Camp Good Turn
Contributed by President Jackson Ellison of the Nanaimo British Columbia Stake
Situated near Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island is Camp Barnard, a 250-acre camp property with extensive hiking trails set among pine, cedar and fir forests and a salmon-bearing stream surrounding 14-acre Young Lake. The property was donated to Scouts Canada in 1945 by Senator George Barnard, a former Victoria city mayor.
On November 19, 2011, about a hundred and fifty LDS volunteers replaced the roofs on 22 sleeping cabins, a barn and two picnic shelters at Camp Barnard, The camp has been chosen as the site of the 2012 Encampment “Prepare to Serve: Mission Ready—Temple Worthy” for LDS Scouts from British Columbia. Plans for the encampment had been underway for many months and when the location was finally determined, the organizers recognized that the camp buildings would need some serious upgrading before it could house the 700 scouts and leaders who would attend this week-long event in August.
As a means of offsetting the costs of the Encampment, the organizing committee agreed to replace the roofs of most of the camp buildings, which were in a state of disrepair.
Fundraising to put metal roofing on the buildings had been going on for a year. Even with generous donations from the Sooke Community Fund, the Knights of Columbus and the Victoria Rotary Club, as well as the efforts of Scouting’s youth members on Apple Day, completion of this project seemed a long way off until the organizers of the LDS Encampment decided to do their “Camp Good Turn.”
Everyone who uses Camp Barnard is asked to consider doing a good turn for the camp. It could be small or large but it helps to maintain the camp while teaching stewardship of this great resource. Our Church, a long time sponsor of scouting programs in Canada, came up with a plan to provide tools and labor to ‘get the job done’. Volunteers from five Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland Vancouver stakes, that included 120 adults and 30 youth, hauled roofing materials, climbed ladders and hammered nails for eight hours. As a result, a project expected to take 3 to 4 years was done in a day!
In retrospect, the Camp Barnard roofing project also provided an impetus for the overall registration process, due to the representation of both young and older manpower from most of the participating stakes. Now these Scouts and many others are looking forward to this years’ Encampment experience anticipated to be one of the highlights of their Aaronic priesthood experience.
Our hats are off to all of the organizers, leaders and young men who have contributed generously and tirelessly of their time and talents to make this Encampment a reality!