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Blog - Plan For Camp, 4/11

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

Pathfinder People!

It’s All Hands on Deck tomorrow.

Please tune in to the special OCA YouTube event, Monday night 7:30pm

Hope this note resonates with you. See you Monday!

My personal Pathfinder story matches many others, and might draw you into the effort to pull attendance for OCA’s event Monday, and get camps open this summer.

I was a legacy camper, given the gift of Pathfinder during four summers around 1970 and rejoined the camp as a staff man in the mid-‘80s. After that, I could never be away long from the island on Source or Algonquin Park. I spent the next two decades canoe tripping or helping camp. I got to know Glenn better in the ‘90s when we volunteered as alumni, became camp parents, and eventually joined forces to take a turn steering Pathfinder for everyone who cherishes it like we do.

Camp did amazing things for me as a kid, then again as a young adult, then again as an alumnus who could contribute something valuable; and, of course, then as an owner who could see the results of efforts to have Pathfinder thrive and adapt in a changing world. In time, I saw my sons receive the gifts of Pathfinder. For me, the camp on old Source Lake came to mean so much, more than simply doing so much.

What Pathfinder has meant to me, to my ancestors and to my sons, is something any camp friend could claim too, and that any parent wants for their kids.

Especially this past dreadful year, parents tell me they’ve keenly felt what their kids need —really, more than anything else — is the bliss of refuge with adventure, the stretch and simplicity, the clan and connection that Pathfinder gave me, gave Jack and Quin, gave my staff, my trip pals, my grandfather.

Pathfinder tradition has offered, once again, real meaning for the moment.

What do we need to do, to get our place back in action once more? To pick up Pathfinder where we had to leave off in 2020?

Camp and its families have to prepare well for a healthy, thoughtful, responsible season. We’ll do that and then some. But Ontario has to do its part, reopening the overnight camps. Canada has to do its part, reopening its border to U.S. kids. The States has to do its part, remaining a faithful ally in the war against Covid.

Putting us squarely in position to have that blessed summer is the Ontario Camps Association, the outfit that accredits top camps like Pathfinder. Monday night, April 12, at 7:30, the OCA will ask all of its member camps to deliver a big audience to YouTube, for a program watched by policy makers who need to know how much families want camps like Pathfinder to be there this year.

Established 1914, our camp is one of few grand-daddy’s in this group. We need to turn out. We need YOU, and all your Pathfinder pals, to turn out.

Our old time camp’s vibe, born in an era of sailing ships, breathes Tradition. Yet one of the hallowed traditions is that we change from time to time. We change like crews changed sails to the conditions at sea. We change to caretake the course, the ultimate tradition: Pathfinder’s gifts to the boys.

For a century, the camp was thus steered through rough waters, through world wars, depressions and recessions, disease outbreaks, social movements and cycles of public interest in north woods camping, in canvas canoe tripping.

Who knew the world could have brought a tempest in the form of a pandemic illness to hazard our camp being cast onto the rocks, along with wrecks of the all the other camps and childhood adventures away from home?

We’re about to steer off the dreaded rocks and into deeper calms this spring. Ontario Health is about to approve our guidance plan. Immigration is ready to work with us on a border plan. Staff are ready to report to a summer for the history books.

What do we need? We need Ontario to say camps should happen, if the province is healthy enough for it by then.

When should they say so? Right now.

Be one of those who comes on deck, grabs hold of a line, and pulls. Let’s put up big attendance numbers at Monday’s virtual rally at Queens Park.

Help get Ontario to say yes. Make sure you helped Pathfinder give boys those gifts once again.



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