Running for Rondeau camp experience

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Norie Hauseman, 4, second from left, learned a great deal at summer camp at the Rondeau Yacht Club this past summer, her mother, Jaime, said. So the mom has organized a fundraising run Nov. 20 to help send kids to the camp next summer.

Jaime Hauseman wants to see more children enjoy summer camps at the Rondeau Yacht Club, and she’s willing to run most any distance to make that a reality.

Hauseman, a Kitchener resident who owns a cottage in the Rondeau Provincial Park, is organizing a fundraising run this month with the goal to provide money to financially assist families to send their children to the club.

“I am a cottage owner in the park and I sent my four year old over the past summer. I just saw how much she grew – her independence and everything,” Hauseman said. “I thought there are probably a lot of people for whom it’s not feasible to send their kids to this camp.”

Hauseman said this is not a yacht club stuffed with elitism.

“They call it the yacht club, but the camp does several sessions,” she explained. “In the morning, the activities would start with a canoe lesson. They’d learn how to paddle, learn canoe safety and how to get a life jacket on, for example. Then, they’d learn about a sailboat and then would get a swimming lesson.”

Hauseman said she was impressed with how her daughter, Norie, took to everything, especially being in and near the water.

“How familiar and how comfortable she got around the water was amazing. I don’t want my kids to think water is danger. It’s fun; you just have to know how to work with it,” the mother explained.

As for the run, it takes place Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. in the park. People can register through GoFundMe. Just visit the site and search “camp for kids at Rondeau” and follow the instructions.

Hauseman said run participation has no set monetary value.

“If you go to our GoFundMe page, you can put in the comments on if you plan on running. It’s all what you can afford to donate,” she said.

For those wanting to help, but not looking to run in the 5K or 10K, Hauseman said volunteers are needed for Race Day.

As for Hauseman, she said she’ll be out on the run, which starts near the tennis courts.

“I also am a competitive runner. I was to run overseas in a race the first week of December,” she said, adding COVID-19 made that impossible.

Hauseman hopes the run will establish a base of funds that would allow families to apply for subsidized spots in the yacht club caps, “or we’ll take care of the whole fee depending on their financial situation.”

The goal would be to send children to camp each week of summer programs at the club, Hauseman said.

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