Camp Shagabec has memorable 75th year for good and bad reasons

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Well, at age 75, Camp Shagabec seems as youthful as ever. The camp, located in the Cypress Hills, had a record-breaking year for the number of campers attending it. Each of the camps were at or above capacity, with many of the weeks filling up as early as March and April. Five full-time paid employees, as well as over 100 different volunteers from all over Alberta and Saskatchewan, staffed Shagabec this year, and they brought with them a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and joy to the camp.

Camp Shagabec’s 75th birthday was marked, most notably, by the demolition of the old rec-hall. This building had been used by Maple Creek as a World War II army barracks, and then, for over 65 years, it served as Camp Shagabec’s: kitchen, dining hall, recreation center, craft room, and drama hall. Due to a deteriorating foundation, the old lodge had to be taken down. The demolition occurred on August 24th and 25th. It was sad to say goodbye to a building that has helped facilitate so many precious memories, but everyone is looking forward to the new state-of-the- art structure that will ensure the future of the camp.

Construction of the new 4,000 square foot building was contracted out to Wallace Construction, and will be concluded by the spring. It will include a stage area, a large open-concept design, a new kitchen, washrooms, and it will be 100 per cent wheelchair accessible.

After all the excitement of the summer and the demolition, the camp reported some upsetting news; someone had broken into the site, and over $10 000 worth of damage was done around the grounds. Thirteen buildings were attacked, and had their windows and doors smashed in. The vandalism had taken place after the camping season ended, and before construction had started on the rec hall. Volunteers (Mike and Larry O’Donnell from Swift Current) came out to camp immediately to clean up, and board up the damaged buildings.

Fundraising for the new facility has nearly concluded, but if individuals were interested in contributing to the building fund, or to help cover repair costs from the vandalism, Camp Shagabec would be grateful for your financial assistance. Their treasurer is Tracy O’Donnell: 258 Burke Cres. Swift Current, SK, S9H 4H6.

Camp Shagabec is looking forward to a new camping season and the grand opening of the new Shagabec Lodge. If you wish to register your child, camper registration forms are now available on line at www.shagabec.com.

Organizations: Camp Shagabec

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Maple Creek, Swift Current

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