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by on May 16, 2010

We thank Maggie V. for her account of the facts as she knew them as Provincial Commissioner. Thanks Maggie!

Up to 2006

Ontario had 13 Areas, each responsible for Guiding within their jurisdiction, including all property.  Each Area maintained their properties, and where necessary, supported their camps so girls would have a place to go that was protected while working on their badges and program.  Not one girl suffered because of lack of funds and everyone was able to have a wonderful Guiding experience.

In 2007

Transformation began, after being voted in by Provincial Council and sanctioned by National Council.  All 13 Areas ceased to exist and all monies were forwarded to Province.  There was a minimum of $13 million sent to Province to continue the same work that the 13 Areas did individually, and the Areas made a small profit even after supporting their camp properties, sometimes to the tune of $20,000 or 30,000.  Province had all prior Council portions of the membership and cookies, over and above the minimum $13 million.

In 2008

Some offices and properties were sold and the assets from the sales went into the Provincial bank.  Province was receiving the same amount of money from Membership and cookies that the Areas, Divisions and Districts used to get, as well as receiving the same amount of money they always received from Membership and cookies, but they could not financially do what the Area’s used to do.

In 2009

Everyone was notified that 17 camps were closing on Dec. 31st and will be sold because camps have created a $1.5 million deficit.

– We did not receive a printout of the deficit, showing each camps deficit.

– Province took over Summer Camps programming and took away most of the volunteers.  These camps are now operated largely by paid staff.

– Provincial staff has increased considerably over the past two years and has to contribute to a large portion of this deficit.

– Doe Lake Camp has operated in a huge deficit for many years.  This camp is NOT closing.

Province is saying they have a huge deficit, created by camps.  If an investigation was to take place, the general public may find that the deficit was created by Province.  Prior to Transformation there were approximately 51 paid staff across Ontario, not counting those paid to work in stores.  Today there are approximately 92, plus all the staff that they hired to run the Summer Camps programs.   They shut down the Areas, took on their responsibilities without knowing what they were accepting, and hired many staff to do the work that volunteers used to do.   They need the funds to pay their staff and the best way would be to sell prime land at top dollar.

The organization that used to put the girl first is now all about money.  Forget the girl and the Guider.  They are unimportant and not part of the equation.  What will they do when there’s no more property left to sell?  And the Chief Commissioner is stating that we are beginning to grow again?  If so, why sell now – why not wait a year or two to see if we do grow and properties begin to have more usage?  Then re-evaluate with each property involved .

  1. Debbie McDonnell permalink

    I have been predicting this very same scenario since BEFORE Transformation started – I wrote Provoice (Marnie Cumming) – go no reply, National (Myrtle Corkum) – and got back a very “policital” reply.
    Hundreds of leaders quit, we lost thousands of girls – only a few of us have held on, and there doesn’t seem to be any communication.
    We are appauled at the closing of the camps as well as all of the “PAID” staff!!

    We NEED to revert BACK to our previous stucture and and mend this LARGE OPEN WOUND that has been created. Get rid of all the unnecessary paid staff at Province & National. We have lots of VERY GOOD volunteers that can do a better job.

  2. Barb permalink

    I am very upset with how transformatiom has gone. I constantly hear from Guiders “we have no support”. Many in rural Ontario do not have email acsess and mailings seem to be very few. In Eastern Ontario with the closure of most of our camps we have very few options. How many parents wish to drive 2 – 3 hours to a camp on Friday night and return for pick-up on Sunday? Even leaders are reluctant to do this. Most groups are eliminating camping from their program. Where can you take Sparks and Brownies as some churches now have restrictions for sleepovers because of fire codes. I was very discouraged when the the final date was announced to close the camps as Guiders were never really consulted and given the chance to offer suggestions. We were not allowed to use the indoor facility over this past winter – just let the building sit empty but keep the water and heat on and road clear (more expense). Units had no time to find new locations for winter camps – so we had none. The big comment is that the camps were not being used enough ( which is possibly true) but face to face consultaion with Guiders input may have helped. Ontario Council needs to wake-up and listen to the unit Guiders not just increase the fees and hope we will all return. I hope other provinces are taking note of what is happening in Ontario. Do not get caught in this nightmare. I love Guiding and do not wish it to fall apart. This is an important organization for girls as not all girls are into sports. They need the opportunity to grow in other ways.

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