GIFTS IN HONOUR
Tim Stewart, 1964, at age 8, his first of 10 years at RKY.
Jim with Jamie at camp, 2003
RKY Camp and the Stewart Family
Our family has had a close attachment to RKY Camp for more than 50 years, through three generations and continuing. As the camp begins its new Revitalization Project, we reflect on our involvement with RKY and on the vision for its future.
Our connection to the Camp began in 1962 when Maryln and I moved to Kingston with our three young children – Tim, Carol and Mary, and I began a 30 year connection with DuPont. Maryln loves summer camp, having been a camper, counsellor and head of waterfront at a Muskoka camp. Maryln joined the Y, where she taught swimming, helped with fund-raising and was on the Y Board, with responsibility for connection to RKY Camp. Although we moved away from Kingston in the 1970s, we have continued to have strong links to the area. We kept our Kingston friendships, our children went to Queens and we have a family cottage on Wolfe Island.
When our son Tim was eight he began going to RKY, soon followed by Carol and then Mary. Tim and Carol were each at camp for 10 or 11 years, as campers and counsellors, and then Tim as Maintenance Helper and Carol as Head of Arts & Crafts.
In 1977, Tim was killed in a car accident. He was 20 and full of energy and high spirits. Just this year, we heard two lovely stories about him, one about a RKY prank. We decided to keep his memory alive by making a sustained donation to RKY Camp, a place he loved. In 1978, we established a fund in Tim’s memory to support the Camp. Since then, two children have been sent to camp each year, children who might not otherwise have been able to go. Now forty years later, a total of 84 Kingston area children have gone to RKY in Tim’s name. Many of the sponsored campers have been from the Big Brothers/Big Sister organization (Maryln was administrator of that organization in the early 1970s). For the last 15 years we have also supported a special safety training program for the camp’s out-tripping leaders, a program we suggested after hearing of the dreadful Temagami camp tragedy.
When our daughter Carol married Paul Goodfellow, another connection to RKY was established. Paul’s family is from Tichborne and has a family cottage on Eagle Lake. Their two sons, Jamie and Jonathan Goodfellow, from the time they were four, came from Vancouver and later from St Louis, Missouri, to spend their summers with us at Wolfe Island. As soon as they were old enough, summers for them included RKY Camp. It was a joy for us to send our grandchildren to RKY, first as campers and then as counsellors. And now Jamie and Alex have told us that our one-year-old great grandson Clark will be going to RKY Camp! We hope to live to see that day!
So in total our family has attended RKY Camp for about 45 camper years! It has been such an important part of the lives of our children and grandchildren that many of their close, continuing friendships began at RKY.
Maryln and I are so happy to see the camp thrive and to see the deep attachment of our children and grandchildren to it. The RKY leadership is to be commended for the excellent rating the camp achieves among its peer camps. We applaud the initiative of the Revitalization Project and intend to support it.
One of the specific goals of our Stewart Family Fund is to continue to support RKY Camp and we hope and expect that support will continue for another 50 years.
Maryln & Jim Stewart, August 2017
Maryln with Jonathan at camp, 2003
Click on photos for description