Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Boys Camp at Wallace Lake Built and sponsored by Norm & Lynne Van Tassel

Smokey the Bear being lowered in his final resting place

The final resting place of the bear.

We took the bear to a secluded area of the lake, dug a burial plot for him ,said a few kind words and the kids put him to rest. They handled the whole problem like a bunch of pros.

The young bears last ride to his resting place.

Lori Van Tassel & her friend Bridgette and her Dad Ron Desrocher

This bear became a problem, it was shortly after the fire when they were hungry and in some areas the berries were plentiful. In this case attempts were made to scare it away but it didn't work. We had to protect the kids with the end result the bear was put down.

After a hard day on the river it's time for fun, but safety first

This a test of his skills shooting the rapids with his partner in the back

Learning the skill to get around the small rapids

They have a 7 day trip to work together as a team. To work together as a positive team was something new to most of these boys.

The skill of balance to the loser, there go the dry clothes

The boys out learning basic skills under the watchful eye of their counsellor

A view of the camp from the lake

This consisted of 3 bunk houses and a main cabin. They were all named after the animals and fish in the area. Of course the main cabin was the Bears Den, the bunk houses were Perk, Pike and Pickerel. They housed 6 boys in double bunks and one staff that slept in the bunk house with them for support reasons. This site was not destroyed by the forest fire. The fire was going so fast that it seemed to go right over the top of the cabin. The water bombers also attempted to keep the area wet and it is believed that they were responsible for the camp being saved, although 75 other cabins were destroyed at the main cottage site, as well as Norm & Lynnes. The fire was in May of 1987.

Clearing the bush away to make room for more buildings front and side.

The Staff of the Group Homes and the boys are working side by side to clear the land. This was usually a 2 hour event during the early morning hours before it got too warm. The task was to clear as many stumps as possible for a huge sum of $2.00 per stump that went towards their weekly allowance. The rest of the day was spent fishing, water skiing and preparing for an out trip that usually lasted 7 days. They would be replaced by another group while on their out trip and would rotate.

The site of the Boys Camp under construction

We lashed four 16 ft canoes together to make a barge, loaded the material on the canoes and towed them over from the main site to the camp site. The camp material was purchased as a prefab and we hired a building crew to put it up. Some of the boys took part in helping the skilled labourers to put the buildings up. This was a task for some reason or other the boys in care enjoyed taking part in. The builders enjoyed the company and acted as counsellors to the boys for a short period each day. They boys saw it as their place and wanted to help out where they could but in some cases slowed the progress down.

Stop over at the Trappers Cabin with the boys before we removed it

We removed the cabin, cleared the land and replaced it with a main cabin, three bunk houses, a storage shed and of course a good size two hole rest room.

This was the vacant trapper's cabin we purchased at Wallace Lake, 175 miles NE of Winnipeg

No comments: