2018 Annual Report
Pearce Williams Annual Report 2018
Executive Director Thoughts - Joe Richards
Thank you for your support in one of the most challenging years of my time here at Pearce Williams.
Thank you for responding to our need.
Thank you for stepping up when Pearce Williams needed your support.
Thank you for your phone calls to find out what you could do.
Thank you for offering support.
Thank you for trusting Pearce Williams with your children.
Thank you for serving on our board.
Thank you for sharing with your friends and family the value of Pearce Williams Camp.
Thank you for sharing your stories of how camp affected you.
Thank you for your donations, your time, and your belief in Pearce Williams.
Community is the most important thing for Pearce Williams. Our summer camp community - of parents, campers, volunteers, and summer staff. Our rental group community - of churches, families, schools, and non-profit groups. Our supporter community - of donors, supporters, and volunteers. Community is what Pearce Williams is about - creating a place where people feel loved, welcomed, included and free to be themselves.
In a year of challenge and change - you were there for Pearce Williams. That means so much to me personally. As a long-serving Executive Director, it is a great reminder that there are generations of supporters - before my time and during my time - who’s hearts have been touched by Pearce Williams.
When Pearce Williams was in need, our larger community stepped up and wanted to help. Our community saw the value in Pearce Williams as part of the larger community.
You stepped up. You helped. Thank you.
The spirit of the place attaches strings to your heart that tug and pull you back to its special type of peace and tranquility.
Why I Serve - Brad Graham, Co-chair of Board
Joe Richards, our Executive Director, challenged board members to answer the question of why we served and/or what we get from serving. I took some time to reflect on the question and to consider how I might respond and what I might say.
Why Pearce Williams? My family and I moved to Elgin County in the late 1980’s and were attending St. Paul’s United Church in Aylmer. Our children were very young at the time and we had heard about a weekend “Family Camp” at a United Church camp just the other side of St. Thomas.
That first visit and the time we spent exploring and discovering the lands, the buildings and the legacy of the place has stayed with me always. One of my most vivid memories of that weekend is of the adults comfortably gathering in the Longhouse after dinner on Saturday night in front of a wood fire. The spirit of the place attaches strings to your heart that tug and pull you back to its special type of peace and tranquility. That weekend began a long association for our family with Pearce Williams although nowhere near the multi-generational relationship that some families have.
What did I have to offer? During my career in public service I participated and/or led project teams tasked with visioning, planning, and setting strategic goals and directions. Collaborative approaches were used to seek and find creative and workable solutions to complicated and complex issues. Serving on the Board allows me to contribute my knowledge, experience and skills to ensuring that Pearce Williams thrives and grows and continues to touch people’s hearts and lives.
Camp Director Report - Matt “iscus” honsberger
The Spring and Summer of 2018 were fun-filled, fast-paced and very exciting. With everything from a full 2018 Outdoor Education calendar, an incredibly mature and responsible staff team, glowing camper and parent survey results, and a boatload of camp magic and memories made, this year is easy to look back on with a warm heart and a big smile! A big thanks to the counsellors, programmers and the Leadership Team who made all of the great moments possible and who impacted so many lives this summer.
Our great moments included: welcoming our staff into the extraordinary world during staff training; campers building their own superheroes during our "Superhero Conference" week; deck the Hume's Hall! A mid-summer Christmas party during Jr. Sports and Arts; wilderness canoe trips, both in and out of the rain; Peter Katz's "The Camp Song" ringing through the trees at the end of every week; campers creating their own sessions like Stilt Training and Epic Fort Building; every camper leaving camp with their very own Pearce Williams tie dye shirt; campers learning about Standing Firm, God's Love and playing "JESUS FACTS!" during Chapel; our World Camp tripling in size from 2017 - it was sold out this past year; a “Wilder Spa” during Girls Wilderness Week; an awesome end of summer Barnfest followed by the annual "Cry Fest" - an emotional goodbye to the summer.
I would like to personally thank Joe, Shannon, Flash and Bill for their excellent care for both this place and for me as a fellow full-time staff member. They give so much of themselves to this place and I am fortunate to get to work and play alongside them every day.
Property Report 2018 In review
Renovation of the Longhouse main hall - to meet fire code and flame spread ratings
Removal of walnut tree in center of camp - tree was struck by lightning in 2015 and was no longer stable. We milled the tree and have walnut slabs to use around camp or sell.
Grass cutting duties were taken over by Bill Stevens, retired camp director from Camp Big Canoe
Water pressure regulation - we installed a pressure valve to reduce the water pressure and help us to avoid waterline leaks - we had no waterline leaks in 2018.
Insulation installed in the ceiling of the Dorms - will help with winter heat and summer cooling.
FIRE ORDERS - 11 different fire orders with 36 items total were presented to Pearce Williams on June 1, 2018. This led to fundraising and many items being done in fall/winter 2018 and into 2019. Some of these items included:
Metal fire doors in Cabin B, Dorms and Portables - 24 doors replaced and installed to date.
Kitchen exhaust hood with fire suppression, new ovens and electrical in Pearce Hall kitchen
Drywall repair in Dining Hall
Removal of all beds from Dining Hall
Fire alarm installation in Portables 1 &2 and Portables 3&4 - with pull stations and interconnected alarms
Fire alarm installation and upgrades in Cabins A, B & C
Fire alarm installation in the Farmhouse and Dorms - all interconnected
Moved Medic Station in Farmhouse main level so it was more accessible and removed the need for a fire door.
Septic repairs - Hume’s hall tank needed new toppers and leak fixing; Directors House had roots in tank and growing back up into the house.
Stain glass windows in the Longhouse were redone thanks to a generous donation by Beth & Skip Phoenix and Norman & Beverley Stansell
Many more small tasks - painting, trim, repair and many other small tasks as the need has arose over the past year.
Pearce Williams has a huge property to maintain, repair and upkeep. There are many ongoing projects on the to do list. Thank you to all who have come out of the past year to help and to volunteer time.
We celebrate the time each person has spent at Pearce Williams with our brand new tree cookie program. Campers & staff get a Pearce Williams branded tree cookie for each year they have been at Pearce Williams.
We want to acknowledge Shannon Glanville, our Office Manager/Booking Agent for 10 years of full time service. Shannon started with Pearce Williams full time in September of 2008. Thank you Shannon for your dedication and passion for all things Pearce Williams.
2018 saw changes in our full time staff as Art Bisschop had to leave Pearce Williams due to a medical issue. Geoff Auckland joined our team early in January to fill in as our Maintenance Team Leader.
Bill Stevens joined our team as a volunteer in May of 2018. Bill is a retired camp director who now cuts grass and does small projects around camp.
Most of our full time staff had another successful year with Pearce Williams. Thank you to Matt Honsberger, David Ford, Matt St. Onge and Shannon Glanville for your service.
Volunteers Thank yous
We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who have helped out over the past year. These included - but are not limited to:
Don Berdan - stepped in to paint the Longhouse in our time of need.
Brad Taylor - from Hudson Doors - taught other volunteers and staff how to install hollow metal doors and gave guidance with our fire door needs.
Brian Lavallee - from ProAble Doors - arranged the ordering and purchasing of new doors and taught other volunteers and staff how to install hollow metal doors and gave guidance with our fire door needs.
Door install crew - Chris Zwicker, Justin Chute, Tylor Walker, Mark Perry, Ross Woodhouse
Thomas “Freddy” Rybiak - spent time each week during the summer at camp helping with maintenance tasks
United Way Day of Caring workplaces - Libro and Buckland employees came to help paint and beautify
Work Bee participants - our summer staff, board members and other volunteers who help get Pearce Williams ready for the summer
Summer Camp Volunteers - many of our previous staff members come back to volunteer for a week, a day or an evening - thank you so much.
Any forgotten volunteers - Thank you! Sorry we forgot you - get in touch with Joe to have your name listed here.
Summer Staff Thank You’s
A big thanks to the counsellors, programmers, kitchen staff and the Leadership Team & full time staff - who made all of the great moments possible and who impacted so many lives this summer.
Matt St. Onge, Geoff "Flash" Auckland, David Ford, Isabelle "Zukes" Paradis, Melody "Venus" Walker, Felix "Tunez" Oakes, Nolan "Treble" Croxall, Amber "Thump" Behie, Riley "Target" Bishop-Hume, Savannah "Sympa" Mozetic, Heather "Sully" Klaver, Meredith "Splits" Fisher, Jacob "Sonic" Politis, Lisa "Ripple" House, Mary "Perri" Voyer, Maggie "Pepper" Gordon, Andrew "Patches" Baughman, Kristov "Olaf" Loebus, Madison "North" Clancy, Sharlene "Momma Bear" Scott, Kaden "Mingo" Simard, Shayna "Marshmallow" Barned, Mackenzie "Marge" Martineau, Matt "Lou-Who" Jones, Joe "Joe" Richards, Matt "Iscus" Honsberger, Jessica "Ica" Tenhor, Ila "Hiccup" Manderson, Anya "Franky" Jacksteit, Daniel "Folds" Vandenbrink, Anne "Dusk" Strain, Ashley "Compass" Southern, Hannah "Clue" Holder, Cameron "Cinema" Stover, Louisa "Chica" Flock, Tyler "Cheerio" Smith, Gary "Bucky" Cassidy, Bill "Brother Bill" Stevens, Rachelle "Blast" Charron, Maddie "Benny" Fellows, Cameron "Archy" Scott, Shannon "Anchor" Glanville