Sea-to-Sea for Camp O.Z.

My name is Lucas Meredith and this summer I will be doing a solo bike trip across Canada from Victoria to Halifax for Camp Ozanam, formerly known as Columbus Boys Camp.

The Camp was founded in 1929 as a place for inner-city kids who can't afford camp to get out of the pressure and into the woods. It has evolved many times since then but has remained free and fixed to its mantra of being for the kids to this day, almost a century later.

I started working at Camp Ozanam in 2012 and quickly saw how special of a place it was, or at least I thought I did, because it was still only just pre-camp training. When the first kids got off the bus, I looked at the smiles on their faces and I knew that I had no idea.

For a lot of the kids, camp is the pinnacle of their year. It is what they look forward to the other fifty-one weeks, as they deal with whatever their situation at home may be. I had heard things along those lines many times at pre-camp but they had never really sunk in, until I felt the atmosphere as the first kids arrived.

I soon realized that camp wasn’t just about the tremendous amounts of fun a bunch of boys can have with a ball and a tin roof; it was an opportunity to change lives. So I dove in head first, regardless of how much it hurt continuously from over-exertion.

I began to truly understand what they meant when they said “camp was for the kids.”

I knew that if I could change the perspective of just one child that all the bottles of aspirin would be worth it. I tried my best to show them that they could be whoever they wanted to be and told them that if they pursued their dreams unconditionally, nothing could stop them.

And every time I did I thought of my own dreams.

I have thought about biking across Canada since I was a little kid.  I thought about doing a lot of things when I was a kid, about twenty a minute. They were all things that most people find crazy. Most the time they were a tad outrageous and sometimes not quite so doable.

I have held this mentality as a young man but gained a bit more realism and what I call caution. I am 20 now and have reached a point in life where I am in the position to do to all of the things that I deem doable. And hopefully survive with all my limbs.

I spent almost all of 2014 leading up to camp as a bike messenger in Toronto and as fun as that was I felt a certain amount of 'biking in circles.' I thought if I am doing all this biking I might as well use it go somewhere and my dreams as a child began to resurface in my head. 

It soon became all I thought about. 

While at camp I realized that I could use my childhood dreams to help the campers achieve theirs. 

I knew I would never be able to afford the journey as a messenger. So, after camp I buckled down and got a real job to save up. The entire trip and equipment has been paid for by me. Your donations will go directly to the camp.

The trip is for me, the funds are for the kids.
  • Paul Monette 
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
  • Ron Ayoub 
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 77 mos
  • Clare Keast 
    • $25 
    • 77 mos
  • Shenagh Rosa 
    • $50 
    • 77 mos
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Dunbar Fox 
Guelph, ON
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