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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 26, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 10 THE LETHBR1DGE HERALD Monday, Juno 26, 1972 CMHA and its friends have four-day camp -out GONE FISHING Fishing at Crowsnest Lake is one of many things to do al the Canadian Mentoi Health Association camp. By JOE MA Herald Staff Writer Crowiiest La- ke "Wel- come to Camp Lam, the Ha- waiian word for heaven, describes vi- vidly the sur- roundings of Crowsnest La- ke, two miles from the British Columbia border, where the Canadian Mental Health Association an- nually holds a camp for men- tal patients from southern Al- berta. We arrived at the camp Thursday when tlio patients and volunteer workers were engaged in a scavenger hunt. My first observation was: gee, they're wearing flowers in their hair and lei, Hawai- ian garlands, around their necks. "This year's theme is Ha- explained Hazel Ross, the camp director. "We wanted to change the theme year it was western." While Vern Decoux, The Herald's Crowsnest Pass cor- respondent greeted a friend, I spotted Jim Forder, whom I met at the Lethbridga Heha- bilitation Workshop, with a fistful of "treasures" he found in the scavenger hunt. There were 55 people camp- ing at Crowsnest Lake, in- cluding 26 patients 11 women from the Alberta Hos- pital in Raymond, 10 men from the Alberta Hospital in Claresholm, and five out-pa- tients, Mr. Forder one of them, from Lethbridge. Of the workers, two are nurses, one from Raymond and the other from Clares- holm, and 11 are employer! by the Opportunities for Youth program. There is a cook, and the others are vol- unteers. Thursday was the first com- plete day of camping. The camp ended this morning after four days of activities that included fishing, hiking, music, dancing, bingo, card games, checkers, horseshoes and simple relaxation. "This is a mental heallh camp, not a mental illness Mrs, Ross said. "A big thing here Is self-motiva- tion. We let the patients make decisions on what they would like to do. At the in- stitutions, they are used to being told what to do, and we want to got away from that." As such, the patients and workers were divided into four groups, each In charge of planning the activites for one day. "They made palm trees and paintings of Hawaiian scen- said Lilian Millar, co- director in charge of crafts. Mrs. Ross and Mrs. Mill PI- have their families working at the camp. Gordon, Mrs. Ross's husband, Is the camp manager (he was not there when we visited the Ivan, Mrs. Millar's husband, Is another co-director. Their children are also there, some with OFY, some simply un- paid volunteers like their par- ents. "I think it Is very impor- tant that we have the kids here as volunteer said Mr. Millar, a school principal and a minister. "They- are the next genera- ton, and after working- with the mental patients, they will never have wrong ideas about mental illness." Mr. Millar's eldest daugh- ter, Michelle, Is employed under the OFY program. But Michelle, 19, has been a vol- unteer mental health worker for two and a half years, and this year she and the other young people realized that they could take advantage of the OFY program to help. "They are the people who are not treated quite like peo- Miss Millar said of the patients. "We help them, we accept them, and they really appreciate it." What do the nurses think of the camping project? "It gives them something to look forward said Al- berta Hospital Ray mo n d nurse Margaret Jess up. "They socialize a lot more at the camp. Some of them never bad the chance to so- cialize, with their families leaving them alone." "They arc enjoying Is- abel Moser of Alberta Hospi- tal Claresholm said. "There is a general feeling of good- will here, away from the in- stitutional atmosphere." Mental patients are the for- gotten people. Mr. Decoux recalled that last year he found himself talking to a pa- tient who hadn't had any DINNER TIME Nothing as good as a beef dinner after a hard day's play. Decoux Photos conversation in years. The patients are enjoying their brief away from it- all opportunity, although be- cause of the lack of funds the CMHA says it could not op- erate additional camping pro- jects, and many .other pa- tients are disappointed. The Crowsnest Lake camp costs the CMHA "If we have more money and volunteers, we would like to operate another camp of sim- ilar Mrs. Ross said. "Here we are as a group, Grants meet Wednesday The community services ad- viiwy committee will meet with local volunteer agencies Wednesday to discuss the re- cently adopted city council pol- icy concerning grants. More than 20 volunteer or- ganizations will be represented at the meeting. Under the tenns of the new grants policy, the community services advisory committee will review applications from the volunteer groups ing city financial assistance on a yearly basis. The applica- tions will be accepted by the committee before Sept. 30. The committee will compila a total of all requests, analyze each individual submission, and send recommendations to coun- cil for budget considerations. The meeting this week is to familiarize the groups with the new policy and with the com' mlttee. It will be held at p.m. Wednesday in the Green Room at the Yates Memorial Centre. helping each said Mr. Forder. "I really enjoy be- ing here, playing my guitar. I like music and I hope I can organize a band." For another patient, Isa- helle Miller of Alberta Hos- pital Raymond, the camping also helped her to reunite with her sister after a 32- year absence. "I hadn't seen my sister for 32 years ever sir.ce I last saw her in Miss Miller said. "Last year when I came to the camp, I men- tioned I have a sister living in Hillcrest, and they phoned her. They found her, and the next day I went to her This year, Miss Miller will again sec her sister, Mrs. .J G. Smith. "I hate to go hack to she said. "We are having a wonderful time here." "They are nice to said Charles Adamson, an Alberta Hospital Claresholm pa (lent. "I am going to take it easy and relax." Mr. Decoux, who was fol- lowing a group which had gone fishing, returned in time for supper, at which roast beef was served. Annie Allen, a Lethbridge Municipal Hos- pital out patient, was happy to report that she caught two fish. The patients and workers live together and It Is diffi- cult to tell one from another. Helping each other is most obviously observed. It was p.m., and Tal- ent Night began. Mr. Forder played the guitar, followed by three Impossible hula- hula dancers (men dressed as women, one with his mus- tache a Hungarian song, poem recital, magic, hymn, and a beauty treatment laugh- 'n (a man sitting behind a woman to do the make-up lor hei% the man c'vercrj in i blanket you can imagine the We didn't stay for the dance, nor did we learn much Hawaiian. There was a list of Hawaiian words posted on the dining hall wall, includ- ing aloha (love, greeting, welcome, mabalo al aole hiamoe (sleep) and kai Friday, Saturday and Sun- day evenings, a cook out, a sports competition, and a final luau (feast) were plan- ned, followed by dancing and other activities. The annual camping event Is part of the rehabilitation program by the .OMHA's southern Albsrta district. Sis- ter M. Clarissa, administra- tor at St. Michael's General Hospital, the past president, points out that without after- care, about one-third of the mental patients will suffer relapse. Some of the patients who were at Crowsnest Lake last year, however, find something missing this year. Last year, one patient kept disappear- ing, later to be found up on the trees. The man who likes climbing trees did not come this year. It started to drizzle when we left the camp. Mr. De- coux and I share tha feeling that the camp not only helps the patients, but also the young volunteers, who will no longer have apathy and fear toward the mental pa- tients. LEI WAHINE Lei wa- hlne {garlanded woman) is Isabslle Miller, a patient at Alberta Hospital Ray- mond. M i Miller had, through the camping pro- ject, a 32 year reunion with her sfster, Mr5. J. G, Smith. HULA-HULA Opportunities for Youth workers entertain patients at the Canadian Mental Heallh Association camp-En as hula dancers. your quality f Painting your home is a reflection of your good taste. 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