Submitted by Ken Hirter

When you think about June, many think of summer solstice aka the first day of summer or the longest day of the year. For others the end of the school year for kids here in the North End.

At Welcome Inn Community Centre their Summer Day Camp runs from July 02 till August 09. It is where l sat and chatted with the engaging and the delightful Michelle Urbanek, Childrens Programs Coordinator. I asked Michelle about her role. ” I am the Children’s Program Coordinator at the Welcome Inn Community Centre. I run our summer camp and our after-school programs. I take my role of mentoring the next generation of people to work with kids seriously and want them to feel empowered to run amazing programs for the kids. I mentor and empower the co-op students, volunteers and the camp coordinators.” The summer camp program runs 6 weeks for about 150 of the neighbourhood kids. The Summer Day Camp is run in partnership with the City of Hamilton and is held at the Bennett Recreation Centre.

Some of the activities include trips to the parks, a talent show, baseball games, a puppet show, tug of war, swimming and trips to the fire station.

I take my role of mentoring the next generation of people to work with kids seriously and want them to feel empowered to run amazing programs for the kids.

* Please note that Registration for Summer Camp 2024 is all booked and all available spaces were gone within 37 minutes wow. Cost is $60 per week per child (ages 5 to 11).

Michelle also plans and runs the 2 afterschool programs. LAF (Learning & Fun) and the School Financial Literacy program, both are for about 45 of the neighbourhood students who attend Bennetto and St Lawrence school. It’s partnered with McMaster for volunteer students to mentor the kids and help create a safe and fun environment for them.

Michele’s favorite quote: ” Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you”. {Ruth Bader Ginsberg} 

Her message to today kids. ” Every one needs to find your own tribe. Kids need to have a safe space to feel needed and cared for.” 

I then met this year’s summer Camp Coordinators. They and Michelle shared their favorite summer camp memories.

“Connecting outdoors at the kids park and it all starts with the push of the swing and the fun begins in the park” {Sepehr Baharestan-Khoshhak} 

“The whip cream challenge game was such a blast. Whip cream flew everywhere, it was so much fun and the laughter was priceless”. {Mariyam Salhia}

” It has to be last year’s talent show, where they all worked so hard to put on their first program, from hosting to acting they were all simply the best”  {Michelle Urbanek}

I asked Michelle if she would like to give special thanks and a shout out.  “I would like to thank the lovely people and the fun community to be a part of here in Hamilton’s North End. To all of the staff and volunteers here at the Welcome Inn Community Centre. It was where l started here as a co-op student to my present role today. I thank you, my mentors, family & friends.

l would like to thank Michelle, Sepehr and Mariyam for taking the time and talking Summer Camp 2024 at the Welcome Inn Community Centre, their motto is ‘Living Well Together’.

School may be out for the summer, but for these kids, they have an extended recess for fun, laughter, games and more, all day, indoors and outdoors enjoying the summer season. 

For more information on all the wonderful children’s programs offered at the Welcome Inn where all are welcome.

Michelle Urbanek , Children’s Program Coordinator 


Office: 905-525-5824

Address: 40 Wood Street East 

The Welcome Inn Community Centre also offers other wonderful programs. Please visit their website for more information at https//  Serving Hamilton and Hamilton’s North End Community since 1966.