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

Vacuum sparks fire in Fernwood basement

Crews extinguish small fire in Empress Avenue home

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

Sooke, Sidney businesses win top awards during the BC Food and Beverage Awards

Sheringham Distillery won Gold Award for Product of Year while Cascadia Seaweed won Innovation Award

First Nations market fills Colwood’s Royal Beach

Event Wednesday in honour of Orange Shirt Day

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Most Read