Campout 2014

Update:
The location and the date of the campout has been changed. We weren’t able to get up to Attawapiskat, so we are holding the campout in Niagara Falls at Campark Resorts on Lundy’s Lane from March 13-15.

 

For 48 hours, March 9-11, I will be camping out (and I mean outside) in Attawapiskat Ontario, the small Cree Attawapiskat Playground_wintercommunity where we helped build our first playground.

My goal is to raise enough funds to build a playground in Eastmain Quebec. Eastmain is located on the Quebec side of James Bay and has a population of only 700 people. There is a school there (the smallest one in the province), but they have no playground (yet).

It is my belief that every child, regardless of where they live, should have a safe place to play; a place where they can learn social skills while at the same time learning how to take risks. The benefits of a playground are too many to list (although I think one day I will here), which is why, Teddy Roosevelt believed that every child should be within walking distance of a playground.

Most of our Canadian cities have made playgrounds accessible to all of their kids, but sadly there are many First Nations children on reserves who have never even seen one. I don’t think that is fair at all.

So, for 48 hours, on my March break, I will be camping out in the cold, hoping for your sponsorship.  My goal is $48,000.00. That works out to 1000 people sponsoring me $1.00 per hour that I spend outside where March temperates average around -20 celsius.

$48,000 will cover the cost of the playground equipment and cement, leaving only transportation, accommodation and food for the crew. (that will still be close to an additional $20,000)

Many of you, I know can’t sponsor me for $48.00, but maybe you can give $4.80 towards the cause. Many though, might be able to do more than that. 480.00?
The specific amount isn’t important. What is important is that we all Do Something.

ps. I am also looking for corporate donors who will help with the expenses of the campout itself.
A HUGE thank you in advance to Air Creebec who have always been incredibly supportive by providing for my flights.

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Bad News and Good News

 

Tomorrow is the beginning of March Break. Every year for the past 3 years, I have spent the first 24-48 hours camping out to raise
funds and awareness for some very important issues surrounding First Nations children. (poverty, homelessness, education and the lack of access to playgrounds).

This year, I am very sad to announce that we won’t be doing the campout. We tried a few different ideas to make it a huge deal, but none of them worked out and now we are out of time. So, that’s the bad news.

The good news is pretty good though.

We are right in the middle of a huge process to re-brand Northern Starfish with a whole new look. We are getting a new website as a part of this as well as T-shirts and all kinds of cool stuff that will help us to do more to raise positive awareness to the issues surrounding First Nations Children on and off reserve. All of this is made possible by the amazing generosity of a man who heard about Northern Starfish and the work we are doing and was inspired to use his talents to #DoSomething (if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that’s a hashtag I use alot).
I can’t wait to show you all the stuff he’s been working on!

So – we’re doing that. As well, we are taking this time to really get organized and focused on the future. I saw a tweet today that said something like “Train for success like it’s a marathon, but run sprints too”. Since I was 11 years old and found out that there were people  in Canada living in third-world conditions, we have been running sprints. I still don’t understand how in my community we have 55 playgrounds while there are many remote northern communities that don’t have even one.
I don’t understand how it is fair that I can go to the tap and pour myself a glass of water when there are families (2000 people in Attawapiskat for instance) that share one community tap  - and still have to boil the water before it is safe to drink.
I don’t think it’s fair that I receive 3000-5000 more than a First Nations kid every year for my public education because of where I was born or what race my parents are. There are so many things that are not fair and I have been running to try to make a difference.

(ps. if you weren’t aware, right now, the government of Canada is facing charges of racial discrimination in a human rights tribunal. You can – and should – learn more about it here: http://www.fncaringsociety.ca/i-am-witness)

Instead of sprinting ahead into another campout and a playground build this summer as we had planned, we are stepping back and preparing for the marathon that I believe will see the end of prejudice in my lifetime.

With the help of my dad and some great mentors, we are taking this time to finally apply for our charity stastus. This is huge because, not only will it allow us to give receipts for donations, but it will also allow us to go after some grants. Our goal is to have our charity number this year and line up three playground builds on the James Bay coast next summer.
I am also right now taking this time to talk to businesses and foundations about supporting the vision to build a playground in every remote northern community that doesn’t have one. That way, once we become a registered charity, we will be able to use 100% of private donations to provide a safe place for kids to play. You will know that your money wasn’t used for travel or office stuff, but that every penny you give goes to bringing hope to kids who otherwise may never see a playground.

Next week I am speaking at Ryerson University, then at a couple of Toronto schools the week after that, then to a group of children’s pastors at their conference and then to 1500 kids at the Count Me In conference in Mississauga. I’m still running sprints :) but – I really do appreciate your support as we kind of take a step back and re-group to train for the marathon that sees justice win. I am so proud to be a part of making history with you all.

Wes

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#Campout2012

In a lot of ways, #Campout2012 was a great success. Our idea was to have 100 kids from across Canada campout for 50 hours raising awareness and funds to meet the housing needs in Attawapiskat, James Bay and eventually all reserves who are suffering through a housing crisis.

A huge thank you goes to the brave campers who joined me in Niagara Falls at Campark Resorts.
Sterling, Avery, Kai, Angel, and Juan. You guys are all heroes. Thank you for making a difference!

 

Our goal for this campout was to raise $500,000, enough to build 2 homes for foster families in Attawapiskat and around James Bay. You see, when children are place in care, because of the housing crisis, even if there are good, qualified care-givers, they don’t have the room to take kids in. Foster children are then sent away from their homes, away from their communities and away from everything they know. Usually it is hundreds of miles away.

I don’t think that’s fair. That’s why we camped out.

Right now we are about  $494,000 short of our goal. So – we are extending the #campout2012 campaign to last the rest of the year. I’m  very confident that we will meet our goal by the end of this year. When I promised to build a playground in Attawapiskat and won the $25,000 Pepsi Refresh grant, we were about $75,000 short of our goal. But I made a promise, and that was my biggest motivator. With the help of CRCS Recreation in Sudbury and people from all across Canada, I was able to keep that promise.

With your help and support, I have no doubt that I will be able to keep my promise of funding two homes in Attawapiskat this year.

Enjoy this slide show of our #camput2012 after party from Barnes Management Group.

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Campout 2012 Begins This Wednesday!

We are finalizing out plans for #Campout2012

The 50 hour campout begins on Wednesday at 2:00pm and wraps up with an afterparty/tweetup Friday at 6:30pm. (Click here for details)

For all the why, what and where’s of the campout, please visit this post: http://northernstarfish.org/donate/

 

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Campers: important

Thank you for volunteering to help camp-out and raise $500,000 to aid the housing crisis in Attawapiskat and around James Bay. Click here to be added to a special mailing list just for campers. I will forward you regular updates about the campout and facts about the state of emergency and housing crisis, and how together we can be part of the solution.

But, right now, you need some details about what you’re about to do.
The “official” campout itself will begin March 14th at 2:00pm and run until March 16th at 4:00pm. That’s 50 hours camping outside, in the cold. Brrrr.
Each one of us will be looking for people to sponsor us for every hour we are camping. If we each find 100 sponsors at $1.00 per hour, that is $5000.00. Sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t – and you are going to have a lot of support from me, the people we are working with “Payukotayno Housing authority”, The Barnes Management Group”, local and national media, and service groups all across Canada.

Any donations received will be tax-deductable. So no-worries, everyone that needs a receipt will get one. Cheques should be made payable to “Payukotayno” (That is the name of the charity we are partnering with to build the homes)
Online donations will be accepted as well. The web-guy is just setting up a brand new site to accept donations/sponsorship for the camp-out. It should be up and running within the next week.

Camping

Ok… so for the campout itself.  Here’s what you need to know.
If you are under 18 like me, I highly recommend you have an adult camp with you. I will be sending you a form for your parents to sign that will say something like “I allow my child __________ to camp out and understand that I will be responsible for them. “ If an adult can’t stay over with you, you need to know that me or my parents can’t be responsible if anything happens.  Not that anything will happen, but I hope you know what I mean.
The police have been great, and they make sure to check on us throughout the night.

Niagara Area Campers:

(skip down to the next part if you are too far to camp in Niagara Falls)

If you are in Niagara Falls, or can get here easily, I will be camping at CAMPARKRESORTS on Lundy’s Lane. It’s an awesome spot and the owners have been really great. You are invited to set up your tent there with me there. There is a small $10.00 fee for the campsite, but if you raise over $500.00 in sponsorships we will pay that for you.
We are looking to have food, tents, entertainment and firewood donated. BUT, plan on supplying all that stuff yourself until I can confirm it, k? If you have connections to business or people who could help supply that stuff, let me know.
This next part is for people camping out-of town… all you Niagara people can skip past this next part.

Too far to camp in Niagara?

If you are too far away to camp in Niagara Falls, look for a campground or park in your area that will allow you to camp there for the 50 hours. Most people are pretty good about it, but make sure you get their permission. Also, connect with others in your area who want to camp as well. With everyone camping together, it is so much more fun and it’s all for the same cause, right? We will help connect campers with you.

You will need to supply all your own camping stuff. (Tents, sleeping bags, food, firewood). A good idea would be to contact the Scouts, or Cadets to see if they can donate winter camping gear for the 50 hours. Local restaurants like Subway, Tim Hortons and Pizza shops may consider bringing food. Check with your friends and family to see who they know and who can help you with what. If we can get some national chains on-board that will help all the camp-out campsites across Canada, we’ll do that and let you know.

Ok, everybody can read this next stuff

We’ve started promoting this year’s campout to the media already, and things should start getting pretty crazy pretty quick. I hope you’re ok with being interviewed by news people. If not, let me know. What I hope to do, is have some of you featured on interviews as well. If I know the media is setting something up and they are from your area, or I’m in your area, I would really like to have you featured for your efforts.

The two best ways to raise awareness for  your campout (and get tons of sponsors) is:
1) Social Media. Youtube is huge for this stuff. Start making some videos now, promote your idea to campout and tell everybody what  you are doing and why you are doing it. I will be featuring your videos on my website, twitter and facebook, so if you do some videos, send me the link, k?
In the registration (link attached), you will be aske to send a short bio and a picture. This is to help us support you and promote your camp-out on our website and Faceook and Twitter

2) friends and family. Talk to everyone. Your friends and family are your biggest supporters and when they find out that you are camping out in March, in the cold for 50 hours, they will tell everybody they know.
Not everybody will donate $1.00 for every hour. Some will donate more than that. Others might only be able to give $5.00 for your entire camp-out. That’s ok. People will give what they can when they find out about what you are doing and they are asked.
I think that’s it for now. I will be sending regular emails to you to keep you up-to-date. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas, send me an email and I’ll get back to you with whatever you need.

Thank you for being a part of this huge camp-out. We are going to make a huge difference and help change kid’s lives. You’re amazing and I am so happy that you are a part of this.

Download the registration form here
Download the Waiver here
Download the Sponsor Form Here
Share this Link to have people donate to your campout online 

If you haven’t yet, please sign up here - your name will be added to the donation site and you will receive special important emails from me

 

Any questions? email me anytime at: campout2012@northernstarfish.org
Wes Prankard
http://www.northernstarfish.org

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First Nations Children Need Safe Homes.

Welcome 100 Huntley Street Viewers!

Welcome 100 Huntley Street Viewers!
To learn more about what Wesley is up to, please check out the links to the right under “Categories”.

Wesley will be camping out again this year during his March break. This time for 48 hours. Your support in the way of sponsorship is both needed and appreciated.
Follow this link to learn more.

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