Several dozen Scouts from Montreal, Morin-Heights, and Ottawa gathered to protest the closure of a much-loved camp northwest of Montreal on Saturday.
A quiet country road isn’t exactly where you would expect to encounter a loud protest, but angry and fed-up Scouts wanted to let Scouts Canada know how they feel about the possibility of losing their beloved Camp Tamaracouta in Mille-Isles, about an hour from Montreal.
“I’m feeling very upset because it’s unfair that we don’t know what’s happening,” said 12-year-old Scout Aliza Acre-Hosein.
Camp Tamaracouta is about an hour northwest of Montreal in the small town of Mille-Isles. The camp has been welcoming scouts for more than a century.
“It’s a thousand-acre property that includes cabins and campsites,” said organizer Chris Hosein. “(It) has a lake, trails and has been used by scouting troops since 1912,” he added.
Scouts occupy the cabins of Camp Tamaracouta during all four seasons of the year learning about the outdoors. In November of 2018, however, Scouts Canada announced its plan to shut down the camp.
Organizer Celine Bedard said she was depressed for two weeks after learning the news.
“We are not quite sure why it was closed,” said Chris Hosein. “We have been told it’s for an assessment.”
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He said they have been told there are financial and environmental reasons involved but have not been given any further details. A top concern of the Scouts and organizers is that the camp will be sold and developed for another purpose.
The organizers and Scouts were patient with the Scouts Canada office, but after 11 months with no explanation, they said they are fed up.
Demonstrators from Montreal, Morin-Heights and Ottawa were present to show Scouts Canada that they will not let their camp go down without a fight.
Scouts Canada did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday — but the subject is addressed on their website. They are calling it a temporary closure and point to a complete review of their properties across the country, adding that during this process, the camp will remain closed.
Scouts Canada is holding a town hall later this month to address this issue, which many of Saturday’s protesters said they would be attending.
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