When I heard the news of the announcement that YMCA Geneva Park was might have to be sold, my heart broke. It was announced in January that this magical place that I’ve held so dear for my entire life has become another victim of COVID-19.
GP has been part of my family for generations. My grandparents took their kids and my parents took us. I grew up going there every summer with my family, staying in one of the cottages, enjoying all of the amazing summer programs like making a tie-dye shirt at the Craft Shop, painting at Sunset Rock, story time at the Shire, and eating sour grape candies I found in my dollar bag at the Tuck Shop. I completed the park’s leadership programs and worked as a camp counsellor for three summers in the children’s programs and as a lifeguard. My favourite part was choreographing dances for the kids to perform at the Friday night Variety Nights. Geneva Park is where I learned to swim, canoe, kayak, windsurf, waterski, and ride my bike with no hands.
Every square inch of the park holds a memory or several that take me back to a significant moment in time like at the boat dock where I caught a small-mouth bass with my bamboo fishing rod; cottage 21, where my family stayed for many summers; the patch of sand at the beach where my dad and I built the most epic sandcastles; my staff cabin during my first summer working there where I met my roommate who would become one of my best friends; and most recently, the Fallen Rock trail, where my little nephew got to enjoy the wonders of GP for the first time. Over the years, I formed connections with families and kids who came to my programs and I made some of the most amazing friends. To this day, I continue to visit the park with family and friends.
I’m getting chills as I write this because this place is a part of who I am. Anyone who has been to GP – for a conference, a course, a yoga retreat, a summer vacation or a winter getaway – knows how special it is. It’s the most magical place that’s had an enormous impact on me and the person I am today. The decision that it has to be sold is incredibly unfortunate.
All is not lost though. The Geneva Park community is strong and there are so many others like me who hold Geneva Park close to their hearts. This is where the Geneva Park Legacy Alliance has been born: A community endeavour to save Geneva Park.
If you’d like to help, there are several ways to get involved and show your support. They’re looking for your ideas, any special skills you have, or if you’d just like to share your memories or receive updates.
See below for all of the information and let’s save Geneva Park!
You can also join the Friends of Geneva Park Facebook Page, which is A group of long time users & lovers of Geneva Park. With the news from the YMCA that Geneva Park is going to be listed for sale in March of 2021, we want to work together with them to explore how we can save the legacy of Geneva Park.