The YMCA Camp Tawasi was one of those places that was a real disappointment to see disappear. The home
of many happy childhood memories for so many people. Many of my friends would go to this camp every summer but I always
had a summer full of camping to begin with so I was never fortunate enough to go to a camp at Tawasi. I would have to
say that I was surprised to hear of it's closing at the end of the summer of 2004. It was always a popular camp which
makes me believe that it was only sold due to the skyrocketing value of the property that this camp was located on.
The camp was located in the Qu'Appelle Valley just next to Echo Lake. The valley itself can sometimes
be very disorientating, a place where one can easily lose their bearings. Sometimes, when you hear a sound in the valley, it can be extremely
difficult to pin point where the sound is coming from. This can make any type of risky exploration (which Tawasi is not)
very hard on one's nerves. While exploring other more risky locations in the valley (which runs for several hundred
kilometres) I have been stopped dead in my tracks by a sound that I could sworn came from somewhere extremely close. In
fact one time I was 100% sure I was about to be busted at a location where I most definitely should not be (but since when
does that stop me). I would quickly try to survey the situation where I would hear the sound again. I finally figured out
(after a few stressful minutes) that the sound was actually originating from over 1/2 a mile away. Sounds tend to echo
in the Qu'Appelle Valley and sometimes you will hear a sound that was far away but it will have echoed off the valley wall closest
to you leaving you to believe that the sound came from the exact opposite direction of where it really came from.
I had my opportunity to see this camp for the first and last time in the spring of 2005. When I got the
opportunity to see this place it was absolutely pouring rain. By the time I was done the only thing left remotely dry was
the camera (which I tried very hard to keep dry). The knee high grass was the worst part as it assured that every part
of you from the knee down will be soaked. We had the chance to see it all with the exception of the auditorium, which was
the only building that was secured. On a subsequent visit to the valley only a few weeks later the camp, with the exception
of the auditorium had been uprooted an moved or torn down. A new road was built directly through the middle of the camp.
The new cottage lots where surveyed and the YMCA camp Tawasi was no more.
The overgrown enterance
For an area that I wouldn't classify as urban this place took a beating from vandals very quickly. At the time
this photograph was taken the camp had only been closed since the previous summer.
Photo taken in the opposite direction (this half of the mess hall faired better for some reason)
Inside the Mess Hall
The kitchen was in suprisingly good condition
The obligatory toilet shot (don't ask, I didn't start it)
I'm surprised they didn't attempt to auction some of the kitchen equipment off
Storage shelves and a fridge door on the right
A shot through the window of the auditorium which was the only building I couldn't get into
OUtside of the beautiful auditorium. I'm hopeful that someone will turn it into a cottage instead of tearing it down.
It took some time to smudge all the faces, but I thought it's only fair (I generally don't like showing my face on the internet either)
Once the home to many a key
The best thing I can think of when I look at this photo is "I'm Hungry"
This photo and the past few where taken in the counsellors cabin
I don't care much to TD anyway
The swallow that started dive bombing me (little bastard)
Now that's a classy shower curtain