Constance Lake’s Derek Sutherland has witnessed many changes over the past decade at Camp Loon.
“The changes have been good,” said the Canadian Ranger who has helped out at Camp Loon five times since 2001. “They have always been striving to get things that the kids want like new equipment. It has improved for sure.”
Among the changes Sutherland noted for this year were the reintroduction of the zip line, better trail systems for the off-road bike and ATV training sessions, and the introduction of the Junior Canadian Ranger staff position.
“Camp Loon is a great program for the kids and they all seem to be having fun and enjoying themselves,” Sutherland said.
“This year I am a chaperone for Constance Lake, so I brought 10 of the youth out from Constance Lake and they are really enjoying it. They are all first-time Junior Canadian Rangers.”
Master Cpl. Stanley Stevens is an Elder with the Canadian Rangers from Constance Lake. He has helped out at Camp Loon three times since 2002, calling it “very valuable,” while noting many youth are anxious to attend.
“I like this type of camp – it really educates the young people how to be out there, to be on their own as part of survival,” Stevens said.
He said it is important to give youth an opportunity to experience different activities outside their normal day-to-day lives.
“We take our kids swimming, we go for outings, we take them out on a field trip/school trip every spring, they go skating (in) an arena in a nearby town,” Stevens said, describing activities for youth in his community. “It takes good leadership to do all these things. These kids are our future leaders; we need to develop them when they are young.”
Stevens’ granddaughter was one of the first-time JCRs at this year’s Camp Loon.
“She was really excited,” Stevens said. “I have another one who wanted to attend but it was kind of late. I told her maybe next year. She just turned 12 years old in July.”
I think most of us feel like we have been through several very weird years with the Covid19 pandemic, climate change events like the recent forest fire...