The Nature Trust of B.C. is working to raise funds to help cover a portion of the costs of purchasing Moorecroft with the Regional District of Nanaimo and creating a regional park as well as key restoration work and nature trail infrastructure. Many people in the community have wonderful memories of Moorecroft. Whether they attended the camp as children or worked there as staff, the beauty of the setting and the camaraderie often provided inspiration for a lifetime.
Mary-Anne Peterson worked at Moorecroft Camp. Here is her story.
I worked at Moorecroft Camp two consecutive years, twice, about 10 years apart. I really enjoyed working with the young teenage employees. I had previously worked in places such as cafes, restaurants and hospitals, so it was a nice change to be at Moorecroft.
The pace was much more relaxed, making three meals per day with breaks in between. During the breaks, the teens put on their music and taught me how to do their dances, which was great fun. On the back porch was a huge red bell that we rang when the meals were ready.
We had a resident raccoon that used to venture out at night and roll our garbage cans up the driveway beside the office and then roll them downhill trying to open them. The raccoon didn’t succeed, but never stopped trying.
The first two years I worked there, each cabin’s campers had to take turns setting the tables in the dining room at Stringer Hall. One morning only one little boy showed up from his cabin. He worked very hard setting the tables. I was so impressed that I rewarded him with some large strawberries. The next day his leader brought him into the kitchen and he presented me with a “warm fuzzy” (a pompom on a string) that he had made in craft class. It touched my heart and I still have it today.
The caretaker’s house was originally situated at the Northwest Bay Logging Division of MacMillan Bloedel. The Peterson family lived in it for about 20 years. I lived across Northwest Bay with my family and went to school with Doreen Peterson. It was my second home. In the early 1960s “MacBlo” offered the houses to employees for $1 and the houses had to be moved. The Petersons didn’t purchase their house and Moorecroft Camp bought the house and moved it onto their property.
Two other camp houses were moved to lots on Northwest Bay Road … the Hambrooks and Kellys.
We were really busy with full camps the first two years I worked there. In the later years, the camps were not so full and everything was much slower.
If you would like to share your story of Moorecroft, please contact Robin Rivers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-866-288-7878. If you would like to make a donation to Moorecroft, please visit www.naturetrust.bc.ca or call toll free 1-866-288-7878.