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Letter to the Editor: Thanks for backing Girl Guides camp

by on August 3, 2010

Letter by Sylvia Dufresne to the Barrie Examiner, posted 30 July 2010.

The members of Girl Guides, Camp Tewateno wish to thank the media and members of the public who have shown their support in our fight to keep money and property in the community which provided it.

You may wonder how this conflict began.
The provincial council, operating under a veil of secrecy, over several years has systematically changed bylaws, governance rules and eliminated regional representation of the grassroots at the top.
It has eliminated all levels between the girls and their leaders at the bottom, and the council. We, the volunteers, are denied access to minutes and documents that would explain the actions of the council.
All money and property was ordered turned over to the provincial council, and without consultation with the beneficiary owners, half of the camps are being sold and their money is in provincial council’s coffers.
In Barrie, at Camp Tewateno, we are the only hold-out for turning over money. It has been raised through our volunteers’ hard work more than 15 years, and through generous donations from public supporters to build a lodge.
Many of the camps being closed turned in huge sums of money for camp projects and it was swallowed up. Sadly, we have lost all confidence and trust in the provincial council. Its decisions are done without collaboration or consultation and in secrecy.
There is no doubt it wants our money, but once it has been given it will be a short matter of time until the property is sold, and no lodge will be built.
The actions of GGC Ontario since 2007 has caused a massive departure of leaders from Girl Guides, without whom the whole membership tumbles. The leaders are in an abusive situation, too many examples to list them all in this note.
However, the local volunteers with tens of thousands of hours into the building of Camp Tewateno are under suspension with threats of termination from GGC for non-compliance — despite dozens of letters and conference calls where we request collaboration.
There is only one goal in mind by GGC Ontario — the money we hold in trust for a lodge.
The girls, the leaders, the volunteers, the supporters and the donors are standing in their way.
Sylvia Dufresne
Camp Tewateno development committee chair Barrie

  1. Way to go, Sylvia.! A great letter. I only wish that those of us in our area had fought for our Camp. There are a few guiders that are remaining in their units but that is only because of the girls. I understand from reports I have heard that Guiding Mosaic was not good. Lady Baden-Powell would be so disappointed. I, myself, am ashamed of what is happening at Provincial Council. Keep the Faith and know that there are many who are rooting for your success.

  2. Thank you Sylvia, Well written . Good luck with your camp.

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