Yellowknife girl guides will soon be able to stay at Camp Dechinta year-round thanks to new funding announced by the federal government.
Navdeep Bains, the minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), announced an investment of $125,000 for the cabin Monday.
The building, which sits 35 kilometers east of Yellowknife, is frequented by the city’s girl guides in the summer months but often shuts down come winter time.
Jennie Rausch is co-chair of a committee that came together roughly 10 years ago to revitalize the old cabin.
Since then, funding has been relatively sparse, making it difficult to breathe new life into the old structure.
That’s what makes this latest announcement so exciting for Rausch, who’s hopeful cabin renovations and upgrades will be completed in time for Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017.
“I remember camping there as a girl and even then it was an older building,” Rausch recalled.
“This [new funding] allows us to do all the cabin renovations that we need to do kind of in one efficient go.”
Work will include upgrading the cabin’s heating and lighting systems to allow for year-round use. A minor expansion will also create more space for activities and better separate sleeping, activity, and cooking areas.
Until this point, girl guides have mostly stayed at Camp Dechinta during the summer months. Rausch hopes that changes soon so that the city’s girl guides can enjoy more programming year-round.
“We really want to make it so that we can use the cabin year-round because for the past long while we can only really use it in June and July,” she said.
“Now girls will be able to go out there in the winter and be able to sleep out there. The sooner you can get kids out camping and experiencing nature, the better lifelong connection they’re going to have with it.”
There are approximately 100 girl guides between the ages of five and 18 in the Yellowknife area.