Your Board of Directors met August 25-27 at Naramata Centre. As our busy seasons wind down, we spent time evaluating what had been accomplished since we opened in the spring.
Naramata Centre is a large site to manage and maintain, and our program season would not be possible without the following groups. We are humbled by the generosity of our volunteers and grateful to our staff!
Thanks to all of our May Hearts and Hands volunteers who ensured the Centre was in great shape to welcome our participants.
We are grateful to our entire staff team - Summer Manager Gwen Dell'Anno, Assistant Summer Manager Fara Enquist, Administrator Coordinator Romaine Irish, Mike McLary, Maintenance, and Bookkeeper Marianne Lummin. They created and established procedures and systems for serving participants, and kept the Centre in great condition all summer. Thanks to our two students, Liam Gale and Kyrie Leming, who helped with child and youth activities in July and August.
We wish to acknowledge and thank our volunteer team of Community Hosts:
Tressa Brotsky, Lois
Huey-Heck, Natalie Maxson, Jean McLeod, Tim and Donna Scorer, Jim and Donna Simpson, and Keri Wehlander. Working in pairs, this group welcomed participants,
led Sacred Pause in the Chapel and helped organize community activities each week. The summer would not have been the same
without this dedicated group on site to help create the "Naramata experience."
This year we added Campground Hosts to support campers and manage the campgrounds. By all accounts this was a great success! Our thanks to Judy and Rob Hutchinson, Janet and John Groen, and Wendy Whelan for creating a welcoming atmosphere for campers, solving problems as needed, maintaining the campground and being truly great hosts!
All summer two local Naramatians contributed to the weekly community life of the Centre is their own unique ways: Roswitha Masson offered yoga on the beach each Wednesday morning and Don Wade provided jazz evenings almost every week in Creekside Commons for all on site. These activities were freely offered and gratefully received by Centre participants. Thanks, Roswitha and Don for your generosity!
We have additional programs running this fall, but so far over 400 people have paid to take a program or participate in the life of the Centre during our emerging community weeks. Spring 2017 presented many challenges including serious flooding and the loss of our dock. With wildfires across the province and at times thick smoke in the valley, we were concerned about lower attendance in June and early July. Participation and attendance picked up in late July and August, and with the season continuing into the fall we have welcomed over 1,100 people to the Centre. People expressed their delight in being at the Centre - remembering their past experiences or finding the Centre for the first time!
The board reviewed what we have learned from the experience this year and set direction for 2018. Look for registration to begin in January with a stronger focus on activities for children and youth. It is clear from our survey results that people want to be part of the welcoming community that is created each week at the Centre, with the opportunity to meet old and new friends, reflect, recharge, grow and connect to Spirit.
We have received much feedback about the plan to sell land to revitalize the Centre and pay down our debt. We have, wherever possible, incorporated these ideas and suggestions into our planning. As an example, we received feedback that having continuity between the various pieces of property we are retaining is important. We will be working to ensure that continuity.
Next year is the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Centre! There is much to celebrate and we will focus on that celebration in a variety of ways next year. If you are interested in bringing together your winter session group or summer staff team, or simply gathering with old friends, stay tuned for opportunities.
As well, we are interested in your Naramata stories. Has the Centre made a difference or had an impact on your life? Whether you have been coming for years, or have just discovered Naramata Centre, we would love to hear about your experience. We will publish some of these in our special 70th anniversary publications, and post them on our website. Keep your story to 300-400 words or tell it all and we will edit the length. Let us know if you want your name included. We look forward to hearing from you!
In June, Calgary-based board member, Terry Malkinson, stepped down from the Board. We thank Terry for organizing our January board meeting in Calgary and the opportunity to participate in the Wild Rose United Church service that weekend. We wish Terry all the best in his future endeavors!
Terry Brunner, a board member who lives in Naramata, has had to step down due to work commitments.
We appreciated Terry's
availability to be present on site as needed.
At our meeting, the board appointed Jim Simpson as an interim member of the board until our next AGM. Thanks to Terry for his work for the board in Naramata, and to Jim for joining us!
Fall 2017 Hearts and Hands volunteer event
Our Hearts and Hands volunteer event is running October 14-21. We invite you to come for a few days or the whole week to offer your time, your efforts and/or your talents as we put the Centre to bed for the winter. This time of year, we invite volunteers to do yard work, maintenance tasks, administrative office work, etc. If you have a particular service to offer, please bring the necessary tools or call the office (
250-496-5751 or 1
to see if we have what you need
As well, you may wish to offer music or provide programs or services, such as
Healing Pathway, yoga, tai chi, or other modalities, to volunteers on site.
We provide accommodations free of charge and cooking facilities are available. Some volunteers may wish to help with organizing pot-luck meals. Watch for more details in the September newsletter.
or call the Centre as noted above. Please join us as we as we gather in community and get the Centre ready for winter!
In conclusion, the Board commits to keeping you informed of decisions and plans as we move forward.
We appreciate your support!
Chair, Naramata Centre Board of Directors