This morning we headed out to Camp Courageous of Iowa, a year-round respite and recreational facility and a very special place in the hearts of many.
Camp Courageous was founded in 1972 when forty acres of land was donated for the sole purpose of establishing a camp for the disabled. In 1973 five buildings were built from donated labor and materials. By 1974 the camp was ready for its first campers, which totaled 211. Today the camp is open year-round, has over 150 acres of land with 14 buildings, and annually serves over 5,000 campers, ranging in age from 1 to 105. [Camp Courageous]
Today we met with staff, talked about social media (check out their blog or follow them on Twitter) and learned more about the great work Camp is doing. We then got a tour of some of the facilities (mostly the indoor ones since it’s darn cold outside).
Most of the amenities, supplies, buildings, and even the miniature train/railway were donated. “Camp Courageous was built and continues to operate on donations, without government assistance, without formal sponsorship, and without paid fund-raisers.” [History]
Camp Courageous is for anyone with a disability (“vision, mental, physical and other disabilities are typical of the individuals served.”) It’s run by staff and volunteers who keep things running smoothly and most of all, make sure that every camper is cared for and has the time of their life – from swimming, canoeing, accessible playgrounds, farm animals, pets, arts, and the celebration of each unique individual that comes by.
Having spent many summers at camp in BC when I was younger as a camper and volunteer, I know that the effects a facility like this can have on a child are pretty remarkable.
If you’re looking for a non-profit to support, please check out Camp Courageous of Iowa, whether you’d like to contribute funds, equipment, in-kind donations, sponsorships, or simply your time.
The rest of my photos from Camp can be found in my Flickr set.
Northern Voice 2009 is quickly approaching and being that it’s the top personal blogging conference in this fine nation of ours, it’s a pretty big deal. Registration is now open and the schedule is soon to be released. Today I received the great news that a panel of mine (or two) has been approved so I’ll be on the speakers’ roster.
When: February 20-21, 2009
Where: UBC Forestry Sciences Centre
Register: Use the EventBrite page to sign up for the conference. Be sure not to miss MooseCamp on Friday and reserve your “bloggable” conference t-shirt.
The other piece of lovely and fantastic news I received today was that I have been deemed one of the top social media influencers in the country, making the cut as a semi-finalist. I knew I was one of the women nominated (they did one ballot for men, and another for women) and the finalists have now been selected.
Here is a combined list of semi-finalists:
Ben Watson, MC Turgeon, Kate Trgovac, SÃ©bastien Provencher, Jacqui Murphy, CT Moore, Miss604 (Rebecca Bollwitt), Adele McAlear, Amber Mac, Michelle Blanc, Kris Krug, Sandy Kemsley, Paul Kedrosky, Mitch Joel, Mathew Ingram, Shannae Ingleton, Rae Hoffman, Jon Hamilton, Ilya Grigorik, Michael Geist, Brett Gaylor, Dave Fleet, Mark Evans, Mark Dykeman, April Dunford, Cory Doctorow, Joey de Villa, Ali de Bold, David Crow, Sylvain Carle, Leesa Barnes, Darren Barefoot. The entire list can be found here.
Aside from a straight-up vote, they are also basing the ranking on several other numbers and figures with the finalists to be announced at a later date. Update January 12, 2009: The winners have been announced and I’m #4 for females in Canada – I’m very honored!
Finally, early bird pricing for WordCamp Whistler ends this Friday. We’re announcing new speakers and updates almost every day so stay tuned for updates and please feel free to join us January 24th.
This afternoon we decided to hop in the car and go exploring a little so 3 hours and 3 states later, I give you a photo post (mostly featuring the mighty Mississippi River).
You can explore more in my Iowa 2009 photo set on Flickr.
This is an extended version of a post I originally wrote for E!Online
Last September it was officially announced that Vancouver will host the 2009 Juno Awards this spring and with our city’s diverse blend of acts and media forms it’s sure to be a one-of-a-kind event for Canada’s music scene. Continue reading this post 〉〉
As we’re staying about an hour out of anything that might resemble a “big city” it’s a treat to head into John’s old university stomping grounds when we come back for a visit — It’s only fair to say that I’m a big University of Iowa supporter, especially since I was recently seen on the big screen at GM Place (in front of 18,000 people) wearing my Hawkeyes sweater.
The day started out with breakfast at the Hamburg Inn after which John noted there’s a serious lack of a patty option for your breakfast sausage back in Vancouver.
We walked around a bit, explored the Ped Mall and strolled past the old and new bars and boozing establishments for all those good college kids.
After a visit with some of John’s old co-workers and a trip through the mall (that is slowly being taken over by the university) we headed out to… a different mall but not before stopping in at what John lovingly referred to as “Dirty John’s” to pick up some refreshments for later in the evening.
We drove past many places that were still closed due to the floods last year, including a restaurant that we were going to eat at tonight that we’ve been meaning to go to every time we come to Iowa City but have never had the chance.
Over at the mall we missed the public skate by just a few minutes (yes, in Iowa they have ice rinks in their malls) and we took a walk through the sporting goods store where I had to pose for this photo (above) in honor of Keira’s blog post from yesterday. We also had some time to pick up tshirts in support of our favourite baseball team.
When all is said and done, Iowa City is a great place and I love visiting – from Fridays at the Java House, to warm summer walks along the river holding hands with my man. Culture, innovation, and fantastic down-to-earth people are truly the reason Iowa City has such a special spot in my heart.