- BC Games
History highlighted at West Van awards
Pouring rain and windy, it wasn’t an ideal time for Chris Nemeth to take his scouts on an overnight trip to a provincial campground near Harrison Hot Springs.
After setting up their tents they tried in vain to start a fire and soon their clothes and gear were soaking wet.
The young scouts didn’t get the chance to practise the skills they painstakingly learned that year, including how to cook and clean up outdoors.
“I thought it failed,” says Nemeth after receiving an award for civic commitment at a ceremony held at West Van district hall on Monday evening.
“But then, when I was talking to the group when we got back, this little guy said ‘we’d rather learn things the hard way.’”
Despite the miserable weather, it turns out his scouts appreciated the experience of roughing it outdoors.
Nemeth, who was acknowledged as a team with his wife Irene, won one of seven awards that covered heritage, the arts, environment and civic commitment.
The married couple has dedicated more than 20 years to guiding and scouting in West Vancouver, a passion that began when their children, Geoff and Jenny, showed an interest in becoming involved.
They are the backbone of the first scouting program in the district and continue to volunteer even now that their children are adults.
“The guy who started it — Baden-Powell — had it right 110 years ago,” says Nemeth. “Kids still want to have adventures, chop wood, be in the snow.”
Despite the chilly weather, Irene’s favourite time to camp is in the winter.
“There’s nothing like going to sleep warm...with proper insulation beneath.”
Survival exercises, such as making snow shelters, give the guides confidence in other areas of their lives, she adds.
Heritage: Ann Broussson is recognized for her dedication to the West Van Historical Society, her work during the district’s centennial and the book Cottages to Communities.
Arts: Ingunn Kemble sits on a number of museum and gallery advisory boards and has taken on the task of organizing the popular Heritage Modern Tours.
Arts: Barbara Kaiser has committed countless hours to encouraging community participation at the West Van Museum and has been chair of the Museum Advisory Committee for five years.
Environment: Bill McAllister is active in the West Van Steamkeeper Society and played a significant role in creating the Memorial Park salmon rearing pond.
Civic Commitment: Bill Drake is a well-rounded volunteer who has helped with many community events and sports programs, including the Cypress Ski Club since 2005.
Civic Commitment: Barbara Brink is recognized for her commitment to the West Van Community Centre, including an integral role in developing its governance model.