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Update from the Naramata Centre Society board
The Naramata Centre Society Board is working hard to develop the future direction for the Centre and ensure the Centre is safe and well cared for. We are in a period of transition and discernment over what the future will be for Naramata Centre.
This fall we engaged with people who care about the Centre during work weekends at the Centre and in communities across BC and Alberta. We heard many great ideas and some consistent themes started to emerge.
Many believe the Centre, as a place of spiritual nurture and renewal still holds true; a place for education, personal growth and transformation with strong connections to the United Church.
There were 20 public sessions and a number of individual submissions. Over 270 people participated providing us with valuable feedback about a possible future for Naramata Centre.
We asked what the Centre should keep doing. The six strongest themes, in order of priority, of what Naramata Centre should keep being were:
· Continue to be a place of Spiritual nurture, growth and transformation
· A caring community which creates the space for growth by being a physically and emotionally safe place for children, youth and adults to risk and grow
· Providing leadership training for youth, clergy and lay leaders in the church
· Music and the arts as an integral part of the Naramata experience
· Providing intergenerational programming
· Children and youth programming
The feedback was rich and sometimes contradictory. Most of the people who participated had strong connections to the Centre often speaking of profound changes in their lives made because they attended the Centre.
Given the enthusiastic response we received, the Board is keen to move forward towards re-opening the Centre, if a sustainable financial model can be found to do so. The next step is developing a financially viable operating plan that ensures meaningful activities and experiences for people who attend the Centre.
Our goal in creating an operating plan for review by BC Conference and our membership is to describe what we want the Centre to be providing in 5 years and how we will be providing that with milestones to be achieved for each year of that 5 year plan. If we are able to re-open we know we have to start small and revenues must match expenditures in each year of operation within the 5 year plan. We are excited about the possibilities.
While we have not yet made the decision to re-open, it has been suggested by many that if Naramata Centre is to succeed in any plan to re-open that providing access to the Centre in the summer of 2016 is very important. As our Board considers a future for Naramata Centre, we have decided to invite back past participants and new folks to the Centre this summer from May 28 to October 15. The invitation will include opportunities to rent accommodations or space in the camp ground. We won’t be providing food services.
We also want people who return to the Centre this summer to be able to experience spiritual growth and community once again at the Centre. Part of what we all received from the Centre was the opportunity to explore and grow spiritually, which in the past was generated by learning experiences and a strong sense of a safe, caring community. We are currently exploring options for providing access to programs to achieve this goal.