charge.

In addition to helping fund the camp and the year-end barbecue, SNC-Lavalin also provided each camper with a special backpack full of school supplies and a water bottle. In return, campers presented various items of appreciation including two murals created by campers who took part in the art activities and framed montages from this year’s sessions.


Above: Employees of SNC-Lavalin and campers join together for a cheque presentation of $40,000 raised by the company in support of the camp