As we move into the final months of 2006, it is a good time to
stop and review what has been happening for Calling Lakes Centre
and for our wider community. On the whole this has been a good
year with the joys far outweighing any difficulties. We
especially enjoyed a marvelous warm summer that made it a
delight to be outdoors for activities such as working on the
grounds, walking the labyrinth or enjoying an evening campfire.
During the first week of October, we received our biennial
Accreditation visit. A team of Mary Anne MacFarlane and Bev Oag
from the General Council Office, along with Andrew Church,
Executive Director of Naramata Centre and Ted Alexander, a lay
person from the Five Oaks area, spent almost three days with us.
I am so pleased to report that the team is recommending full
accreditation for Calling Lakes (final decision to be made by
the General Council Executive in November). When the team met
with the Board on October 6, they gave us an oral preview of a
very positive report and offered commendations in the following
Bev Oag, whose responsibility is "Duty of Care" for United
Church institutions such as camps and Centres, brought fresh
eyes to our facility and gave us some valuable suggestions and
recommendations to improve safety for staff and guests.
Finances, of course, were a key component of the visit. The
team was very pleased with the financial results for the last
two years. They recognize that all the United Church Education
Centres struggle with similar financial problems, especially
given that we set fees for programs that are below the actual
costs of implementing them. Centres must do this in order to
have programs that are financially accessible to the people. It
is our mission and purpose. However, even with grants from
General Council and Conferences, plus the absolutely essential
donations of Centre supporters, we do well to break even or make
a small profit.
Thus we move forward toward the end of 2006, trusting that
you, our faithful supporters, will once again choose to give
generously to Calling Lakes Centre. These donations provide
approximately 25% of our income! We are immensely grateful for
the support shown by the people of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and
Northwestern Ontario. THANK YOU!!
And, as we move to the future, strategizing how to grow a
sustainable and purposeful Calling Lakes Centre, I offer you
these words by Meg Wheatley. Remember, ALL of us are the leaders
for the Centre.
There is no greater power than a community
discovering what it cares about.
Ask "What's possible?" not "What's wrong?" Keep asking.
Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.