MD5 Lions International Youth Camp a ‘roaring’ success
Creating and fostering a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world was achieved when thirty-two youth, ages 16 to 19, from 13 different countries gathered at the 2019 MD 5 Lions International Youth Camp. They witnessed Lionism at its finest when a team of fourteen volunteers and support staff helped make this possible!
Over three years ago, Chairperson Lion Edie Lozinsky chose Camp Lemieux in the beautiful Lac Pelletier valley as the camp location. Lions James Sifert and Lisa Oakland joined the forces to help with registrations and host families. After countless hours of planning, exhausting recruitment, and endless emails - camp officially opened on July 28, 2019 as youth from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Taiwan, United States and Canada raised their flags and were welcomed by MD 5 Lion Eunice Cameron PCC.
Lion Dustin Heatcoat, also a past director of Camp Lemieux was the perfect director. He immediately had the camp running like a well-oiled ship. His expertise and enthusiasm quickly gained the respect of all campers. Memorable camp songs and Lion Gayle Smith’s assistance with the team-building games soon had the youth bonding and building friendships. Dustin’s wife, Elizabeth Heatcoat, also familiar to Camp Lemieux, became the cook. The campers experienced many delicious “North American” dishes such Saskatoon berry crisp, poutine and a tasty Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.
Bannock was even on the menu when Cecile Blanke (nee LaRocque), author of “Lac Pelletier My Metis Home”, proudly shared the Métis history of the valley - which would be their home for the next week. This personable and educational event was supported by the South West District for Culture, Recreation and Sport.
The Saskatchewan Summer Games, scheduled in Swift Current, provided the perfect service project for this team as they spent an enjoyable morning putting together fans and helping set up the Athletes’ Village.
Experiencing Southern Saskatchewan’s finest took them on road trips to Eastend, the beautiful Cypress Hills, and our famous Grasslands National Park. As much as they loved experiencing the natural wonders of Saskatchewan, Scottie, zip lining, gocarting and hiking in the Grasslands they truly couldn’t wait for their free time at camp.
These youth soon developed strong friendships while swimming, playing volleyball, strumming a guitar, looking at the stars or simply just visiting around the nightly campfire. The success of camp was unfolding before our eyes. It was so heartwarming to watch these thirty-two youth arrive as strangers and leave as friends.
Camp closed on August 3, after a very touching ceremony, but truly opened lifelong friendships and memories to cherish. The reluctance to leave, words of gratitude, hugs and tears spoke to a very successful camp!
Words cannot express the time and commitment that has gone into this camp - sponsors, Lions, friends to Lions, volunteers and host families cannot be thanked enough.
Special mention has to be made to chairperson Lion Edie who dedicated many hours to make this camp a rewarding reality. Many thanks to Lions James and Pam Sifert, of Leader, for hosting a very successful meet and greet barbecue.
Recognition also needs to be made to all those that worked at camp. The following participated in everything from planning, organizing activities, nursing, nurturing, cooking, sleeping, transporting, and fixing:
Lions - Edie and Tim Lozinsky, Dustin Heatcoat, Gayle Smith, Eunice Cameron, Darrell Moll, Chris and Marcia Huber.
Friends of Lions - Beth Heatcoat and Andrea Klassen
Camp staff - Jason Carnell and Jasmin Braun
Camp mascots – Annabelle and Felix Heatcoat
Many of the international campers were able to extend their experience beyond camp thanks to the following Saskatchewan host families:
Leader - James and Pam Sifert, Kevin and Carole Fitzsimonds
Eatonia - Pat and Wes Tibert, Eston - Matthew and Sandra Toner, Malcolm Price
Richmound - Bill and Debbie Gergley Cabri - Heinz and Dawn Marie Fildebrandt, Page Newton
Kindersley - Gerald and Rheana Luimes, Allen McKinnon and Tiffany Forsberg
Carlyle - Dennis Feduk Fillmore - Louisa and Darrin Hrushowy
Tyvan - Verne and Wendi Lang Swift Current - Teresa Gibbens and Darryl White
Camp is done, gone the sun from the lakes, from the trees all is well….
MD LIONS YOUTH CAMP: Undoubtedly from this group picture, the camp was equally an education and enjoyable time.
The camper are mezmerized by all the history at the dinosaur museum in Eastend.
Camper McKenna Farr from Leader was enjoying her hike at Grassland National Park.