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Letter to Province – Marci – Nov 20/09

by on June 17, 2010

Marnie Cummings

Ontario Provincial Commissioner

November 20, 2009

Dear Marnie,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, and during work-time no less because it seems that in a Guider’s life we make a lot of sacrifices.  We sacrifice time with our families to spend time with a group of girls because it’s all for a greater purpose.

So when I get a notice to all Ontario Guiders in my inbox on a Friday just before the holiday season when we’re gearing up for our Santa Claus Parade (to promote Guiding and celebrate 100 years) and have already booked and got the girls all excited for our winter camp at Caritou – which was to include girls from North Bay and area too –I almost threw in the towel today.

How am I supposed to tell the girls on their enrollment night that province is closing Caritou?  There are girls in our unit who have camped there at various seasons and many stories to tell and some girls in our unit were looking forward to their first camping experience ever.

I’ve been Guiding in various places, including Kingston where I see that nearby Camp Waupoos is on the chopping block.  Guiding in southern Ontario is vastly different.  They still have other camps close by and even have many Scout camps that are available to them at a discounted price.

In northern Ontario, it’s a different story.  We don’t have the luxury of camp properties to choose from.  And if you try to camp in a provincial park, sometimes it just won’t work out according to the regulations in Safe Guide.

I’ve never worked in a Pathfinder Unit where so many girls were new to Guiding – and I’ve never worked in a Unit where parents are laid off and their families get food from the very food bank where we volunteered at last month.  I’ve had four parents who have had to scrape together money to pay the $45 in order to get the membership subsidy.  Now you want me to ask them to drive a longer distance to camp?  And will Unit Camperships be available for a unit that camps twice, maybe three times a year?

Please reconsider and keep Camp Caritou open for the northern Guiding units.

Yours in Guiding,

Marci Becking

1st Sturgeon Falls Pathfinders

-apologies for not putting this up sooner – Ed.

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