Quilts mean more than warmth at Camp Tidnish

Dave Mathieson
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Cumberland Quilters Guild donates 16 quilts to camp

The Cumberland Quilters Guild presented 16 quilts to Camp Tidnish Monday night at the Bridge Workshop. Gathered for the presentation are: (front, from left) Bob Janes of the Amherst Rotary and chair for the Camp Tidnish committee; Sharon Meldrum, president of the Cumberland Quilters Guild; Sandra Colville, vice-president of the Cumberland Quilters Guild; (back, from left) Sandra Ward, program coordinator for the Cumberland Quilters Guild; Jennifer Scott, Treasurer for the Cumberland Quilters Guild; and Patti Sampson, camp director at Camp Tidnish. 

AMHERST – Many people don’t like doing chores or, if they do, they take doing chores for granted.

That’s not the way it is at Camp Tidnish.

The camp is for children, youth and adults with physical and, or, intellectual disabilities.

During their stay at the camp they participate in activities such as movie nights and boat rides.

“We have a young lady in her late 20s who has been coming to camp for a number of years and last year I implemented a program where campers help with the chores,” said Patti Sampson, first-year camp director at Camp Tidnish. “She loves seeing her boyfriend, who she sees once a year, but she said the highlight of her week is that she made her own bed for the first time.

“She had never done it before,” added Sampson. “She’s been living in a nursing home and nobody ever said, ‘you should make your own bed.’”

Sampson was telling the story to the Cumberland Quilters Guild, which had gathered at the Bridge Workshop in Amherst Monday night to present 16 quilts to Camp Tidnish.

“These quilts are not only going to keep the campers warm and cozy, but they’re also helping to create independence and helping campers develop new skills,” said Sampson to the Quilter.

The Amherst Rotary Club owns the camp, which is run by Easter Seals Nova Scotia.

Amherst Rotarian Bob Janes, and the chair for the Camp Tidnish committee, thanked the quilters for their donation and told a heartfelt story about taking campers out on the pontoon boat.

“Putting the boys and the girls on the boat in the wheelchairs is a big job because they’re scared,” said Janes.”Imagine you’re strapped in a wheel chair all your life and all of a sudden you’re on a boat that’s moving.”

The campers were then taken up the Tidnish River on the boat.

“When we turned around and started back I was watching this young fellow out of the corner of my eye and he was taking everything in,” said Janes. “We let him steer the boat all the way up the river and when we were getting close to camp I asked him, ‘Where do we go now?’ He yelled right out, “heading for the open sea.’”

The camp has purchased a new pontoon boat for the 2013 season.

“It’s a brand new one and will be modified so we can put wheel chairs on it and put our clients on it.”

They also purchased a tractor and wagon so campers can go on hay wagon rides.

“We’re also going to have an in-ground trampoline that is level with the ground. It allows them to work with children and adults who have never been on a trampoline before in their life,” he said.

Training for staff at Camp Tidnish begins May 18, and campers begin to arrive June 4.

The camp runs until late August.









Organizations: Cumberland, Bridge Workshop, Amherst Rotary Club Camp Tidnish committee

Geographic location: AMHERST, Tidnish River

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