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Quebec parents frustrated, disappointed after dealing with summer horse camp

Several Quebec parents say they have yet to be reimbursed by a day camp, despite dealing with a last-minute cancellation and disappointing service.

Parents Iryna Levin and Cathy Morneau said three weeks ago, they planned to send their children to the Sunset Ranch Day Camp in St-Mathias-sur-Richelieu, about 45 minutes from Montreal.

The equestrian centre was supposed to be a sleepover camp beginning July 31 – but less than 48 hours before the first day, everything changed.

"I remember that Saturday night, July 29, we were packing stuff for the kids. The two kids were together, and they were just, like, it's been five months they were dreaming about that week. They're just talking, they're so happy, and then we got that e-mail at 7:20 p.m. on July 29," said Morneau.

The sleepaway camp was cancelled at the last minute. Morneau was told it was because of a flood.

Sunset Ranch continues to operate a day camp.

Sunset Ranch continues to operate a day camp.Three weeks later, both parents have not been reimbursed.

Morneau said she was promised by the ranch's owner, Danika Beaudin, that she would receive her money.

"She promised me that she would send me a cheque within 10 days and that I was the priority Monday morning," said Morneau.

Both parents were offered other options, like attending day camp activities or a sleepaway camp next year.

Parents Iryna Levin and Cathy Morneau want their money back.But the ranch is for sale, so there's no guarantee those promises will be honoured next year.

The problem started months before, when Morneau and Levin said they both paid in full for the day camp.

And they're not the only ones.

Karolanne Bouchard said she reserved a spot for her child at the ranch last October.

But, according to Quebec's consumer protection office, these three parents should have never paid a cent.

On its website, it stipulates that no money can be asked from parents before the start of a day camp.

"She asked for us to do an e-transfer for all the amount of the camp," said Bouchard,

CTV News tried to contact the Sunset Ranch owner, who has not answered questions. While visiting the ranch, someone inside the home called police.

CTV News managed to speak to a parent picking up their child at the ranch. The mother said she was satisfied with the day camp.

There is also a long list of positive reviews and comments on social media.

"The owner, she sent me messages until she received the last payment. After the last payment, she didn't respond. Nothing," said Levin.

Quebec's camp association, known as the ACQ, said there are no regulations surrounding day camps, meaning a permit is not required to operate one.

Some camps have an ACQ certification, meaning the association has visited the site, and it meets specific safety and supervision standards.

The ACQ said the Sunset Ranch is not a member of its organization.

Morneau said she has some demands.

"First, I want my money back. Second, I want some apologies. We had to deal with those kids crying. It's a dream blown away," she said.

Quebec's camp association recommends parents sign their children up for ACQ-certified camps. Top Stories

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