Sooke’s spirit shown in the wake of vandalism

Girl Guide camp damaged but the community stepped up

Every so often, a malicious act by one troubled person can galvanize a community, giving it a chance to demonstrate its character in a way that results in a happy ending.

That’s the lesson Gillian Hurwood, the manager of the Milne’s Landing Girl Guide Camp, has taken from a spate of vandalism that threatened to derail some of the activity at the Sooke River Road facility.

“It started off when someone broke a window at our 1938 heritage cabin and got inside. They didn’t do any damage to the interior, but we obviously don’t want people breaking in so we shuttered and boarded up that window,” Hurwood said.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be enough. Someone came back a second time and ripped off the shutter and went back in. So we had to close it up more securely so that it couldn’t be broken into again.”

But rather than fix the problem, the remedial action had the unexpected effect of making it worse.

“I think whoever was getting in there was pretty angry that they couldn’t break in anymore and they pretty much destroyed our stairs up to the cabin and some of the railings. They also broke more windows,” Hurwood said.

But that’s when the good news part of this story begins.

RELATED: Community welcomed scouts

Hurwood put out a call for help and five Sooke businesses responded in short order.

Warburton Woodworks donated lumber, Driver’s Welding donated more materials, and Home Hardware donated hardware and stain to the project. Sooke Glass stepped up to help with window repair and Canem Electric pitched in with a security system.

“We also had six Guide families donate their time and effort to the repairs and a Guide group from New Brunswick, who came in for a rental at the site, finished off the job,” Hurwood said.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity and caring of the community, this horrid bit of vandalism turned into a very positive experience. We made new friends and really got a sense of what a great community this is.”

Milne’s Landing Girl Guide Camp has operated since 1938. Girl Guides boasts a membership of 155 girls in Sooke, between the ages of five and 17.

“The girls learn about crafts and science and we take them camping so they learn all about the natural world. It’s a fabulous way to build confidence in young girls and give them a chance to learn as they make lasting friendships,” Hurwood said.

The cabin repairs came at an opportune time as next year Sooke Girl Guides will host SOAR, a nationwide gathering of Girl Guides that will be similar in size to this summer’s Scouts jamboree event in Sooke.

“We’ll have about 3,000 Girl Guides coming to Sooke from all over the country and we’ll be telling them the story of how the community came together to support us when we needed help,” Hurwood said.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gillian Hurwood, the manager of the Milnes Landing Girl Guide Campinspects the work done by volunteers to repair vandalism recently experienced at the camp. (Tim Collins / Sooke News Mirror)

Gillian Hurwood beams as she thinks about how Sooke volunteers came to the rescue in the wake of vandalism at the Girl Guide camp. (Tim Collins / Sooke News Mirror)

Just Posted

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Victoria budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read