I Promise to do my best,
To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada
I will take action for a better world
And respect the Guiding Law
This is the Guiding Promise for Girl Guides of Canada. Every girl guide that joins guiding has to know, honour and respect this promise in everything they do.
Taking action for a better world is something that CLC Tree Services tries to do as well. So when Calvin McCallum went out to do an estimate at Camp Orenda for the Girl Guides, he must have channeled his inner Brownie Owl, as he offered something a little better than doing tree services on the most pressing tree issues on the 100 acre site. Calvin looked around, noted far more issues than Barb Robinson’s budget would allow and asked if she would be interested in offering up Camp Orenda for an OCAA Day of Service.
Needless to say, Barb, the Property Maintenance Coordinator for Camp Orenda, was thrilled. While she had originally thought to spend maybe $1000 to deal with some trees which had branches resting on hydro lines, there was far more work to be done. Calvin went right to work to contact Arbortech Professional Tree Care, Chatham Tree Services, Davey Tree Service and Olympic Tree Care to ask them whether they would participate in a Day of Service at Camp Orenda. The response was unanimous. All of the companies agreed to send a mix of crews, equipment and to donate their time towards tree services for Camp Orenda.
A month after Barb originally contacted Calvin, the arborists arrived. Once the hydro was cut off, Calvin assigned everyone into groups and dispersed them throughout three main areas at the camp. A large willow tree and smaller apple trees, maples, walnuts and hawthorns were tackled by members of CLC, Chatham and Olympic Tree Services. Down the hill, more crews from Davey, CLC and Olympic worked at cutting down a black walnut, trimming a sycamore, and clearing the access road. Hydro lines were cleared up and down the hill, as well as trees being pruned back along an access stairwell. Across the field, Chatham and Arbortech cut down more trees and cleaned up a wilderness area. And despite a forecast of rain, the crews all managed to stay dry under the gray skies.
Spirits were far from gloomy for the Camp committee members on hand though. Barb, Jill, Patti, Lisette, Sue and Joanne put out snacks and coffee for the crews in the morning, then went to work on preparing lasagna for lunch. As the canopy under the willow rose, their smiles increased in size.
“We never could have afforded the work that went on today,” Barb confided.
As Calvin estimated the tree work that went on would have cost upwards of $13,000, Barb was probably right. Budgets are tight and tree service work wasn’t on them. And while often it is cheaper to get work done before there is an issue, Barb knew only too well the scope of damage that could have resulted if any of the many trees that were in need of TLC came down in a storm. There was far less money for that. Which made their level of appreciation that much higher.
“This is just fabulous,” remarked Guider Jo as she snapped picture after picture of the tree work going on. “We received an award from Tree Heritage for planting thousands of trees with the help of Kettle Creek Conservation Area*, but we never could have done this. As there are girls out here for camps most weekends throughout the year, this means so much to us.”
*Camp Orenda is surrounded by Kettle Creek and the Carolinian Forest.
As the work day wound down and a white pine was planted to help commemorate the day, Barb called everyone together to offer thanks. Camp Orenda is one of the biggest Girl Guide camps in southwestern Ontario and services not only girls from London, but from all over Ontario and the world. And what are Girl Guides best known for, but Girl Guide cookies of course! So everyone was encouraged to help themselves to a box of cookies as a small token of appreciation from the Camp Committee and the Girl Guides of Canada on their way out. And I think that was a fair trade for the cookie lovers among the arborists.