Camp Moomba

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*Tentative dates for Camp Moomba 2020: March 7 & 8, July 12-17.*

Camp Moomba is a peer support and education program for youth living with, and affected by, HIV in British Columbia. It is a lifechanging program where campers (aged 6 - 17) get to spend a week together in a community where HIV doesn’t have to be a secret, and kids can be kids. 

Our motto at Camp Moomba is, “friends together having fun.” Led by this philosophy, we blend camp traditions from canoeing to campfire with opportunities for leadership and peer education sessions focused on HIV. Each year, former campers return as volunteer leaders to carry on camp traditions and continue to build their community.

Camp Moomba was first offered in 1998 by the Western Canadian Pediatric AIDS Society, which later became The Moomba Society. In 2015, Moomba merged with YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society to provide ongoing opportunities for youth impacted by HIV after aging out of camp programs. Since 1998, this program has been provided to families at no cost!

Each year, we offer summer and winter camp sessions. At Moomba, youth benefit from a supportive community where we can talk openly about the ways HIV impacts campers' lives. Camper experience and formal research continues to show that creating opportunities for youth living with HIV to connect with their peers has positive impacts on health and wellbeing. This is just one reason that we are proud to offer Camp Moomba.

Camp Moomba is nearly entirely volunteer-run: each year, over 90% of our team volunteers their time throughout our camp session. To volunteer, reach out at http://www.youthco.org/get_involved.

Our programming is made possible thanks to the generosity of individual donors, the Provincial Health Services Authority, the Tung and Shirley Chan "Ji Shen" Fund" held at the Vancouver Foundation and a POSITIVE ACTION community grant from ViiV Healthcare. Our programming and peer education does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of any of these organizations, companies or individuals. We accept donations for this program year round! Donate online today at www.youthco.org/donate or get in touch at moomba@youthco.org or by calling 604-688-1441.

For programs for youth who are 18 and up, visit our page of opportunities for youth living with HIV

Details about upcoming camp programming can be found below!

 

  • Saturday, March 07, 2020 at 08:00 AM through March 08, 2020
    Evans Lake Camp

    Winter Camp

    We are so excited to be hosting winter camp, March 7 & 8, at Evans Lake! This is a free program for youth from ages 6 to 17 years old who are living with, or impacted by HIV, in British Columbia!! We hope to see many familiar faces and welcome new folks over the weekend. 

    We’ll be spending the weekend at Evans Lake in Squamish, BC. During the weekend, we are planning to pack in as much fun as possible!! Campers will have choices around different indoor and outdoor activities throughout the weekend and lots of "friends together having fun!" To make this come to life, we have community agreements in place that everyone at camp, includilng staff and volunteers, follow. Click here to check them out!

    Camper Information

    Camper registrations are due on January 31, 2020! This will help us ensure we can put together a strong volunteer team. Please let us know on or before Janury 31st if you would like to come to Camp Moomba!

    RETURNING CAMPERS: complete this one page permission form, and give the office (604-688-1441) a call to ensure all health and emergency information is up-to-date!

    NEW CAMPRES: complete this registration form (give us a call if you'd like some help!) and return it to the office by January 31st, 2020.

    We have community agreements in place that everyone at camp, includilng staff and volunteers, follow. Click here to check them out!

    To contact a camper during camp, please call 604-684-1701.

    Volunteer Information

    We believe that youth are best positioned to connect with our peers on topics related to HIV stigma. Many of the youth at Camp Moomba are Black or Indigenous, and we strongly encourage applications from Black and Indigenous youth, as well as youth living with HIV, or youth who are impacted by HIV. We strongly encourage youth who are under the age of 25, living with HIV or Hep C, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Two-Spirit, queer, trans, non-binary, and/or living with disabilities to apply.

    Camp Moomba volunteers are people who are connected to the Camp Moomba or YouthCO, through shared experiences or our Core Training program, and are excited to work with youth from ages 6 to 17! All volunteers must complete a criminal record check at YouthCO's expense. 

    Volunteers must also be available for training on February 22 (9:30-3pm for new folks!; 9:30-12pm for returning volunteers!), committed to a weekend with very little cell coverage and no WIFI, and a phone-free space for campers, and are able to follow our community agreements. Click here to check them out!

    At camp, most of our volunteers are Group Leaders, who do the following:

    • Actively participate in camp life and camp activities – early mornings, chilly swims, and clean up included!
    • Attend to campers’ wellbeing needs in ability-appropriate ways to ensure campers’ physical, emotional, social, medical and nutritional needs are being met:
    • Supporting campers in getting adequate nutrition and sleep (e.g. facilitating bed time and meal time at appropriate energy levels)
    • Support positive camper group dynamics to ensure a positive experience for all campers
    • Using active supervision to create a fun and safe environment, including role modelling and encouraging positive relationships, and addressing concerning behaviours such as bullying
    • Manage camper behaviour, including role modelling camp appropriate behaviour and addressing concerns with the Camp Director
    • Assist with camp-wide programming
    • Provide leadership and role modeling to all staff and campers
    • Attend and participate in Camp Moomba trainings, including YouthCO Core Training (if not already completed) and Camp Moomba training (February 22)

    The full position description is here! If this sounds like you, please complete our application form!

    If you are interested in coming to Camp Moomba as a nurse, check out the position description here, and please complete our application form!

    Do you have questions about the upcoming program, or becoming a volunteer? Contact Jessica and Sarah at moomba@youthco.org, or call 604-684-1701.

  • Monday, March 23, 2020 at 09:00 AM through March 28, 2020
    Springbrooke Retreat Centre in Langley, BC, Canada

    First Directions

    This event takes place on the unceded and ancestral lands of the S'olh Temexw (Stó:lō) peoples.

    First Directions is a free program for Indigenous youth in British Columbia. 

    At First Directions, we bring Indigenous youth together from across the province to develop short videos on topics youth choose related to Indigenous youth health and wellness. During First Directions, a group of 15-20 Indigenous youth will:

    • Travel to a shared accommodation retreat centre in Langley, BC, supervised by the Yúusnewas staff team
    • Receive training on HIV, sexual health, harm reduction, and how colonization has affected our health—and what we can do about it
    • Learn how to create a video, including how to use film equipment, create a storyboard, and edit their work
    • Working in small groups, develop a film on a topic of their choice related to Indigenous youth health and wellness

    After First Directions, Indigenous youth will receive a copy of their final video in the mail or by pick up at the YouthCO Office. 

    YouthCO will cover travel costs to and from the workshop as well as meals and accommodations during the training to participants whose applications are accepted. We will work with families and communities to ensure safe transportation for all youth. 

    As Indigenous youth we are talking about issues that affect our people so that we can share information with our friends and relatives about taking care of our bodies. With colonization and residential schools, a lot of our ancestral ways of taking care of ourselves were lost. We are determined to empower young Indigenous leaders to reclaim our bodies and teachings. 

    So, what is "Indigenous youth health & wellness"?

    Indigenous youth health and wellness can look like a lot of things, some we may have not even thought about before now:

    • Learning about our bodies and identities, free of shame
    • Considering the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical aspects of taking care of our bodies and sexuality
    • Being comfortable with who we are
    • Having the information and tools to make decisions that are right for us
    • The right to access birth control, sexual health, and harm reduction supplies that suits our needs and lives
    • And so much more!

    How to apply

    Applications will be accepted until the program is full! Please apply as soon as possible to ensure your participation!

    1. Download the .pdf application form here. Or, download a Word version here. 

    2. Fill out the application form (pages 2, 3, 4 & 5)

      • If you are under 18 years old, you will need permission to participate from your caregiver, whether that is a family member or a social worker.

      • The Yúusnewas team can help you fill this out! If you need access to a computer, printer, or scanner, give us a call at 604-688-1441, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, or by email.

    3. Complete photo/video release so we can show your videos to various audiences (page 7). For youth under 18, your caregiver, parent, guardian, or social worker will need to complete this form.

    4. Give your application to the YouthCO team by mail, dropping off in person, or by email on or before February 21, 2020! Applications will be accepted until the program is full! Please apply as soon as possible to ensure your participation!


YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!