The LWCA has been a part of my cottage experience since birth. My mom, Joyce, and dad, Don, were almost immediately recruited to be on the LWCA board of directors when they arrived in 1958. They took on many roles over the years, from secretary to map maker to grand loon, demonstrating to us kids that being a part of the lake community was not just about waterskiing, jumping off of rocks and having campfires. In 2017 both my brother Ian and I joined the board - Ian took on Water Quality for a few years, getting my son Liam involved in helping him with testing.
Where I’m going with this, is that I feel it’s my turn to be President - not because I’m highly qualified, but because I believe that we all need to step up whenever and however we can. That can be as simple as talking to a lake neighbour about why they should join the LWCA or why they shouldn’t fill their gas tank while it's sitting in the boat. So many members have been involved in the LWCA either formally or informally over the years. This year we have 5 new directors joining the board - fantastic! How might you be more involved? Something to think about, perhaps.
As a child of lake Weslemkoon, I was taught to respect the water and the creatures that live in and around it. In the early days, before we had a shower that drained into a septic tank, we used ivory soap in the lake (perhaps because we believed the ads that it was more pure than other soaps). Now of course I would never use any kind of soap in the lake. The folks who I bought my cottage from were avid anglers, and left me all sorts of vintage gear to sort through. In that jumble were handfuls of old lead sinkers. I was able to take them to Weslemkoon Marina this summer where Steve added them to a container set aside for hazardous waste. I'm sure that you can come up with other examples of how past practices have evolved. As we learn, we change our ways. As LWCA president I will encourage and facilitate learning, through organizations such as FOCA, who have so many resources for us.
My parents also taught me and my siblings to be respectful of other cottagers, tempering our voices as we traveled on the water or our music at a campfire at night. I know that there are a great many cottagers who share these values of courtesy and respect. While the LWCA is not a 'watchdog' or an organization that polices the actions of cottagers or campers, we do work with the Municipality and the Ministry of Natural Resources and we ensure that the rules are clearly communicated to members (e.g., new rules at the dump, by laws for fireworks, fire bans). We also provide many resources for cottagers and campers that will help remind them of how to be courteous, as well as how to keep our water and trails clean. (Check out the LWCA resources tab!)
Please reach out if you have ideas for change, and concerns or comments about LWCA initiatives. We would love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org