About Camp Goodtimes
At the Canadian Cancer Society, we understand that cancer can change a lot of things. But at Camp Goodtimes, kids can have fun, accomplish their goals and thrive among peers who understand. Our summer camps are designed to foster independence, increase confidence and create an environment of understanding and support.
We also offer year-round recreational programs that provide an unforgettable and empowering experience for campers. Because we champion an inclusive and supportive community, we strive to tailor our programs for all abilities and have medical supervision on site whenever possible.
Thanks to our supporters and the generous sponsorship of the Around the Bend Foundation, our camp is offered at no cost to participating families.
In partnership with Brigadoon Village, Camp Goodtimes is part of the Children’s Oncology Camping Association, International and is an accredited camp of the Camping Association of Nova Scotia and PEI, the Canadian Camping Association and the Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncology Camps.
Camp Goodtimes was founded in 1985 by Estelle Forbes-Doucet, who at that time, was an oncology nurse coordinator at the former IWK Children’s Hospital. It was the first camp of its kind in the maritime provinces.
The first Camp Goodtimes was held at the YMCA Camp Wapomeo in Carleton, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Camp counselors were supplied by the YMCA’s Camp Wapomeo and all programming was coordinated by the YMCA in consultation with the former IWK Children’s Hospital. In 1986, Camp Goodtimes invited survivors of childhood cancer to attend camp as support for counsellors and as friends for campers. These “buddy counsellors” were able to relate to campers and provide additional support for those who needed some extra help. To this day, the Buddy Program continues to serve an important role at Camp Goodtimes.
Since its beginning, Camp Goodtimes has grown from assisting just 21 children in its first year to over 80 campers. Today, Camp Goodtimes remains a program of the Canadian Cancer Society and is held at Brigadoon Village in the Annapolis Valley, a medically-supported facility specifically designed to hold camps for children with chronic illnesses.
Camp Goodtimes serves children and youth ages 7 to 21 primarily from Nova Scotia and PEI. We strongly encourage participants to bring a sibling or friend to camp. Because siblings and friends of children with cancer often experience their own “side effects,” Camp Goodtimes has always identified this group as one it serves equally.