Skip to content

Cochrane Girl Guides constructing playground

It’s been five years since the 2013 flood destroyed the Cochrane Girl Guide’s playground at Camp Jubilee and the organization has announced it is construction-ready for a $1-million replacement.
Place for play
Five years after the Cochrane Girl Guides’ playground was swept away by the 2013 flood, the organization will be receiving a new one – shown in this rendering.

It’s been five years since the 2013 flood destroyed the Cochrane Girl Guide’s playground at Camp Jubilee and the organization has announced it is construction-ready for a $1-million replacement. The playground will be built in three phases, with phase one, Team Adventure Park, beginning this month. The price tag for Team Adventure Park is $200,000. “Play is a really important part of that whole (camp) and for our girls and our members. We wanted to make sure we brought that back in,” said Arzmund Teja, area commissioner for Girl Guides Canada. Camp Jubilee saw 6,200 Girl Guide campers and 5,500 day users in the 2016/2017 guiding year. The proposed playground – built on private property and only accessible to the Guides or those renting the camp space – will have three elements. The sections include a low ropes course (Team Adventure Park), an amphitheatre and a natural playground, in keeping with Guides’ programming. Each of the individual areas will be joined with pathways. “We already do lots of outdoor programming around outdoor play and free play, and this is supplementing that,” Teja said. The low ropes course will be built this summer, and is designed to incorporate group activities where participants will need the assistance of fellow participants to complete it. The natural playground is estimated to cost $500,000 and will be built next summer, followed by the amphitheatre, which will begin construction in the summer of 2020 and is estimated to cost $250,000. The project total – roughly $1 million – is hoped to be funded partially by grants from the Government of Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program Small Funding Stream and from the province’s Large Funding Stream. The Guides are also actively seeking support from other community organizations to help fund the project. According to Teja, creating the perfect design for the playground was a “robust” process. “We didn’t want the traditional metal playground – we wanted something that fit in with our path. We have a lot of wildlife that comes through our camp, so it was important to us to maintain that environment,” she said. The Girl Guides held focus groups with each age group of participants in the program, as well as conducted research on various playgrounds in Canada and around the world. “We went to the experts in the field, which is our girls," Teja said. "They drew on what they loved about the (old) playground, what they didn’t like so much, what they wanted to play on.” The girls were taken to multiple playgrounds in Calgary and Cochrane during the research phase to test out what was and wasn’t working for the Guides. “A lot of the playgrounds we visited with our girls were too small. We often have a Brownie unit that has 24 girls in it, so when we go to a playground we want all of them to be able to engage in play and not have line-ups,” Teja said. The playground will have inclusive features for all skill levels and abilities. “We wanted to make sure everyone was included – so girls with different physical and mental abilities, etcetera, could all participate," she said. "It was actually a really robust process...five years later we’re finally at that stage where we’re ready to commit to building something.” The proposed location is beside the roadway, out of the flooding zone and near Pallesen House.