Project 1 – Camp Garagona

Respite for families of disabled people
With severe behavioural problems

Objective: $2,750,000

More respite builds stronger families. Parents facing the daily challenge of raising and caring for disabled
or autistic children with severe behavioural problems need regular respite. They also need a place where
their troubled child can be safe, have fun and be exposed to new activities and challenges.

Camp Garagona has been providing stimulating camp experiences, with an arts speciality, to intellectually
disabled and autistic people aged 12 and up, for 44 years. 


In 1969, the year after his retirement from professional hockey, Doug Harvey, all-star defensemen with the fabled Montreal Canadiens of the 1950s, joined forces with the local community to construct Camp Garagona on 14.9 acres of Anglican Church property in Frelighsburg, Quebec.


Today, the Camp is still going strong.

  • Since 1969, over 6,750 people with intellectual disabilities have enjoyed fun, memorable and life expanding summer camp experiences in a natural setting, giving much needed moments of respite for families and caregivers.
  • Over 120 volunteers annually work at the Camp.
  • Over 300 campers attend regularly each year, many who have attended since the 1970s.
  • Garagona is the only bilingual camp serving an exclusively disabled clientele.
  • Garagona often serves campers who have been removed from, or refused, by other camps.
  • Therapy is in part provided through arts and crafts, which are particularly effective as they accommodate almost any level of intellectual development. Projects are designed and prepared by artists and teachers with experience in the world of autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities..



Camp Garagona understands the challenges faced by families who have a child with severe behavioural problems and, with your support, will
upgrade to accommodate these deserving campers. Infrastructure changes will include:

  • Smaller bedrooms to accommodate campers with severe behavioural problems: reducing social tension and constructed with stronger building materials to withstand shock and injury.
  • Increasing access: creating physical access to the Camp for campers who have lost mobility.
  • Winterizing Camp buildings: offering respite 12 months a year.


The maintenance of Camp Garagona infrastructure will be integrated into the Camp fee structure, and all renovation costs will be covered by
the Campaign. The lack of a need for long-term financing avoids extra administrative costs that put Camp fees outside the means of families in
Simply put, the Campaign will allow more families of disabled children to use a service that was outside the realm of possibility before.

Camper Profile: Kenneth T.

Ken was born with Down’s Syndrome in 1956.

He has lived in the village of Brome for the past 28 years with Audrey and her family. He has been coming to Camp Garagona since the 1980s.

Ken works in Waterloo, QC, year round and follows a structured routine. As the snow starts to melt in March, Ken starts thinking about and talking to Audrey about his upcoming summer vacation at camp. Ken adjusts to a less-structured camp routine with ease. After all, he has been coming to Garagona since before most of the camp staff were born!

Ken is a fish and loves spending time at the pool each day.

As you can see from the picture, Ken doesn’t have much hair on his head, but that can be fixed with a little paint during one of his favorite classes. He expresses his creative side during the visual arts classes, be it through sculpture, drawing or with paints.

Ken is a soft spoken, happy, affectionate easygoing guy and we are so pleased that he has found a second home at Camp Garagona.

Ken was born with a non-specified mental disability in 1956.

He has lived in the village of Brome for the past 28 years with Audrey and her family. He has been coming to Camp Garagona since the 1980s.


Budget Breakdown 
 Total $2,750,000
Main Building Reconstruction/Adaptation  $1,760,000 
New Sewer & Septic System $310,000
Professional Fees $123,000
Demolition $95,000
Contingencies $150,000
Contractor Profit $245,000
Landscaping $67,000