Eileen and Derrick Palmer
“My husband and I were really charmed and delighted that a tree has been planted as a thank you for our support. No thanks was needed as we feel so pleased when we read about the successes made with the children that so badly need reinforcement…”
Garden fêtes, backyard games, clowns, ponies and high teas — sending a kid to camp, especially during the Depression days, often took a whole lot of ingenuity.
Just ask Eileen and Derrick Palmer, who were introduced as children to the Moorelands concept of helping, whether it was holding skeins of yarn as they were rolled into balls for knitting Baby Bundle outfits or helping deprived inner-city children spend a few precious summer days in the Ontario woods.
Back in those days it was Moorelands’ predecessor, the Downtown Churchworkers’ Association, that did all the organizing, but the concept hasn’t changed — you do what you can to help others.
“Each year my parents would hold a fête in the garden as a fundraiser for sending a family to camp,” Eileen recalled in sharing her story with Moorelands. “The children were dressed in costume and there were prizes. There were games in the backyard and my uncle would dress up as a clown and one year there was a pony to ride.
“High tea was served in the house and my father, who was a musician, would entertain with both the classics and the music of the day,” Eileen wrote.
“I have no idea how much was raised — probably not much, as the Depression was in full swing — but I’m sure that, then as now, people realized others were more needy than themselves.”
And why are the Palmers so determined to help send kids to camp?
“We especially feel that the summer camping experience is a great help in developing a sense of worth in children,” Eileen wrote. “My husband Derrick and I live in the beautiful northland and that experience should be a part of every Canadian child’s life.”