The CLC boys have been at it again. They went out and volunteered their time to help another group in need. With a little assistance from the same crews that joined the fun last year at the OCAA’s Day of Service at FSTV (namely Chatham Tree Services, Arbortech Professional Tree Care, and Norm’s Tree Service), the men had a much larger task at hand this round. Where did the crews end up for this year’s OCAA Day of Service you wonder?
2013 OCAA Day of Service at Camp Woodeden
The four crews showed up on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 on the outskirts of London, at the 106-acre Woodeden Easter Seals Camp. They might not have realized the magnitude of the work at hand, but they were plenty ready to tackle the mighty tree services job ahead of them. If you haven’t heard of it before, Woodeden Camp offers summer camps to children aged 8-18 years old. They have amazing ropes courses, sledge hockey, an indoor gym with a 35′ – 40′ high rock wall as well as space for volleyball and basketball.
Plus there is an outdoor basketball court, archery range, swimming pool, tree house with a view of the Thames River, amphitheatre and camp fire pit where folks can cozy up for nightly bonfires. The special thing about this camp though is that it is all geared to and specifically designed for kids with physical disabilities.
Sadly, the camp had fallen prey to one of Ontario’s deadliest insects—the emerald ash borer. And many ash trees were affected. While that may be a problem for any summer camp, the resident campers that spend 10 days at this incredible location have the challenge of manoeuvring around the grounds in wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility devices. Paved pathways are a must and safety is of utmost concern.
That is where the members of the OCAA came in.
With approximately 35 acres of Camp Woodeden taken up by their 18 buildings and numerous activity sites, there was lots of work to do to make the camp ready for the start of summer camp season. Pathways needed to be cleared. Hazardous trees needed to be removed. Trees that were closest to buildings and activity sites needed to be pruned and a little fertilizing was even added to the to-do list. Collie Patton, the Climbing Program Coordinator, noted that “camp is often described as the highlight of many children’s year, and serves as an incredible confidence building experience”. Ensuring that the over 300 children that come to Camp Woodeden every summer have a place to be safe, have fun and just be normal kids means more than the 24 men that spent the day tending to the trees might ever realize.
What the men did appreciate were the burgers, sausages, salad, drinks and cake that the Camp Woodeden staff provided for them. It was a day to work with men from other crews, to learn new or different skills and to feel good about helping out an organization within their community. Our very own Calvin McCallum from CLC Tree Services, not only went to the camp three times evaluating the site’s needs with Site Manager Howard Botten, but was also up in the trees with chainsaw and raccoon in hand himself.
Yes, not only did the work these men provided equal upwards of $20,000- $25,000 in tree services, but they also saved a family of 4 baby raccoons and an angry mom from a dangerous, rotten ash tree (now shortened and far safer for everyone involved). The approximately 20 extra children that will now get a chance to go to this amazing overnight summer camp will certainly appreciate all the hard work that was done, as will their families who benefit from their own respite.
And it couldn’t have been a nicer day for them all…
Lastly, CLC Tree Services wishes to offer a huge thank you to the men that came out from Arbortech Professional Tree Care, Chatham Tree Services, and Norm’s Tree Services, as well as the fantastic folks at the Woodeden Easter Seals Camp. It was another successful OCAA Day of Service!