Camp will not open for Summer 2017 due to low registrants
What better way to make summer memories than by attending camp? For generations of kids in the Lakeland, United Church Camp Whitney has been the place to go every summer for fun and fellowship. But this year, as chair of the camp board, Jim Belliveau explains, “Very low registrations, and shortages in counsellor, staff and volunteer recruitment have made it impossible to conduct and guarantee a safe and quality camping experience.”
Belliveau suggests that the trickle down from a sluggish economy is the strongest factor in reduced enrollment. He recognizes that parents are cutting camp as a way to save money.
However, he sees “Camp Whitney as an important community asset and strong ministry within our region,” providing kids with a fun, safe way to enjoy nature and make new friends. Although the camp is Christian based, all kids are welcome to attend, and a large number of the children come with no church experience.
Belliveau says, “It was heartbreaking to cancel this season, but we simply lacked the resources. We need to do this properly and safely.” By safely, he means having a sufficient number of counsellors with the appropriate training and certification to meet government regulations.
Looking on the bright side, he sees this summer as an opportunity to complete some structural and grounds upgrades, with full intention that camps will be running next year. “Rest assured we will invest our time over the next 13 months to build and prepare for a renewed and exciting camping year for 2018,” he says.
Belliveau looks forward to “opportunities we will have together to build for our camp’s bigger and brighter future.”
This summer, it is possible that a family camp week will be run this August, if enough interest is expressed. Families could choose to stay in cabins, or could bring campers and join in communal meals and activities.
At any time of year, the camp facilities, including cabins and a kitchen/dining hall, are available for rent for private functions such as weddings, reunions, or retreats. Contact Sandie Bishop at 780 724-3245 for more information.
Elk Point Elementary Enjoys the Facility to Complete the School Year.
Splashing in the lake, digging in the sand, cooking hot dogs on an open fire; what better way to end the school year than at camp with classmates and teachers? For Elk Point Elementary grade 5 and 6 students, the last days of the 2016-17 school year created lifelong memories. Just ask their parents, many of whom experienced similar fun-filled last days of their grades 5 and 6 years at camp and still tell their stories.
Students stayed in 8-person cabins at Camp Whitney, on the west side of Whitney Lake, about 20 km east of Elk Point. With ample space to play scrub and volleyball, practice archery, or enjoy hide-and-seek, as well as lots of trails through the woods, the kids had plenty to do. And the best thing about camp? The moments etched forever in their memories.