A Girl Guide camp planned for Sooke has been cancelled. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

Girl Guides cancel massive national summer gathering at Camp Bernard in Sooke

The event was expected to host more than 2,500 Guides and women from across Canada

Rick Stiebel

Sooke News Mirror

The cancellation of the Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous due to the COVID-19 virus has left a void that will be difficult to fill for Girl Guides across the country.

The event, which was scheduled for June at Camp Barnard, would have brought more than 2,500 Guides and women – most from B.C. and some from other parts of Canada – to Sooke.

The decision is part of the cancellation of all similar Girl Guide activities at the national level because of the worldwide situation caused by the virus, said Laurie Hooker, public relations director for SOAR 2020.

ALSO READ: 2,200 Scouts descend on Camp Barnard

“It’s very unfortunate to have to make that call for all of the Guides who were looking forward to it and working so hard fundraising,” Hooker said. A group of 40 people have been planning the event two years in advance, so there are many factors that played a role in making the decision to cancel, including logistics and financial considerations.

The event was held once before at Camp Barnard in 1998.

“We plan on hosting it again and will try and bring it back to Sooke in 2021 if everything can be worked out,” Hooker said.

She encourages anyone who wants to assist efforts to purchase Girl Guide cookies, the organization’s main fundraising initiative.

“We purchased a lot of extra cookies to sell this year for SOAR 2020,” she added.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said the cancellation of SOAR 2020 is an example of the kind of tough decisions that are being made because of the virus.

“It’s very disappointing for the Girl Guides who were so excited about the event,” Tait said. “All organizations that have planned events are watching this closely to be able to give notice in advance. Everything is changing so rapidly, the situation is changing daily.”

Tait said having consistency across the province from all levels of government is important in terms of informing residents on how to prepare to deal with the changes as they unfold.

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce is working hard to keep local businesses impacted by the virus informed of the latest information provided by the provincial government, said Karen Mason, president of the Sooke Region Chamber.

“As Prime Minister Trudeau said in his address this morning, the impact on the economy is changing hourly. The Sooke Chamber will continue to work closely with the B.C. Chamber and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, who in turn have a voice at the of economic development nationally and provincially,” Mason said.

Please go online to facebook.com/SookeChamber/ for regular updates.

OTHER EVENTS CANCELLED

• Sooke Philharmonic Society cancelled the performance of Mozart’s Requiem scheduled for April 4 and 5. The society hopes to reschedule the performance in the future.

• The Sooke Food & Brew Festival scheduled for March 21 at the West Coast Grill was cancelled last week due to the outbreak.

• Singer Bryce Allan has cancelled his Country Night concert at Edward Milne Community School Theatre on April 4.

• The Sooke Transition House Society has postponed a Beer and Burger Night at the Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday (March 21).

• Due to the CORVID-19 concerns, the Sooke Royal Canadian Legion is closed until April 1.

• The Vancouver Island Regional Library closed,, effective last Monday. VIRL has also decided to cancel all remaining programs until further notice.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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