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News Article: Cookie crumbles for Girl Guides, Dec ’09

by on May 13, 2010

Reposted from: The Barrie Advance
Dec 1/09
Author: Laurie Watt, STAFF

Cookie crumbles for Girl Guides

Sad girls
Laurie Watt photo

Camp Tewateno committee secretary Denise Calvert is disappointed local Guides will not be able to go ahead with building a lodge, which would enable girls to camp year-round in Midhurst. She has dreamed of camping there with her granddaughters, Guides Alysah Stratton, 8, and Georgia Curry, 8 (with the cookies), and future Spark, Jocelyn Stratton, 3.

MIDHURST – The dream of building a lodge at a Midhurst Girl Guides camp has been crushed by a $1.3 million deficit at the provincial level.

While the camp itself was spared the fate of 16 others closed across the province, local guides won’t be able to use money they raised to build a lodge at Camp Tewateno.

Local Guide leaders learned last week the provincial arm would be using $230,000 raised through cookies sales and other fundraisers.

“We’ve had this dream for 20 years,” said Denise Calvert, who has served as local, division and area commissioner.

“We wanted to find an affordable (lodge) for the girls in the area and to find a place that would be safe. This is a safe haven for the girls and their leaders to come and develop their leadership skills.”

Calvert worked up through the ranks, sold many a box of cookies, and joined with other local women and girls in the Building A Dream campaign, which was to see construction of the lodge begin in 2010, to mark the 100th anniversary of Guiding in Canada.

But the bottom line – a $1.3-million camp deficit in Ontario – is forcing the closure of 16 camps and the remaining 17, including Tewateno, are subject to annual reviews, a statement from provincial commissioner Marnie Cumming said.

“Most camp properties have been operating in a deficit position for years and have struggled to change that picture. This shows us that it is not financially prudent to continue to operate in this matter.”

The local Guides bought the land in 1994. Since then, they have been building the camp one site at a time, and their 2010 project is the construction of a lodge.

But without the $230,000 raised by local Guides, the fully-equipped lodge has been shelved.
The lodge would enable girls of all ages to camp throughout the year, particularly Sparks, who are as young as age 5. It would also provide revenue from rentals to other community groups, said Calvert, who has spent 39 years in education, and is secretary of the camp committee.

“If the lodge is built, we’d have further opportunities to help the camp become (financially) self-sufficient,” she said.

The lodge testifies to not only local Guiding members working together on a dream, but how the broader community supported and worked along with them, Calvert said.

“It was the local community who raised the funds for a specific purpose and we consider ourselves the stewards of the funds. We have retired teachers, nurses, policemen, builders and others who work tirelessly on behalf of the local Guiding community, and with the help of the local Guiding community, we hope to see our Building the Dream campaign come true.”

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From → Camps, Media Coverage

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