Educo Outdoor Adventure School near 100 Mile House is asking area businesses to consider subsidizing local students.
At the recent South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) meeting, Educo Canada executive director Stuart Clark explained the program’s enrolment is low, and it’s causing financial difficulties.
He detailed the basics of the Community of Heart program, in which a “sustainable” monthly donation can help subsidize children and youth nine to 18 years old to attend the camp, as well as supporting the non-profit school’s viability.
“A sustainable monthly donation is an amount that you give, which when it comes off your credit card each month, it doesn’t make you cringe.”
Everybody finds that amount for themselves, Clark noted.
He explained to the dozen SCCC members at the meeting how Educo Outdoor Adventure School is an “amazing asset to youth,” and showed a video with comments from alumni and instructors from the past 40 years.
The three-tiered pricing system means a family can choose the cost category they feel is appropriate for their financial status, he said.
Even if the Educo Outdoor Adventure School runs at the break-even point, Clark said that would not allow for any improvements or maintenance.
The cost averages at $120 night over 10 nights, he said, adding this fluctuates with the age of the children. Younger ones would be about $80 night and older ones in the leadership program would be paying closer to $130 night.
Subsidies on a program that costs $1,288 would bring that down to $900, he noted.
Clark explained large infrastructure costs for the climbing wall and high ropes course, maintenance of the high-tech equipment and insurance all contribute quite a lot to that amount.
Educo society vice-president Heidi Read invited SCCC members to go to the open house held at the end of one of the summer courses, so they can hear the children talk about their experiences during the program.
“It gives you goose bumps listening to some of these big, tough boys or girls who have gone out there, and their hearts are open, and what they are going to take home is stuff that they couldn’t buy, or get anywhere else.”
For more information on Community of Heart donations or the school, visit the website at www.educo.ca/adventureschool.php.