An Interview with Owner Matt Barr
I've loved camp since the first time I attended as a kid
(left in the photo)
Why did you decide to start a camp?
I attended a lot of day camps as a young boy myself. My parents didn't need to send me to camp as my mom was a stay-at-home mom, but my parents really
believed in the experience. I attended a lot of hockey camps hosted by the Nepean Raiders and then I distinctly remember a day camp held at St. Pius High
School when I was about 12 years old. Although this was a long time ago, I remember just loving the entire experience. I loved the sports, the activities
and the opportunity to play lots of games with a large group of kids. To me it was just perfect. I couldn't imagine a better place on earth.
After all these years and through all my experiences I still feel the same way.
How did you get started in the camp business?
Well, it wasn't by accident. I pursued it. I looked for any opportunity to work with kids, and sports in particular.
I guess I always wanted to re-create a wonderful place for kids to enjoy their summer
I've always been passionate about camp. I want kids today to have the same kind of experiences I had more than 30 years ago. I
loved camp then, so I figured I could create a place where kids could experience the same today. In fact, when I'm planning our schedule each year, this is
what's always on my mind . . . how can I make it more fun? How can I make sure that kids love the camp? As a secondary benefit, it also makes for
a great business plan. After all, happy campers tell their parents and their friends, and they keep coming back summer after summer.
What do you enjoy most about owning a camp today?
That's easy. Smiling, happy kids. I love creating a special place for kids. I also love playing with the kids myself, although I don't get a chance
to do that as much as I'd like today. My contribution, I guess, is to provide the place for my staff to do the same. That way my impact is much greater
than what I can do myself at just one camp location. When I train my staff I tell them my story and I hope that it helps them to understand how important camp can
be for the kids in their care. I want them to take their role seriously, but I also want them to have lots of fun. I know that the more fun they have, the
more they're creating that special place for the kids.