In love with Heritage Lake

by Ruth Griffiths

My granddaughter just returned from her first real camp with Girl Guides of Canada. She’s almost eight and has completed her first year as a Brownie. She’s done sleepovers before, but this was the first time she was away for two nights at a camp, complete with hiking, cleaning biffies and a campfire. She loved it.

I too loved my first Girl Guide camp. I was 12 when the Tisdale No. 1 Guide Company camped at Heritage Lake Girl Guide Camp. Back then it was known as Little Sandy. It was renamed “Heritage Lake” in 1966, commemorating the first Heritage Camp held by Girl Guides of Canada, Saskatchewan Council.

This year, the Heritage Lake Girl Guide Camp is celebrating its 57th birthday with a family reunion camp Sept. 2-4. I’ve been registered for several weeks, but I thought you might like to know about the camp too.

Activities begin Saturday afternoon with registration and sampling the original recipe Girl Guide cookies. You can set up your own tent, borrow a tent from the camp or sleep in a bunk bed in the all-weather lodge.

Because the camp is being held on the Labour Day weekend, organizers hope that former campers will bring along their families, significant others, grandkids, etc. Families would need to bring their own campers or tents. There are no services for large motorhomes, but smaller RVs could be accommodated in the parking lot.

During the afternoon you might enjoy the 150 Canada challenge, horseshoes, croquet or itty bitty knots. Browse the display table of memorabilia and renew acquaintances with former campers.

The Saturday night supper is potluck, so plan to bring something to share with the other campers.
In the evening, there will be an old-fashioned slide show and a sing-song. Do you remember those silly campfire songs and skits?

On Sunday morning, the flag-raising ceremony will include a reaffirmation of Canadian Citizenship. Also on Sunday there will be a pancake brunch, waterfront activities, a wiener roast, Canada birthday cake and a campfire program. And of course, more visiting throughout the day.

The fees for this camp are incredibly low. The $57 registration per person includes two nights site fees, a Heritage crest and four meals. Children pay just $15 for the weekend. If you wish to attend for Sunday only and not stay overnight, the fee is just $20.
The fees are so low because there are no paid staff. The camp is organized and run by volunteers. So, in true Girl Guide fashion, everyone will lend a hand. The campers will be the people who sweep the floor, haul the water, chop the wood, wash the dishes and, yes, clean the biffies. It’s all part of the camping experience that we know and love.

For more information about the Heritage 57 Reunion Camp or to register email or call 1-800-565-8111.

Ruth Griffiths is a the former editor of Rural Roots and the former Daily Herald lifestyles section editor. She remains an active member of the Prince Albert community