Creating Community, Connecting and Having Fun at the Family Network Retreat

May 15, 2024

This past weekend, Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC) client families came together for a day of activities, support, and adventure at the RCC/SSCY Family Network Retreat at Camp Manitou. RCC clients, their parents and siblings had the opportunity to meet other families, share lived experiences and have fun. The funding for the event was provided by the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.

In the morning the adults, siblings and RCC children separated into groups where they took part in different activities. The siblings attended a Sibshop where they enjoyed playing games and connecting with other siblings. The RCC youth clients had the opportunity to meet with other youth in the program, take part in a nature scavenger hunt and enjoy other outdoor games.

The adults connected with new families and provided peer-to-peer mentorship, sharing their personal experiences.

“It’s really nice to meet other families who are similar to me,” said Liz Bannister, a mother in attendance at the Family Retreat. “We have some family friends who have kids with disabilities, but in our day to day lives we don’t have a lot of them. Sometimes you feel a little bit like an island, so it’s nice to be in a place where everyone is in the same boat as us.”

After lunch, the families spent time together participating in an array of activities.

“I tried the zip line, the low ropes obstacle course and made smores,” said Bannister’s son Max. “I also met another boy who I hope to become friends with.”

For parents it was nice to be able to spend time with their children and watch them experience new things.

“I would never sign Max up to do a zipline because we would just assume that he couldn’t do it,” explained Bannister. “To see him try and get that opportunity to step out of his comfort zone was great. It’s amazing to watch your kid achieve and master stuff.”

Learn more about the RCC/SSCY Family Network and how your family can get involved through the RCC website. Also learn more about the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation and how you can participate in its events and campaigns.