I love that all the staff can make each child feel like they are the most important person at camp.”
Just a note to let you know how much we appreciate Centauri. I know you hear this all the time, but the staff are as you say, extraordinary. Our son was so moved and emotionally supported at Centauri that I think it made him more open to sharing with us... It was incredible how his language has incorporated the 'we' after these two weeks. He had a pretty awful year at school - especially with a lack of like minded peers - and if you could see the difference in his spirit that we see you would be amazed.
My son texted me today around 11:30 asking me if he could stay for another 2 weeks. I was thrilled with his request, because it implies he's having a wonderful time. Note that he was huffing and puffing when we first brought up the camp idea, and went just to make us happy. But now I'm seeing signs of excitement, which is what I ultimately had hoped for and to be honest, had expected, based on the vibe I got from the camp when we dropped him off.
Parent, August 2012
My artsy son felt like a "normal" kid for the first time. That he truly fit in and that there are other kids in the world that are like him. What a gift. My other son came back with a lightness and happiness about him that I have not seen in a long time… He has even set a goal to teach himself how to play guitar so he can play at camp next year. It was AMAZING to see both boys so happy and excited. Parent, 2012 [Our daughter] loved the entire experience. She felt she belonged to a true community - she felt supported and engaged and as if she had a contribution to make - that she mattered.
Cindy (camper parent) 2012
Oh my goodness who was the child we picked up from camp? We can not believe what a week did for Craig!! We sent a shy reserved child off to camp and returned with a child who was bubbly and excited and hugging yes I said hugging his cabin mates good bye. WOW is all we could think, wish we had found the camp a few years ago. Craig was so excited about what he learned in only one week and the new found confidence in his abilities that he talked all the way home about his adventure. We (and he) can not wait until next year when he gets to do it again!! Special thank you goes to his counsellor Evan and the B5 dorm group they really made Craig feel comfortable and an important part of the group. Way to go all of you!! Thank you so much for such a great experience this is going to be one summer Craig never forgets!!
Bill and Heather , Parents 2011
As my daughter and I await the 2012 schedule I noticed the testimonials on the website and I realized that I failed to send my own thank you. Last year was my daughters first year at Centauri. She had the most wonderful experience and told me that it changed her life. The environment is one where she felt she could thrive. On our last call home she told me, "Mom, most people cry when they get homesick, but I am going to be crying on the plane home because I will be camp sick". And she did. Now that is quite a testimonial. Thank you for helping my daughter have this exceptional experience. She very much looks forward to coming back this summer.
My daughter, Kate returned from her first stay at Centauri on Saturday so happy & full of confidence. I wanted to let you know that she had a fantastic time and already is making plans to come back with her newfound friends next year! Many thanks to you & all of the counsellors/instructors.
Lesley, Parent 2009
We wanted to thank you for giving our daughter the best start ever possible in summer camping. We were nervous when we sent you a girl who was too afraid to even sleep at a friend’s house, but who really wanted to be successful at overnight camp - particularly Centauri as it was everything (on paper) that she wanted in a summer program.
We were thankful that you helped us to prepare her for her
first session away from home with tips and suggestions, and even a visit to
our home to share stories and photographs with her. We were amazed when we spoke to our daughter on her call day
and she let us know that the first few nights had been rough, but that her
counsellors had been terrific, she loved the other kids at camp, and that
Julie had made a special effort to check on her and to come and tell her
group a night time story.
We were blown away when we picked up our daughter at the end of her session and she told us stories of how everyday was a ‘special day’ at Centauri. The performances we saw on pick up day were fantastic and the goodbyes were tearful. We were shocked when our daughter told us that she would not only like to go back to Centauri next year, but would go back again this year if she could. She was immediately bored with the day camp program that we had enrolled her in (for the third year in a row - she liked it before!) and the food services program our kitchen was just not living up to the standard set by Centauri dear, there will not be a salad bar with 10 items of your choice available at every meal.)
Way to go guys! Looking forward to seeing you again next year, and for many years to come.
Rochelle B., Parent, 2007
Our daughter just returned from camp with great enthusiasm. It was "epicly awesome!", she said, and "exceeded my expectations!" (ours, too).
Judy - Parent 2009!
Our daughter is a first time camper. She was a bit homesick at first, but the counsellors were terrific, she loved the other kids, and the directors made a special effort to check up on her and tell her a night time story. Our family is looking forward to next year, and many years to come."
"I don't think I have ever seen my daughter this excited about a camp experience, ever. As a parent, nothing is more rewarding than knowing you have given your child an experience like this."
"My son has a tough time, socially, and is often unhappy. He returned from camp ebullient - laughing, happy, surprised at how friendly, accepting and encouraging everyone had been. 'Why isn't everyone like this at school?' he said."
"This was Daniel's first time at sleepover camp, and I am so grateful to everyone at Centauri for making it such a warm, positive experience for him... I can't wait to hear more about the new skills he learned, the new friendships, the amazing counsellors and the yummy food"
My daughter just returned home from session 4 and once again no stop talked for hours about how much fun she had! This was her first year with photography and she has learned so many wonderful skills.
I know that you're busily into your second session, but wanted to drop a note to thank you for the wonderful experience provided to both ourselves and our son. Although he has enjoyed summer camps before, it was a bit of a leap of faith and a lot of confidence that allowed us to fly him to Toronto, and it's certainly paid off. We greatly appreciated your responses to out inquiries, providing us references, and most of all allowing him to briefly phone home upon arrival and midway through camp to build our assurance. His participation in the LIT program was particularly noteworthy and will likely have him returning to the same session next year.
Gary D., Parent, 2007
As the parents of a 6-year Centauri camper,
we know that his experiences at Centauri were important formative influences
on his development, and that he relies the skills and understandings he
developed during his Centauri summers. We want to express our appreciation
to you both, and to your staff, for what you have provided for our son and
for other young artists.
Gaye R., Parent, 2000-2006
I wanted to send you a note to let you know
how very much my daughter M. enjoyed Centauri during Session 3.
I have been looking for a camp for years that Madison would want to go
to year after year and I think Centauri is it. She definitely wants to
go again next summer. I love the environment you have created there.
M. had a lot of fun, she loved her dorm counsellor, Erin, the kids were
great - it was all just great. I was very impressed with the musical
theatre performance on the last day. The documentary was also great -
will you post it on your website so my husband can watch it?
Eleana R., Parent, 2006
Hi Craig and Julie, Just a note to thank you and all of your counsellors,
the fantastic kitchen staff and the laundry team and anyone else that I have
not included for making my daughters two weeks in session 2 the best two
weeks that she says that she has ever had. We had family friends over
yesterday and during dinner, she told us about camp and the people that she
had met, the workshops, television production studio time and how wonderful
camp makes all the kids feel. That everyone is a friend and that everyone is
special. Thank you.
Sara. Parent, 2005
I didn't get a chance to thank you in person yesterday when we dropped
our son, Zac, off to you. I must admit that I was very apprehensive about
the whole thing since I just "found" you on the internet and it is quite a
trek to your establishment. From the moment we arrived our concerns (hubby
and myself) had vanished. The warmth and genuine joy that you show in the
program and what you do is very evident and contagious. I know that he will
have a fantastic time.
Jenny W., Parent, 2005
Hello Craig and Julie - first of all, I just
wanted to let you know that my daughter, Rachel had a wonderful
experience at your camp. She hasn't stopped talking about it since she
left, and it sounds like she has made some wonderful friends among the
campers she met there.
June K., Parent, 2005
Our son called us and said how much fun he is having at your camp. The first words out of his mouth were, "I'm coming back next year!". It sounds like he is having a wonderful time and we can't wait to hear all his stories and to see the video when it come out in November.
Mr and Mrs T., Parents, 2003
This will be short and sweet, however I wish it to be
powerful. I cannot express in words how thrilled and impressed I
was with the organisation of your opening day for Session 4. My
daughter has been to many camps and I will say your presentation and staff
far exceed anything I expected. Keep up the good work, absolutely
Lillian M. Parent 2003-2005
I just brought our daughter home from camp today . She
has not stopped talking about the great time she had at camp.
Marianna F.,, Parent, 2002-2007
I was a camper at Centauri for three summers when I was 16-18. (Writing
program, and then stage combat). I'm 25 now, and when I opened the website
and saw the photograph of campers under the banner I burst out crying. The
best kind of crying made out of many good memories.
In this day and age, being a teenager is treacherous, and yet your camp is an example that it doesn't have to be that way. I was the shy, not-too-sure of herself kind of girl, but you were always able to make everyone feel welcome and included. In the short space of a few weeks, everyone became best friends. I was the moping complaining kind of girl who didn't want to do the evening activity, and yet once my (always wonderful) counselor got me out of the door I was amongst the most enthusiastic and engaged. My three years at Centauri were the highlight of my teenage years, and it warms my heart that you are still going, and still going strong.
Now I am living and working in Shanghai, China teaching English to children aged 8 to 11. I hope to pass on that same feeling of inclusion and learning in my class room. Thank you for those summers - Centauri will always be a part of me.
Sandra B., Camper Alumni
My name is Kate B. and I attended Centauri from 2000 - 2004 (if I
remember correctly). I just wanted to thank you for the lovely surprise
that was your newsletter. I'm in my third year of a Political
Science/History degree at Queen's University and am currently bogged
down in readings, essays and exams. I couldn't believe that some of my
fellow campers were now counsellors or program heads. I just wanted to
let you know that I enjoyed my experience at Centauri more then I can
ever say. I haven't been able to use my creative 'gifts' lately and I
have stayed as far away from the stage as I can (my mom still kids me
about my starring role as witch in my second or third year at camp).
However I will always cherish my memories from camp and especially our
trip around Ireland which I took in my last year (something about around
the bend - I thought it was a great play even though the idea of singing
in front of an audience scared the daylights out of me). That memory
will probably stay with me the longest as travelling has become one of
my passions; this summer I have plans to visit Paris, Edinbourough and
London. Staying in hostels is now secondhand and I'll always remember
performing the play in a room the size of a closet in front of about 10
people. My mom still talks about you, Julie. Always remembering you as
having so much passion and enthusiasm for the camp, the kids and the
art. Thank you so much for all the memories that are unforgettable. I
appreciate all the advice that you both unknowingly doled out and for
the fact that when I think back to my time at Centauri, I just smile
from all my happy memories. Thank you again
Kate B, Camper 2000-2004
"Centauri is my happy place. The staff are all fabulous... fun, caring and amusing. The arts training is amazing - you have an awesome time yet you actually improve your acting/writing/dancing/whatever."
"I have gone there for 5 years and it is my favorite place on
earth. I'm not an artsy guy but I still love the place. I think it's
great for anyone at all."
"I went to this camp for 5 years. It was one of the very best experiences of my life. The programs were terrific and I loved the sense of community. I'd recommend Centauri to any kid or teenager who loves the arts. It is an absolutely wonderful place!" - Adam (camper)
"Camp changed me for the better. It showed me how to live life to the fullest. I learned I could achieve my goals if I worked hard. Camp was such a positive place for me."
Centauri means so much to me I plan on being a counsellor there and maybe even a program director. I didn't just make friends - I found a family." - Bekki (camper - quote taken from a magazine article she published)
"At Centauri, you're accepted. There's no 'cool'. You don't need to wear trendy clothes... Whoever you are, people will like you because you're you. At sleep-over camp you need comfort and support and at Centauri, you'l always get that."
Thank you for making the past 6 years some of the greatest ever. I don't
know what life would be like without Centauri.
Alex K., Camper, 2000-2005
Centauri has always been my home - from those very
early years, and it will continue to be so for the rest of my life.
Thank you so much.
Jordi, Camper since 1995 & now staff
This letter is to tell you THANK YOU for everything. In this camp you made me feel part of a big family since the first day to the last one.
Fabiola, Camper from Mexico 2000,2002
|Ontario Camps Association|
If you would like to see copies of other references, please contact us.