St. Pat’s Camp in the Municipality of Stoke could now include services to children with disabilities of the Eastern Townships as the members of the St. Pat’s Old Boys’ Association have unanimously approved, during their general meeting of September 13, 2014, the merger of the Association and the Quebec Society for Disabled Children.
Towards the latter part of the 1920’s, the forerunner of St. Patrick’s camp welcomed disadvantaged youths on rented lakefront property on Lake Magog before acquiring, almost thirty years later, in 1948, the current lakefront property on Stoke Lake. During the “80’s, and for a period of approximately 10 years, the camp served a local organization caring for handicapped children. Today, St. Patrick’s camp is at a crossroad. Even through its administrators and volunteers have demonstrated courage and resilience throughout these decades, they have come to realize that it is now time to join forces with another organization to ensure that its mission is carried out and to relaunch the camp in a way which respects its heritage and its founders.
It is in this spirit that the Quebec Society for Disabled Children was approached to implement at St. Pat’s Camp an adapted recreational program for disabled and disadvantaged children of the Eastern Townships, enabling the expansion of its service offering throughout all the administrative regions of the Province of Quebec.
It is with this objective that the Society aspires to offer disabled and disadvantaged children of the area, a safe, adapted, inclusive, and breathtakingly beautiful site.
Located on the shores of Lake Stoke, some twenty minutes from Sherbrooke, St. Pat’s Camp is spread over more than 200 acres, criss-crossed with nature trails and a major wetland. Fourteen buildings were built, two large rooms that can accommodate 200 people for receptions with meals. Above all, the huge advantage of St. Pat’s Camp is to be located only 12 kilometres from the Sherbrooke University Health Centre, the CHUS, thus ensuring rapid intervention in the event of a medical emergency.
In the Eastern Townships, there are close to 3,000 disabled children and youngsters under the age of 24, as well as 14,135 adults.
Should the Quebec Society for Disabled Children merge with the St. Patrick’s Old Boys Association inc., owners of St. Pat’s Camp, it will assume full management responsibility for St. Pat’s Camp, and offer programs such as the elite sport, summer camp, day camp, recreational respite weekends, as well as community group stays.
We estimate that the reception capacity would eventually be close to 120 people during peak periods such as, for example, the summer stays. To do so, we will have to plan the following facilities and equipment:
•Athletic and training track for elite sport for disabled people
•Soccer and baseball field and skating rink
•Adapted lodging (cabins and dormitories)
• Adapted trails
• Medical clinic
• Arts & crafts room
• Covered patio
• Fitness trail
• Adapted beach