The Path to Inclusion - Anonymous Donor Makes Camp Massad More Accessible

by Stu Slayen | Dec 23, 2019
“I feel stronger.”

When Camp Massad Executive Director Danial Sprintz heard those words this past summer from a camper who uses a wheelchair, he knew that the installation of rubberized paths around the camp was worth the effort. He also knew that, once again, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba had changed a life.

“In previous years, this camper needed to be pushed in the wheelchair. The terrain made it impossible for anyone using a wheelchair to get around on their own,” explains Sprintz. “Now with the paths, this camper can be more independent.”

The paths, made from recycled tires, were installed just before Canada Day. The ambitious project was made possible by anonymous JFM donors who designated the income earned by their fund to the project. Fundholder distributions of $40,000 covered most of the cost.

“The paths also made it possible for the camper to participate more completely in programs,” says Sprintz. “When I saw the camper in the chair on one of the new paths competing in our Maccabia races alongside the other kids, my heart was bounding.”

Sprintz expects that other families with children who use wheelchairs or walkers will now consider Camp Massad as a viable summer option.

Additionally, the paths make Camp Massad more attractive to prospective rental groups like the March of Dimes and SpeechWorks, which rented the camp for its brain aphasia program in September.

Camp Massad made a commitment to becoming as accessible as possible nine years ago when they started to build ramps on some cabins, the chadar ochel (dining hall), and other buildings. The new paths connect these ramps and also extend to the camp’s pool, which is wheelchair accessible as well.

“The Jewish Foundation and their donors have taken us closer to our goal and have helped us make the camp more inclusive.” says Sprintz. “Over the years, the Jewish Foundation has helped make the camp more comfortable and safer. Now they have made the camp more accessible and we are grateful.”