Financial assistance scholarships are provided by funds raised through the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island’s Strong Kids Campaign. Any families whose financial circumstances make them unable to pay the full fee for their  program are eligible. Funding is available for residents of Vancouver Island only.

The YMCA-YWCA uses the Government Low Income Cut Offs (LICO) as a guide to ensure those families in the most need receive assistance, both the LICO and Strong Kids funding available changes from year to year therefore reapplication is required.

Summer Camp
Outdoor Education
Frequently Asked Questions
Other Opportunities for Funding

2020 Summer Camp Applications

Applications are now being accepted.  Please note, your application will not  be reviewed until you submit your supporting documents.

The application process for Financial Assistance has changed for the 2020 summer at Camp Thunderbird as we have transitioned to new software. Funding levels vary each year and as such your approval amount will change from year to year. It is expected that applicants contribute as much as possible and take advantage of payment plans available to them to ensure the Y may assist as many campers as possible each year.

Applications will be accepted again when registration opens on at 9:00am Monday January 6 and remain open until camp is full.


Supporting Documents

Supporting documents ensure that the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island can fairly assess and award funding toward an experience at camp this summer. We are unable to approve funding without the required supporting documents. The list below provides examples of required and/or other income documents that may be required. On occasion we are unable to provide funding based on the financial information provided. If you receive a request for further information please respond to our team, we do not want any campers to miss out on their camp experience!

If we have not received the documents from you 48 hours from completion of the online application, the Y will assume you are no longer interested in applying for Financial Assistance.

Once we have received your documents and have finished reviewing your application you will be sent an email from our team with the next steps. Due to volume of applications this may take up to 7 days.

Required Documents Notes
2018/19 Notice of Assessment If you did not file a Tax Return, the last 4 pay stubs for all adults in the household are required.
Pay Stubs The last 2 pay stubs for all adults in the household are required.

Other Income Documents Notes
EI A statement that clearly shows the amount of EI you are receiving or your record of employment or other supporting documents for your EI.
WCB A statement that clearly shows the amount of WCB you are receiving or other supporting documents for your EI.
Child Tax Benefit A statement that clearly shows the amount of benefit you are receiving or other supporting documents for your CTB.
Universal Child Benefit A statement that clearly shows the amount of benefit you are receiving or other supporting documents for your UCB.
Spousal Support A statement that clearly shows the amount of support you are receiving.
Foster Parent Allowance A statement that clearly shows the amount of allowance you are receiving.
Student Loan A statement that clearly shows the amount of student loan you are receiving.

Application Approval

Within 7 days of receiving your supporting documents you will receive an email from our team.  This email will include an APPROVAL CODE and information on how to check your approval amount online.

This code will be linked to your camper and the program you selected during your application. Pre-approval does not guarantee a space in camp. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to register online when camp registration opens.  You MUST use this code to apply your funding when you register online.

Due to volume of applications please allow 7 days to receive your approval email

Funding availability varies from year to year, we encourage all groups and individuals to contribute as much as possible toward their visit to the Y Outdoor Centre.  Clients in areas where fundraising is possible, are expected to attempt to fundraise to cover a portion of their camp fees.  Everyone is expected to contribute towards their Outdoor Education experience.

All those receiving funding will be asked to provide impact statements during or after their visit to camp.

Please complete your application as soon as you have received your contract.  This will assist you in setting a realistic fundraising goal and ensure your group knows the final fee amount before heading to camp!  The application should be completed by the teacher or group representative.

We encourage you to apply ahead of time to ensure you can plan your fundraising to cover the costs of your booking.  The deadline to apply is 14 days before the group visits the Y Outdoor Centre.


You may be able to support your trip to the Outdoor Centre with additional funding from the following sources:

  • HCTF G0-Grants: support curriculum aligned field trips and pay for transportation costs
  • BC Field Trips: lists a variety of supports for transportation

Need assistance with busing; we can connect you with the company used for bus transportation in the summer for Camp Thunderbird.  Please contact us for more information.


Apply for Funding:


Who is eligible to receive financial assistance?

Families whose financial circumstances make them unable to pay the full fee for their child’s program and do not exceed the Government Low Income Cut Offs (LICO) are eligible.

If I have received subsidy from the Y in the past can I apply again?

Yes.  Please note that funding is provided by generous donations to the Y and funding levels vary from year to year. It is our goal that if possible you utilize payment plans, be mindful in your camp selection and contribute more towards the camp fee each year.

How many camp programs may I apply for?

Campers may apply for Financial Assistance towards one (1) camp program per year.  Transportation costs are not eligible.

Is it possible to attend camp for free?

No, everyone must pay some portion of the camp fees.

What happens if my scheduled payment is declined or returned?

If the funds are declined or returned, the YMCA-YWCA will automatically attempt to withdraw fees a second time (within 10 days from the original payment date).

If funds are not available at the time of the second attempt, you will be contacted by phone and email to make payment. Payment must be made within 7 days or the camp registration will be withdrawn.

Any initial payments will be returned less a $50 administration fee. To re-register your camper, they will be placed at the back of the registration queue and space is not guaranteed.

How does the Y determine how much I pay?

The Y uses the government’s Low Income Cut Off Chart to determine your eligibility.

What if my income level is higher than the Low Income Cut Off?

We understand that life presents many challenges, if you do not qualify for financial assistance we encourage you to consider all of the Y’s camping options including day camps or a shorter camping experience.

You might also consider selecting a payment plan which provides an option to spread out the cost of camp.

Unique or special circumstances may ask for a review which may include providing more documentation of income or expenses by the Registration Services Supervisor.

Will others know my child/family was subsidized?

No, this is completely confidential.  Only registration staff and Y management involved in processing your application are aware of your situation.  Neither the leaders nor the participants will know this information.

If I receive assistance from the Y, what is expected of me?

Please keep all information and fees discussed confidential.  Once approved you are required to follow through on your commitment of completing payments as determined during the application process.  A fully completed application must be received in order to process it.

Every year, the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island has the privilege of distributing a number of private funds designated to assist children attending summer camp who need extra subsidy. All awards are one time opportunities and announced at the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island’s Annual General Meeting.

Leadership Development:

Ken Currey Memorial Campership Fund

Ken was a long time Y staff member who made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island and embraced the mission and values of the organization.

Campership Amount: Partial funding of the cost of a Leadership Development Course at the Y’s Camp Thunderbird.based on the available annual income generated from the fund.

Peter McGill Memorial Endowment Fund 

Peter McGill, a long time member and supporter of the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island was a respected teacher and mentor for 35 years in School District 61.

Campership Amount: Partial funding of the cost of a Leadership Development Course at the Y’s Camp Thunderbird.based on the available annual income generated from the fund.

Eligible Campers and Criteria:  Permanent residents of Vancouver Island under 18 years old registering in a leadership program at Camp Thunderbird who demonstrate the greatest potential in a leadership development opportunity.

To apply:

  1. Financial Assistance Application form
  2. A one page document outlining skills and abilities and how you will benefit from this funding
  3. The name and contact information of at least one personal reference
  4. A copy of your LD1 Camper Evaluation form or Outpost Camper Development form if available
  5. Applicants may be asked to do a telephone interview
  6. Copy of your resume (optional)

Attn: Fione Wilson General Manager, Fund Development 

Prior to April 30th for Summer Opportunities


Eligible Campers and Criteria: All Financial Assistance applicants will be automatically considered for Campership awards and awarded to those with the greatest financial need. No additional application is required.

Mitch Pechet Memorial Fund – “Mitch’s Locker Fund”

Mitch was a businessman, sportsman, coach, and a great family man. Mitch was a daily presence at the Downtown Y for almost 65 years.

Campership Amount: 100% funding for one child each year to attend Camp Thunderbird for campers registering for a 5 day Explorers, Pioneers, or Outpost Base Camp Programs only.

Nicola Benn Scholarship Fund honors a beloved Counsellor at Camp Thunderbird who passed away at a very young age.

Dorothy Hamilton Endowment Fund was started in 2006 to support camperships at Camp Thunderbird. Dorothy was an active Y member, a dedicated runner, and a volunteer Board member for the Y who was very attached to the leadership programs at Camp Thunderbird.

 Campership Amount: Partial funding toward the cost of a summer program at the Y’s Camp Thunderbird.based on the available annual income generated from each of these funds.


Charitable registration #: 10822 5566 RR001

Learn about 2020 Camp Registration

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