Syrian refugee teen attends Canadian summer camp for first time

CTV News - Fourteen-year-old Dayeh, from Aleppo, Syria, arrived in Canada with his mother and sister, and was given the chance to attend summer camp after his sponsor approached him. Summer camp, for many Canadian kids, is almost seen as a rite of passage.

“The sponsor asked me, ‘You want to go camping?’ I said yes, why not?” said Dayeh.

Multiple camps throughout Ontario offered free spots in their camps to the Ontario Camps Association this summer. The association then matched refugee kids between the ages of 4-15 to camps that they wanted to attend, for free.

Kids were able to choose from day and overnight camps, one week and multi-week camps and different activity-specific camps. Dayeh chose an overnight summer camp near Parry Sound, Ont., giving him a chance to learn how to canoe and play different sports like basketball and volleyball.

According to Dayeh, he made more friends at camp than he did during his half year at school. He also hopes that more refugee children will take advantage of the Ontario summer camp program and get to experience what he did.

Now, Dayeh said, Canada has become his home.