More often than not, the desire to be part of something bigger than one’s self is simply too tempting to pass up. That was certainly the case for Chad Robbins who, in September 2017, took the plunge and became an Ambassador with the Cam’s Kids team at Peterborough’s Trent University. Now, as the 21-year-old Pickering native prepares to graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Business Administration, he remains grateful for the opportunity to be part of an organization that continues to make a huge difference for young people across Canada.
“I would never have thought that something that started so small, something I could be a part of, would extend as far as it has,” says Chad, noting his Cam’s Kids work has been a point of pride for him since day one.
“It’s satisfying knowing I’m helping people that are struggling (with anxiety). Being able to act as an outlet for people is something I enjoy. It (his Cam’s Kids experience) is something I make sure I list on my resumés. I have no problem talking about it with whoever whenever.”
Like many Ambassadors, Chad first heard about Cam’s Kids by word of mouth. When a friend became the Team Lead at Trent, he learned more about Cam and the aims of the foundation. Impressed, he jumped into the fold and has been hard at it ever since.
“I was like ‘Yeah, this is a great opportunity…everybody struggles with some form of anxiety,’” recalls Chad of his initial motivation.
“There are a lot of services at Trent that help with mental health in general but there’s nothing specific to anxiety. Once people find out about us, they’re pretty eager to learn more or understand what we’re doing. Our team isn’t very big but I never fully realized the impact we could have and have had; that we’d be able to reach so many people.”
Cam’s Kids works, says Chad, because while it gives those struggling with anxiety room to deal with that on their own, it’s close by to provide resources and support when and if needed.
“You want to see the effects of the work you’re doing but just knowing your resources are being used and knowing that people are listening is definitely a good feeling,” he says.
On campus, the Cam’s Kids team organized the Candy Cane Campaign prior to Christmas and the February Chocolate Hearts Campaign – both outreach staples of the movement at universities coast-to-coast. In addition, Chad and his fellow team members marched in the Peterborough Santa Claus Parade this past December, banner in hand and decked out in Cam’s Kids shirts, bringing awareness of the foundation and its important work to the wider community.
Post-graduation, Chad hopes to stay involved with Cam’s Kids on some level.
“Living in Pickering, I’m not super far from Uxbridge, so I can go to and from to help with events or whatever,” he says, adding he feels very much a part of the extended Cam’s Kids family that calls campuses across the country home.
“It’s nice knowing that even though I’m leaving Cam’s Kids here at Trent, new people coming into Trent are still going to have the support and resources they need to help them with their anxiety. That’s a good feeling.”
- By Paul Rellinger