Preparations to host about 6,500 Scouts and support staff at Camp Woods this summer received a boost Tuesday when Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins announced an investment of $53,350.
The money, provided under the federal government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, will support upgrades to the water system and internal roads at the Scouts Canada facility west of Sylvan Lake.
Calkins, in making the announcement at the camp, said “facilities such as Camp Woods are the foundation of our communities”.
The government’s investment in the camp will enhance the visitor experience and allow the camp to grow. “These kinds of facilities create life long memories and friendships,” he added.
John Witham, Deputy Council Commissioner for Northern Lights Council, said the funding “is critical to development of the site to get ready for the jamboree”.
Camp Woods is hosting the 12th Canadian Scout Jamboree July 6-13.
Funds will be used for two projects. The first is to improve the water system by burying some of the current aboveground lines, as well as installing new lines in the western portion where most of the jamboree participants will camp this summer, and installing new pumps to double the pumping capacity of the wells.
The second portion of the money is devoted to upgrading about 2.5 kilometres of internal roads, mainly at the west end of the camp where the main entrance for the jamboree will be, looping down along the waterfront and back up to the midway entrance to the camp.
“The funding is very important to the organization,” said Witham. “We expect it will help us deliver year-round use of the camp.” He’d earlier said one of their plans was to “offer a four season program”.
Camp Woods has been owned by Scouts Canada since about 1934 and provides a range of services, said Witham. There are three ‘villages’ with lodges and a number of cabins as well as a general purpose building. The camp includes a challenge course, orienteering, pioneering, nature study possibilities and a beachfront with access to canoeing and kayaking.