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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, November 21, 2011


Are you getting ready for Christmas? Have you started preparing? You may be interested to know that, while you are doing that, camp and reunion directors are already meeting to prepared for next year’s camps! This past weekend, 32 people gathered at our annual Directors Retreat to begin getting ready for next year. Tim Stanlick began the meeting by asking everyone to reach around and give themselves a brief pat on the back for this year, but after that, everyone was totally focused on 2012 and beyond.

The main item on the agenda was Emergency Preparedness. Our guest presenter was Darryl Culley, the president of Emergency Management & Training Inc. Darryl led us through a variety of situations that helped us understand why we need to be prepared for emergencies before they happen, since there is no time in the middle of a crisis to figure out what to do. For instance, we were shown a video of a fire which began in a waste basket. At first not much seemed to be happening, in fact you might not even notice, but within just over two minutes, the fire had spread to the point where the entire room was consumed and nobody would have been able to escape. The presentation was very sobering, and I am sure we each of us were thinking about the dorms and other buildings at our camps.

In addition to fire, a variety of other subjects were upheld for scrutiny, including summer storms, violence prevention, intruders on the grounds, loss of power in an emergency and more.

The Board executive of our four campgrounds were all asked to be present and share information on the plans they already have in place for dealing with an emergency. Three boards had representation present. Doug Bolger from Camp Noronto’s board had opportunity to attend a similar workshop last year and has been working hard on a comprehensive plan. Although still in draft form, Doug has generously offered to share this document with the other boards so they do not need to start from scratch.

Social Worker Jeff Stanlick also shared with the group, excellent information about Emergency Preparedness and Mental Health. Jeff shared valuable information about how to recognize serious depression or mental illness, and ways to prevent possible harm.

Mike Hewitt shared information on the new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and what our camps need to do to meet the requirement of this law. More information will be provided shortly to boards, directors and congregations about our new obligations.

While it was sobering to all of us to see the urgent need for emergency preparedness, we also realized that we have been lucky. For example, at least two of our campgrounds have had tornados touch down and do tremendous damage within a very few kilometres of where our camps were being conducted. Both occurred within the past six years. One of those storms struck a neighbouring camp resulting in the death of a 10 year old boy.

So, while you are thinking about your Christmas card list this year, perhaps you might remember the hard working people who accept responsibility for our campgrounds and lead our camps and reunions. These folks are already thinking about you and especially about your safety. I think we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Posted by Carman


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing soooo much "behind the scenes" "love work"!!

  2. Next time I'll read the directions first!!

  3. Anonymous, I assume you are thanking the board members, directors and the many volunteers who make the camps possible. I agree.

  4. Pat, there is that old saying, "When all else fails, read the directions!"


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