Weekend warriors set up camp

They laid foundations, erected walls, painted, stained, shingled and cleared debris.

They laid foundations, erected walls, painted, stained, shingled and cleared debris.

And that’s not all, said Red Deer Youth and Volunteer Centre fund development manager John Johnston of the 315 volunteers who flocked to Camp Alexo last month to help with major renovations.

Johnston said he estimated the donated labour and materials added up to about $1.2 million.

“They’re our weekend warriors, is what we’ve been calling them and they all made a difference in a child’s life. Every one of them is really a part of our Camp Alexo family now,” he said.

More than 100 of the volunteers gathered on Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer to celebrate the completed work on the camp for children and youth.

It was a chance to thank them for their hard work and commitment, said Johnston, noting some stayed for four days to help build new cabins and facilities on the campground near Nordegg. The facility is owned and operated by the Red Deer and District Boys and Girls Club.

“It was unprecedented. I was speechless all weekend,” Johnston said.

The renovations include two new 20-person cabins, two new activity centres, a wash house, four outhouses, woodsheds, tool sheds, outdoor basketball court, walking bridges and a refinished trail system.

Homebuilder Terry Loewen and restaurateur Bill Olafson were two of the main drivers of the initiative that saw volunteers raise their hammers from June 6 to 8.

“It was unbelievable how much got accomplished. I think there was 29 projects completed that weekend. … People were out there still working at 9 p.m. on Saturday night,” said Olafson. “This camp changed people’s lives. We’re still hearing comments from adults who remember their time there and say it was one of the best times of their childhoods so it makes it even more meaningful.”

Morgan Fairholm of Red Deer was one of the weekend warriors, armed with a paintbrush.

She went to the camp as a child and volunteered there when she was a teen.

“Camp Alexo completely shaped who I am,” Fairholm said. “Seeing the new facilities for the kids that get to make the memories that I know I made is inspiring.”

Adding to the evening was a Skype call from a group of children and youth currently enjoying the summer programs at Camp Alexo to offer a personal thank you to all the volunteers.

“That’s what it’s all about,” said weekend warrior Joy Bickell, the manager of Cloverdale Paint in Red Deer. Bickell, who donated all the paint and stain, helped paint the two new cabins in the colours of the Hudson Bay Company. “It’s all for the kids.”

Camp Alexo, established 30 years ago, hosts about 450 children and youth every summer for canoeing and other fun outdoor activities.

Just Posted

Physicians urge Ottawa to pay another $21B over decade for seniors health care

OTTAWA — Physicians are calling on the federal government to shell out… Continue reading

‘I didn’t want to do something frivolous’: Sting’s play to make Toronto debut

TORONTO — Drawing Canadian theatregoers to a politically charged musical about an… Continue reading

Japan, EU sign trade deal to eliminate nearly all tariffs

TOKYO — The European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal on… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports manufacturing sales up 1.4 per cent in May

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 1.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Former Mountie who fired Taser at Robert Dziekanski drops appeal of sentence

VANCOUVER — The former RCMP constable who fired a Taser at a… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Johnny Depp settles lawsuits involving former managers

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has settled lawsuits with his former business… Continue reading

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month