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Mormons Re-Roof Cabins at Scout Camp Barnard

On 19 November 2011, about 150 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered together to provide service which will benefit many associated with Scouts Canada. This army of 'roofers’ — both experienced and novices — worked a full day installing metal roofs on 24 cabins and activity shelters at Camp Barnard, a 251 acre Scout Camp surrounding Young Lake near Sooke, British Columbia.

Plans for "Prepare to Serve" — a 2012 Church Scouting Encampment had been underway for many months. When the location was finally determined, organizers recognized that the camp buildings would need serious upgrading before it could house the 550 scouts and leaders who would attend the week-long summer event. Grace Seabrook, Committee Chair for Camp Barnard remarked, “Re-roofing of our sleeping cabins was a priority project for us but the committee figured it would take at least four years to complete."

As a means of offsetting the costs of the encampment, the organizing committee of the Church agreed to replace the roofs of most of the camp buildings, which were in a state of disrepair. Fundraising had been going on for a year and even with generous donations from the Sooke Community Fund, the Shawnigan Knights of Columbus, and the Victoria Rotary Club, as well as Scouts Canada, completion of this project seemed a long way off until the leaders of the Church decided to "do a good turn".

The Church, a long time sponsor of the Scouting programs in Canada, came up with a plan to provide tools and labor to complete the roofing needs of the camp. One hundred and fifty volunteers from Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland Vancouver hauled roofing materials, climbed ladders and hammered nails for eight hours and completed the project in just one day. Those who were skilled led and taught their teams of workmen until the job was done. Shingles came off and new metal roofs were installed not only on the cabins, but also on shelters and even a barn.

“To get this many of those kinds of big jobs done in one fell swoop is very significant,” Seabrook said. "It was an amazing day and we are so grateful to have a project finished ahead of schedule. This is a rarity for sure."

This past summer,over 400 young men and 150 leaders gathered at the beautiful Camp Barnard from all over the province for a five day scouting encampment, the largest Church scouting event ever held in British Columbia. Many of the youth said it was “the camp of a lifetime,” which was jam packed with fun, challenging and inspirational activities including hiking, waterfront activities,a high-ropes adventure course, and much more. Elder Paul E. Christensen, who led the steering committee, was among the guest speakers who spoke each evening, inspiring the young men to "Prepare to Serve," which was the theme of the camp.

The young men happily slept in army tents, while their leaders tested out the "new"cabins with rainproof steel roofs.

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