Port Elgin’s S.P.Y. Camp

Children of Port Elgin had a say about how they would like to improve their village at SPY CAMP 2010, Sustainable Planning for Youth, a free two day camp held this August.
Offered by Rural and Small Town Programme from Mount Allison University in Sackville with the cooperation from the Tantramar District Planning Commission and The Village of Port Elgin, the camp offers a rural community planning experience for youth from approximately 10 to 12 years.
The activities included a village based scavenger hunt, designing an imaginary town, creating maps, conducting surveys and visiting local sites. The children also played a theatrical game that had the kids playing different adult roles in the community while discussing a new development.
When they were not playing outside and walking within the community, the children sat in the Council Chambers talking about local issues. Talkative and articulate, the collection of 7 girls and boys, ranging in ages from 8 – 14 years, discussed how they would like to improve their school’s tennis courts, fix potholes in the road, and create habitats for animals in the local marshes as Sackville has done in the Waterfowl Park.
The leader of the camp, Josh Davies, a fourth year Mount Allison student who plans to work as an urban planner, was pleased by the active participation of the children and impressed by their pride in their community. His main underlying message was that the children could have an effective voice in their community, but that they should work as a group, because “nothing gets done by just one person”.

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