Until last year, Lorissa and Corey had never taken their family camping. Raising three small children on a single income, they’d never had the time or the money to make the trip.
But last year, after they were referred to the Summer Family Camps by workers in Bissell Centre’s daycare, they decided to give it a try.
They had already been using a few of Bissell Centre’s other services, including the daycare, Family Closet and Employment Services; but it was their first time accessing the four-day family retreat offered at Bissell’s lakeside property at Moonlight Bay Centre.
“It’s a great place for families to bond and come together and love each other… it’s brought us closer together.” – Lorissa and Corey
Lorissa and Corey with their three kids, Nehemiah, Lily and Kori, spent four days and three nights camping in the lakeside cabins. Bissell Centre volunteers took care of all the campers’ needs, including preparing all the meals and planning fun activities for the children.
“It was the first time the kids had ever played badminton,” said Corey, “and they really loved it.” Nehemiah, Lily and Kori also enjoyed swimming in the lake. “They used to be scared to go into the water by themselves,” said Corey, “but now they’re getting braver.”
What Corey and Lorissa were most grateful for was relief from the stresses of everyday life while they were at camp: they enjoyed the peace and relaxation of being together without having to worry about bills or errands or groceries.
“Having to worry about those little things takes all kinds of time away from the time you could be spending together,” said Lorissa. “When you’re at camp, you have that time to just focus on family.”
“It’s worry-free for those four days,” agreed Corey. And according to Lorissa,” “It was so relaxing and peaceful. I loved it!”
Bissell Centre’s Summer Family Camps are made possible by your donations for families who are struggling.
Please provide families with a life-changing camping experience this summer!
Are you looking for an ideal place to have your staff retreatâ€¦ leadership or executive campâ€¦ a scrap booking weekendâ€¦ regatta partyâ€¦ dream weddingâ€¦ parent’s 50th anniversaryâ€¦ or perhaps a group of friends just want to get away from the city for some respite from the city hustle and bustle.
Well, Moonlight Bay Centre may be what you are looking for.It’s only 45 minutes from Edmonton and on over two acres of lakefront property.
The Dining Hall and Recreation Hall were erected a few years ago and all of our cabins have been renovated. Imagine the possibilities:
- Organizational retreats and workshops
- Hold cooking lessons in our industrial kitchen
- Family reunions
- Health and Wellness retreats
- Special Interest retreats (scrap bookiing, art camps, photography events)
- Fundraising events
- Faith Community events
- Outdoor Festivals
In addition to our cabins, there is camping available on our grounds and we are also next door to the Provincial Campgrounds.
Remember when you book at Moonlight Bay Centre, Bissell Centre uses revenues to help fund camps for low income families.
Right now, there’s special pricing too. You can download it by CLICKING HERE.
Contact Patti Gallance for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 780.242.9438.
Follow MBC on Twitter: @moonlightbayctr
Bissell Centre employee Sissy Thiessen shares her story of assuming the various positions of volunteer, program participant and employee within Bissell. This is a three-part series that will be published separately.
By: Sissy Thiessen
PART ONE: Volunteering at Bissell Centre
I was sitting in Social Studies class in high school when I first heard about Bissell Centre. An employee from the centre came to talk about what the organization does for Edmontonians in need, and what it means to truly give back to your community. For the life of me, I cannot remember who the person was or what they did at Bissell, but the message of hope in their words is one that has stayed with me since I first heard them in 2005. I remember feeling so impacted by the warm heartedness and compassion I was hearing about. I was so amazed at how an organization could do so much for so many- how much help was really out there. And how much need for these services there really was.
It wasn’t until 2009 that I finally got around to volunteering for Bissell Centre. I had recently watched a movie called “Yes Man,” starring Jim Carrey, a movie about staring fear and apprehensions right in the face and saying “Yes” to any opportunity that comes your way. Giving what you have and going along for the ride. In the movie, Jim’s character volunteered serving soup to the homeless. And just like my mother will tell you, if I see something I want to do being done, I will find a way to do it. So, my mind was made up. I was going to serve soup to the homeless. Read More…
Written By Rylan Kafara, Bissell Centre’s Inner City Recreation Coordinator
Anyone who has been in Bissell Centre has probably seen Ceno’s art. There are pieces displayed in almost every office, some are hanging in the hallways, and others are painted on the walls. If you’ve visited some of the businesses in the area, you may also have noticed the works Ceno has used for barter when he’s hungry.
Recently, one of Ceno’s pieces was submitted to the 4th annual Edmonton Timeraiser. The Timeraiser is a charity gala where local artists’ paintings are selected by a jury of their peers for auction. If chosen, the artist is paid the market value for their work. At the event, the pieces are given to the highest bidder.
Instead of paying money, however, the winner offers volunteer hours. These hours are worked over the course of the year at community agencies of their choice, and then they are given the artwork.
The Timeraiser is about creating connections, and building community. All across Canada, prospective volunteers are paired with the agencies they are best suited to work with, from Vancouver to St. John’s. Each year the event grows, as more cities host events, more artists are showcased, and more volunteer hours are raised.
This year, Ceno’s “Spirit of Chief” was showcased at the Timeraiser held on October 13th. So not only was his talent recognized by other Edmonton artists, but he was paid a fair price, and his art gave back to the community through a new volunteer.
Ceno’s art being featured at the Timeraiser helps remove barriers between the inner city and the wider community. Although he has never had a formal art education, Ceno has been able to nurture his talents at Bissell Centre, and through that support he has achieved something any artist would be proud of.
If you’d like to help community members like Ceno, visit our Giving Guide to see the many ways you can! Bissell Centre Giving Guide
For many of our community members, the chance to explore the world outside of the inner city is an abandoned part of everyday living. At Bissell Centre we work to ensure that all of the
elements of a prosperous life are attainable – not just food and shelter. Bissell Centre’s Summer Recreation and Wellness Program is part of our holistic approach to wellness. Offered to our participants in the warmer months, Bissell Centre’s two summer recreation coordinators (Dru Vickers and Nicole Pike) organize free, daily outings that many of us take for granted – swimming, a trip to the museum, canoeing and gardening.
“Imagine your life with no fun. Worrying about where you’ll sleep that night or where your next meal will come from
isn’t much fun.”
Dru Vickers – Summer Recreation and Wellness Coordinator
Continue reading the story on page 3 of our Spring newsletter here.
Bissell Centre Newsletter Archive (Found in the middle column of our website)
a) Spring 2010
b) Summer 2011
c) Fall 2011
d) Winter 2012
e) Spring 2012