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In the News: Camp Aneesh group seeks help

by on November 3, 2011

http://owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3353024

Camp Aneesh group seeks help
Owen Sound Sun Times
By Denis Langlois
Posted Nov 1, 2011

If Camp Aneesh is to ever reopen, more people will have to step forward to offer help, says the spokeswoman of a grassroots group that is trying to save the camp near Owen Sound.

Mary Beth van Trigt said people will be needed to sit on a board of directors, raise money and volunteer to maintain the camp if the newly incorporated Friends of Camp Aneesh is successful in its legal fight for the property’s title.

“We need to know that we have people out there who are willing to help in order to make this litigation worthwhile. If we have nobody to help going forward, if we have nobody to do the work, the four of us who have looked after this so far aren’t enough bodies to do it,” she said Monday in an interview.

A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the basement of Central Westside United Church in Owen Sound for people interested in preserving a camp for local girls in the area.

Van Trigt said everyone is invited, including men and people who have never been involved in Guiding.

“We can use anybody at any capacity,” she said.

If the group finds there is sufficient support for the camp, van Trigt said their lawyer John Tamming — who is volunteering his time — will be advised to proceed with the case.

Camp Aneesh, a 50-acre camp with cabins northwest of Owen Sound, was purchased in 1969 for $4,800 — part of a $10,000 donation from the late Helen Evans. Money to develop the camp was raised locally.

The camp was taken over by the Ontario Council of Girl Guides of Canada in 2007.

The organization announced two years later that Camp Aneesh, along with 15 other camps in the province, would be closed “to maintain the viability of the organization.”

Supporters of Camp Aneesh filed a notice of pending litigation on March 25, 2011, after the property was listed for sale.

The group, now an official not-for-profit charitable organization, wants Girl Guides of Canada to transfer the title to them so they can continue to operate it as a camp for girls and young women.

The group has also made a submission to the Public Guardian & Trustee, an arm of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General, which investigates claims of misuse of charitable property.

“Our claim has been that the $10,000 that was originally donated was for the purpose of buying a camp for the local girls. And all of the blood, sweat and tears of people since 1969 have been for the development and establishment of a camp for the local Girl Guides and no other purpose,” van Trigt said in an earlier interview.

“We didn’t build a camp to sell it to fund another camp, which is what’s going to happen if they (Girl Guides) sell it.”

Van Trigt said Tamming believes they have a “very good case” to claim the title.

There are more than 400 Girl Guide members in Grey-Bruce, with about 80 residing in Owen Sound.

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3 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Doreen where was your camp? It is certainly a shame that the guiders with the experience are leaving and the new people are too new to understand what has happened. I guess that was part of the plan too.

    • Doreen Dath permalink

      Our camp was in Prince Edward County, Waupoos, understanding from local people that the building is up for sale again.

  2. Another case where GGC has overruled the local community. I wish I could help but after what happened to our camp, I do not hold out much hope. Our camp was sold and the new owner severed the land which is the suggestion that our local campers wanted to do but never had a chance. We handed over all our assets and now our local groups do not have a decent place to camp that isn’t miles away. Die-hard guiders are trying to keep our local groups going but I don’t hold out much hope for the existing units either. We lost a lot of our long time guiders because of age and not able to cope with the transition in GGC. Trefoil is the only place for us.

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