By Scouter Richard Billings
Several years ago, the “cabin by the creek” (Toache) was closed down. It was followed some time later by the “large cabin” (Cahiague) and then the “nine bunk” (Teanaustaye). All of them overcome by mold and other maintenance issues that needed addressed. They lay dark, no more temporary residents would occupy their spaces, except for the various animals that took advantage of the now humanless dwellings. No more would the cabins hear the laughter of youth and adults alike that once used the cabins for camps, retreats, and training.
Until recently that is. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers under the leadership of Camp Chairman Craig Carr. A committee that may be small in number; but huge in their passion and love for Camp Wildman. Strong is their desire to share it with the Scouters and youth of today.
So strong in fact, that once they mobilized – changes started to happen. It started with the large cabin (42 bunks). A process which took several months, working weekends, March break and almost entirely on volunteer labour. The walls and ceiling were removed, and what was hidden behind the drywall was addressed. Mould cleaned up and removed, animals evicted, and the wiring replaced. Finally the walls and ceiling were returned and a huge clean up took place. A wood fireplace was donated by Napoleon and takes up residence in the lower part of the cabin. Once complete, the cabin was reopened for business. Once again, the cabin was able to do its job – provide a safe place for Scouting adventures of all types.
Work continues with the cabin by the creek. The cabin which had been dormant the longest of the three. The very cabin, which many in the past forecasted would never see occupancy again. It too, now open and ready for Scouting adventures. This cabin has 24 bunks, a small kitchen and with thanks to Napoleon, a wood fireplace.
While all this work was taking place, two dedicated Scouters, Don Millar and Warren Blogg, created what many Scouters had on the wish list for Camp Wildman for some time. A new, large camp fire area. Several benches allow the area to be used for large Area camps or camps were several sections decide to share a camp fire. A raised platform area for presentations, skits and leading songs and skits mean that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, so to speak.
For those of you concerned about the Kybos (outhouses), don’t fret. They too are getting a make over. Starting with the KYBOs nearest the large cabin, they are getting new floors, improved lighting, and tiled walls. A fan was also installed to keep that familiar, what should I call it – odour – at bay. You can notice it on your bottom when you site down! The tiled walls combined with the new lighting and floors, and the absence of that odour, mean that you will hardly notice you are using an outhouse. Just don’t look for the flush handles, we haven’t got that far yet.
The committee continues to meet on a monthly basis discussion both short and long term plans for the camp. More improvements are in the works and the committee continues to work hard to keep Wildman maintained and in good shape for our youth. A work weekend is planned for this spring. If you can spare a few hours or a whole day, please come out and be a part of this change. A date will be announced soon.
If you have not been to Camp Wildman, or it has been a long time since you have, please come out and see it. Spend the day on your own, or bring your section for the weekend.