The GMC - An Invitation to Share your Memories and Stories

 

The Alpine Club of Canada’s General Mountaineering Camp has been a tradition in the Canadian mountaineering community for over 100 years and is perhaps the longest successive running mountaineering camp in the world. Given the significance of the camp, it is surprising that there has been no formal documentation of the camp's role in providing unique opportunities for participants to engage in mountaineering and hiking opportunities in the Canadian wilderness setting.

 Arnica Palechuk at the Premier Range GMC, 2006. Photo by Brad Harrison.

Arnica Palechuk at the Premier Range GMC, 2006. Photo by Brad Harrison.

Capturing a Unique Experience

Robin Reid and Terry Palechuk, both former participants of the GMC, have decided to pay tribute to this iconic camp by writing a book to document its historical and modern significance on the Canadian landscape and participant connections to and memories of their camp experiences.

An Invitation to Contribute

This is an invitation to participate in the creation of this book. We are looking for poetry, songs, art work and stories that express personal and shared experiences at the camp. For example, the stories told in the dining tent at the end of the day and the Friday night skits and celebrations are rich sources of collective memory that could easily be included in this book.

Looking for a variety of voices

You don’t have to worry your writing being professional — we have one submission already from a 12 year-old recalling her experience of being at two camps when she was a very young member of the set up crew; the first is referred to as “buggy camp” (Premier Range, 2006) and the second was “the big storm camp (Trident/Neptune, 2009) where the Oreo cookies got wet.”

Collective memories of shared and personal experience makes the camp meaningful for many participants and we are excited about including these written and visual narratives in this book.

 “What’s my story? I almost ended up in a pot. I’m tellin’ ya, it was close.”

“What’s my story? I almost ended up in a pot. I’m tellin’ ya, it was close.”

Participation is voluntary and there are a variety of options as to how you can be acknowledged for a submission: full name, first name only, or anonymous.

Looking for Stories

Here's the fun part: we're looking for stories from recent camps and long-ago camps; stories of the climbing, the weather and the people; prose and poetry. It's going to be a big job tracking down everything that should be included in the book and we'd love your help. If you can pass us on to someone who might know the guy who told a funny story or who wrote that one great limerick 20 years ago, that would be great. We'll do some sleuthing. Who knows, maybe the family has a box of treasured memories of the GMC in an attic somewhere.

Contact the Authors

If you are interested in submitting a visual or written memory or have any questions regarding this invitation please contact Robin Reid at (250) 371-5784 or rreid@tru.ca or Terry Palechuk at (250) 371-5844 or tpalechuk@tru.ca. Please feel free to circulate this invitation to friends and fellow mountaineers who have attended the GMC and who may be interested in participating.

We are excited about this project and look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest Regards,

Robin Reid and Terry Palechuk


About the ACC's General Mountaineering Camps

The General Mountaineering Camp has been the ACC's signature mountaineering adventure for over 100 years. For five weeks in the summer of 2015 the GMC will land in the Stockdale Group of the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia.