Ilana, Shari and Marni Stoch, Directors
Our father, David Stoch, was a special education teacher who recognized the merits of outdoor education and camping experiences as tools for developing confidence and skills in students, especially those who struggled with the mainstream school environment. His dream of creating an overnight summer camp for kids and youth with and without learning disabilities became a reality, and Camp Kodiak was born. Since our father's passing, we have undertaken the responsibility of ensuring that his legacy continues. It is our honour to ensure that the spirit and direction of camp remain focused on providing campers a summer full of opportunities for success.
We take great pride in the inclusive, nurturing environment that we have created, and the incredible progress we see in our campers. Our staff is dedicated, creative and talented in a variety of ways - from the program areas they run to the relationships they develop with the campers and parents. We are also proud of our campers for demonstrating courage, resiliency, and support for each other.
Most of our campers come to us with very little confidence, very few friends their age and often with a defeatist attitude. Everything that is important to kids is hard for them: school is hard, maintaining friendships is hard, and team sports are hard. They often consider themselves failures. We work very hard to change that negative self-concept. We structure the camp environment to ensure that every camper experiences many successes. They leave camp with their heads held higher, with many new friends and with countless successful experiences and achievements under their belt. They almost always leave feeling empowered by their newly acquired confidence, improved social skills and a greatly enhanced self-concept.
The feedback we receive from parents, schools and the kids themselves encourages us to keep doing what we're doing. Many of our parents have told us that their children get more out of a few weeks of camp than they do from an entire year at school. Before long campers are more engaged with their friends, they start getting invited to social events and their increased confidence results in improved academic achievement.
As parents, we know that choosing the right camp for your child is not an easy decision. The idea of letting go and sending your child away to camp is even more difficult if you are the parent of a child with special needs. Please be assured that every child who comes to our camp becomes part of the Kodiak family and is treated as family.