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CBC Radio Interview

by on August 12, 2010

Ontario Today – broadcast Aug 11/2010

Interview with Lori Hubbert, and Chris Burton about the closing of Girl Guide Camps

Girl Guide Camps for Sale
Aug 11 – A battle has erupted over a decision by Girl Guides of Canada to sell off 16 Ontario Guide camps, over the objections of volunteers.”

  1. Joanne Schmidt permalink

    Thank you Betty for an excellent description of the activities and values of a girl centered camp. Perhaps the parents who wrote the note should be asked if their comments could be used as support for GGC camping experiences..
    You don’t name the camp, but it would seem to be one of the near-to-Toronto camps that has been kept open.
    We have had similar great times at our local camp, but unfortunately it was declared closed last year. Doe Lake is not too far away – but rental fees are much higher and difficult for our girls to pay – since many require subsidies to register for Guiding.
    Perhaps if instead of closing camps at least some of them could have been assisted in providing great programming as an attempt to meet some of the standards that were being developed there would have been more, not fewer
    camping opportunities for Great Camping for girls.

  2. Betty Sewell permalink

    Unfortunately, I missed the original broadcast because I was at a Summer Camp. I had to listen to the interview a couple of times to really get an honest picture of the callers’ concerns regarding Guiding and Scouting. I finally came away with the feeling that most of the concerns aired were directed at individual units not the programs we are running. Probably more training would help Guiders and Scouters present more appealing activities for their members. In Guiding we talk about Girl Centered programming and it can be a wonderful way for the girls to become active participants in their unit activities. From the youngest Spark who may help decide on the juice they will have with their snack to the Ranger who is instrumental in planning a backpacking out trip, they all have an opportunity to take ownership of an activity. These are the things we need to keep girls and their families involved in Guiding. In today’s busy world sometimes girls do not have this opportunity, things are preplanned and all they have to do is show up. I will admit that it is sometimes much easier for Guiders to plan an activity and just present it to the girls but if we want the girls to be part of the experience they need to take ownership of the activity. As I said, I just returned from a 6 day camp attended by Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers. The girls came from various units in and around the greater Toronto area. The girls had an opportunity to make some decisions at a pre-camp meeting where girls and parents got together. The parents met with camp director to look after paperwork and information sharing while to girls met their leaders and the other girls that would be on their sites and began the planning process for their individual sites. They talked about a site focus, menus, activities they wished to have included in their camp program and set goals for what they wished to accomplish during camp. Since we would not have another chance to meet until camp began, leaders could go away with a sense of what the girls were looking for from their camps. For the younger girls, all of a sudden they discovered they were not the only Spark or Brownie Unit in the world. They met other girls with a common interest, membership in Girl Guides of Canada. When they arrived at camp they had an opportunity to interact with other girls and leaders who without Guiding they may never had a chance to know. It was fun to watch these girls come together and work as teams throughout the week and to see them exchanging addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses (all with parents’ permission) before they said good bye. During camp we did what we do best, we presented Guiding activities and program and it worked well. Besides individual site activities, we had all camp activities so the younger girls especially had a chance to see what opportunities are ahead of them if they remained in Guiding. I would like to share an e-mail received by the camp director from a Brownie parent. I just wanted to let you know that (name of Brownie) had a fantastic week at Camp (name of camp). From the time we picked her up until bedtime she had so many stories to share from camp. She was able to experience so many things, it’s just wonderful to hear all about it!
    My husband and I both feel that overnight camp is a `right of passage` for children. The week you and the other leaders planned was so well thought out and organized. We really appreciate the effort and commitment that your team made.
    Thanks for making her first lengthy stay away from home so memorable.
    Take care, and see you next year!!
    I think this says it all. As far as camps maybe we should be providing opportunities similar to this for as many girls as possible. The facilities are relatively close to home, the cost is affordable for most families especially if financial assistance is available. This will do two things, definitely maintain girls interest in remaining in Guiding and make more use of our camp facilities. Let’s do what we do best, Girl Guide Camping, rather than trying to compete with all of the other speciality camps that are run to make a profit.

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