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SUBMITTED ARTICLE: Community School in the works for Scotsburn area


Scotsburn Recreation Club is in the planning stages to start up Community School again, hopefully as early as January.

In past years, Suzanne Cloutier-MacLeod was very much involved in the organizing of a wide variety of activities that enabled participants to learn new skills.

In past years, Suzanne Cloutier-MacLeod was very much involved in the organizing of a wide variety of activities that enabled participants to learn new skills.

Scotsburn Rec VP Jennifer MacLennan suggests that the Scotsburn Community School was an integral part of the vibrancy and energy of the community that brought a large number of people to the area. The umbrella partnership that had been previously formed between the Scotsburn Community School, the Scotsburn Recreation Club and Scotsburn Elementary School created a terrific partnership that helped to make the community thrive, to the point where the area had been witness to an influx of younger famililies interested in having their children grow up in the area because it had offered so much.

“At one point, I believe the Scotsburn Elementary School was the only school in the district to see an increase in its school population,” MacLennan said.

The area has been dealt a number of disappointments over recent years with the loss of some larger businesses, but there is new blood moving in like A&M Small Engines, Papa D’s, Deb’s Hidden Café and Smith Rock Chalets to name a few. The Recreation Club hopes that by starting up the Community School again, it will help to make the area a popular destination again.

“We still have a lot of active groups in our area including Bethel Presbyterian and Scotsburn United churches, 4-H, the Elementary School, the Fire Department and our Recreation Club,” MacLennan said

Conversations have been had with each of the facilities to ask permission to use these other venues besides just the J.P. Gammon Rec Center for activities. The groups were receptive to the idea, and MacLennan points out that she wants to promote the current activities that each group hosts, like the choirs and youth groups at the churches, and the Junior Fire Department.

The Recreation Club invites individuals from the surrounding areas to share their ideas for potential activities and courses they’d like to have offered, if a leader can be found. Or perhaps there are individuals who have a talent or interest they’d be willing to share.  MacLennan states: “In order for the Community School to be successful we need individuals who are interested in hosting a course or ‘activity nights’ at various venues throughout the community ranging from physical activities, music and art lessons, craft and ‘How to’ nights, cooking sessions, dance lessons, information sessions about a wide variety of topics, etc., to help benefit many individuals in our surrounding areas.

“With access to many facilities, the possibilities are endless. With the school we will have access to the gym for badminton or basketball for example, and some classrooms.  We have a tremendous trail system for hiking, biking and snowshoeing. We have access to kitchens for food preparations, and spaces with pianos. We have a ball field and tennis court as well that we’d like to see used more. We’d like to see sessions presented about healthy living, or mental health, presentations on issues affecting all age groups.”

The group would like to set up courses during various times throughout the year with activities appropriate to the seasons.  If there was interest, there may even be a few possible courses to have during the summer months. “We’d like to make connections with people to host a course for any time of the year that works for them.”

Depending on the type of course being offered, instructional fees, if required, would be negotiated prior to the sessions starting and would be built in to the cost of the session.  The group has been investigating various funding opportunities to help get things started, but they are hopeful that it will eventually generate enough funds, like it did in the past, to be able to make much needed repairs to the John P. Gammon Recreation Center, as well as to donate back to those groups who are supporting them in this endeavour.

If you have an idea or a talent to share, please contact Jennifer MacLennan via the Scotsburn Recreation Facebook page (Scotsburn Recreation Club) , or at jenmaclen@gmail.com.  Information regarding the Community School will be promoted throughout various mediums, so please watch for more details to follow.

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