We met March 21 and made some great progress.
Ashleigh Hall, Kayln Murdock, Tara Law, Janet Young, Les Robinson, Leif Larson, Steve Allen, Wayne Johnson, Dave Vankoughnett, Dave Wright, Grant Platts, Perry McGregor and myself attended.
The plan so far :
- We intend to create an ongoing fund aimed at raising money for the Trail program and Camp Stephens. It will look a lot like the Y's Strong Kids campaign, but it will be designed to reflect the values and impact of the Trail program and Camp Stephens. We will start work on it soon. Money from the fund, to be decided by Camp Stephens staff, will go towards things like replacing old life jackets and paddles or whatever, depending on what's needed most.
- Dave Wright and Punch Jackson will co-ordinate a series of "Punch Talks", a series of public podcasts on the unique history of the Trail program and the people who've been involved.
- We will also launch a series of short videos made by Trail alumni on the impact of the Wilderness program. This will allow any one of us, no matter where we are in the world, to make for example a two-minute video on how the Trail program shaped our lives. These videos will be posted for public viewing. Myself and Leif are to co-ordinate, but your help is needed, obviously.
- Grant and others are collecting as much information as possible on the history of the six-week trip and Wilderness program; routes, log books, photos, participants, stories, whatever we can get. We intend to create both a static and virtual display, so that this rich history is saved for all to view and share.
- We and the YMCA-YWCA are looking at hosting a sunrise ceremony to bid farewell to the 2013 six-weekers. It will be held at the new Camp Y near Woodlands Saturday, July 13, 2013. It would feature a pancake breakfast (Tara to co-ordinate). Trail and camp alumni would then spend the rest of the day, with their families, enjoying the amenities of the Y's newest camp in Manitoba, including a pool with water slides, a high ropes course and climbing wall and nature trails you can either walk or bike. There's also mini-golf. Yup. Mini golf.
Here's the layout of Camp Y and a short video of what it looked like at the end of March.
- The six-weekers return Saturday Aug. 24, 2013 at Camp Stephens. This day is theirs and theirs alone.
- An Trail alumni five-day canoe trip will leave camp either the next day or on the Monday. There will be cost, but it has not been finalized yet. It will be co-led by a current staff tripper and alumni tripper. Depending on interest, shorter trips can be organized.
- The five-day trip will return to camp the following weekend, the Labour Day weekend of 2013 (Aug. 30-Sept. 2).- Trail and camp alumni (and their families) can come out to Camp Stephens on that weekend for three days at camp with programming focused on 50 years of the Trail and Wilderness programs, organized and run by alumni. There will be a cost.
- The camp work weekend for 2013 is May 17-20. Alumni are invited to participate. In the past I've brought my kids.
- The 2012 camp work weekend is May 18-21. Again, alumni can come out to work and play. Basically, all camp needs to know is how many of us are showing up. We meet at the boat dock by the laundromat, across the Safeway, Friday evening. Bring work gloves and your bathing suit.
We also also looking at setting up an alumni association, similar to the Y's Camp Pine Crest in Ontario.
Naturally, we have a lot more planning to do. The dates, however, won't change.
Our biggest challenge is getting the word out. We still need to connect with a lot of people. And as we get closer to 2013, we'll also need more help in pulling it off.
We also need your feedback. If there's something we've missed, we need to know now. Remember, events at Camp Stephens have to be co-ordinated around regular summer programming. Camp Stephens is a very busy place in July and August.
Our next meeting is April 25, 6:30 p.m. at room 334 of the Manitoba Legislative Building.
- Bruce and Perry