“Edna recalls fondly going by train to the camp with her children, along with others from her immediate family. One lasting memory is sneaking away to the washroom with other mothers to play euchre. Card playing, of course, was forbidden.”
Karen Reid’s link to Moorelands is a family affair
“I first went to the old Moorelands site in Beaverton at 3 months old,” said Karen, daughter of Cecil and Edna Reid and sister of Brian, Tony and Keith.
The involvement of this remarkable family of six dates back to the very beginnings of the Downtown Churchworkers’ Association – Moorelands’ predecessor – and, indeed, to the founding of Moorelands Wilderness Camp on Lake Kawagama, where the Reid children attended camp for many years and, as teenagers, became counsellors.
Edna Reid, together with the late Linda Riesberry, wife of the Rev. William Riesberry (then rector of St. George’s), played a key role in researching and picking the new campsite.
The choice was an inspired one, and for the Reids, like so many others, Kawagama quickly became synonymous with fun, happy times and personal growth. “Brian could really make the piano dance and he always had a smile on his face,” remembers Cheryle, a longtime Moorelands staff member and camp nurse. “And Edna prepared all the food for an alumni reunion in the city.”
Karen recalled how, as a family, the Reids joined work parties to get the camp ready for the summer, and attended weekend conferences hosted by their church at the campsite.
Karen, who became the interim camp director in 1988 and continues to work with youth at risk, candidly credits the Moorelands experience for who she is now.
“Although I left the camp many years ago, I still hold dear to me the wisdom and knowledge that I gained there,” she wrote. “Moorelands gave me many skills, rich experiences and a love of the outdoors that I have brought with me into my current career as a child and youth worker.
“Many of the friendships that I maintain today and the leisure activities I choose are as a direct result of being at Moorelands Camp.”
As for just how deeply the Moorelands ethos is ingrained in the Reid family, look no further than the packet of photos Karen included with her reminiscences.
The photos were wrapped in a sheet torn from a notepad inscribed “Volunteers take the time to make a difference.”