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Tewateno Committee locked out

by on September 15, 2010

Barrie Examiner, Sept. 15, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Girl Guides acting like a ‘bully’

The Girl Guides of Canada are boldly holding the girls and children of this area ransom in their bullying tactics to force compliance of the Camp Tewateno Development Committee.

They have issued a ‘camp closed -no camping permitted’ order for Camp Tewateno at Midhurst.

The compliance issue is a disagreement between adults — likely to go to court to be decided, and the children should not be used to club us into submission.

Bottom line — they want the money we hold in Trust for a lodge, without promising what they will do with these funds.

How can an organization meant to empower girls to be strong and independent do this to the girls?

GGC is using them as pawns – and to anybody who questions them, they will point the finger of blame at the Camp Tewateno Committee for not complying with their orders.

Let’s ask this question -who made the ‘camp closed’ order – us or them? Let’s ask them: “Are you familiar with the operations of the camp and prepared to take it over?”

Let’s also ask this question: “Will you be checking for vandalism, cutting the grass, testing the water and looking after toilets beginning now, from your ivory tower in Toronto?”

This is shameful, abusive, arrogant and contrary to what our formerly great organization was begun for -girls to enjoy the outdoors.

Lady Baden-Powell would be furious. Are you?

Please share your feelings with Provincial Guiding and National Guiding and your circle of acquaintances. We are not the first group to have the girls suffer as leverage for Provincial GGC to get their way.

Ask some Guiders from Port Elgin. The Camp Tewateno Development Committee has all been fired from their positions (according to province), but we continue to care for the camp. We have been with this project since 1986, tens of thousands of volunteer hours ago.

From a dream, a beautiful heritage theme camp has been built, every penny from our own efforts.

Does this speak to you of recognizing or appreciating volunteers, of celebrating a beautiful new facility for the children of the future, or of rewarding the dedication and passion of many people for so long?

No, it speaks to you of dictatorship, manipulation, and the mindset our forefathers fought to eradicate.

If people don’t agree with you — get rid of them.

Camp Tewateno’s dedicated team are not content to sit quietly and allow this to happen.

Sylvia Dufresne

Camp Tewateno development committee chair Barrie

Article ID# 2756884

  1. Rebecca permalink

    Just a little note of encouragement from a Guider in Nova Scotia, who has never met you, or been to your camp. Keep on believing in what you’re doing and know that you are true to yourself, your beliefs, and Canada, you are taking action for a better world, and you are accepting (and living) the Guiding Law.

  2. Sharon Patrois permalink

    Well Said, Sylvia!!!! We Guiders in the north are not mincing words, when parents and our girls ask us why is our camp being sold? To the adults we say, The Girl Guide Provincial and National Councils, and to the children, we call you our “Bosses” when we say who is closing our Camp Caritou. When we tell them that the money is going to pay the bills you, the councils, have run up, and not to help our local girls( who apparently live too far north for camperships and transportation cost coverage) the little Sparks and Brownies are smart enough to say, “THAT IS NOT FAIR !!!!!!! Since this is Camp Caritou’s 50th Birthday this year (2010) and the camp has been successfully maintained by volunteers for that long, you are determined to suck the life out of northern Guiding, Guider by Guider and Camp by Camp ! I have been a member of Girl Guides for 50 years and have camped at Camp Caritou for 32 years, and a Leader for 38 yrs straight. We always had faith that we were being guided by councils with high integrity and dedication to ALL of we volunteer members, BUT NOW WE KNOW DIFFERENTLY !!! Now we know when we decide to continue to teach our Guiding children to be respectful to our community, our environment, to their beliefs and to themselves and families, we are doing it because of our own beliefs and not by YOURS !!!!!! You have not won this battle or war and we will continue to fight for what we know belongs to all Guiding members and is not yours to sell !!!

  3. Kim Dufresne permalink

    Well said Mom.
    I love you. xxoo

  4. Good for you gals, I realy appreciate all this dedication in what you believe.

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