Grindstone Co-op
Organization profile published 1981

Publisher:  Grindstone Co-op, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1981
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2172

Connexions has published numerous abstracts on the Grindstone Co-op:

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1981:

The Grindstone Co-op was founded in May, 1976, as a non-profit, educational organization. The Co-op's primary concern is the planning and sponsorship of programs on peace, justice, development, co-operation and social change.

Most of the Co-op's conferences and workshops are held during the summer months at the Grinstone Island Centre (near Portland, Ontario) which is owned and operated by the Co-op. The 12 - acre island is used for Co-op sponsored programs and is also made available to other organizations involved in social concerns. The Co-op is also planning to use the island as a site for appropriate technology demonstrating projects.

In 1980, programs sponsored by the Co-op were attended by more than 200 people. These included: "Genetic Engineering: the Social Ethical Dimension", "The Alternative Summer Camp", "The Media and Working People", The Canadian-American Safe Energy Conference, The Co-op Movement Strategy Seminar, and Sexism And Sec Roles.

Over 300 people also used Grindstone Island during programs sponsored by other groups, including: OXFAM, the Law Union of Ontario, the Canadian Hunger Foundation, the Toronto Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa, the Student Christian Movement, The Canadian Natural Hygiene Society and The Ontario Task Force On Native People In The Urban Setting.

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This abstract, published in Connexions Digest in 1982, details the Grindstone Alternative Children's Camp:

The Alternative Children's Camp is organized by members and friends of the Grindstone Co-operative, a 350-member co-op which owns and operates Grindstone Island centre, a 12-acre island located in Rideau Lake halfway between Kingston and Ottawa.

In the past 18 years, the island has been a conference and education centre which focuses on social change issues.

Two years ago, co-op parents suggested that Grindstone could fill a need by developing a children's program which would promote egalitarianism, non-sexism, cooperation, ecological awareness, non-violence and FUN. The summer-1982 program will be the third camp in as many years.

At the Alternative Camp, the children are invited to help shape the program to suit their interests and needs. Daily camper/staff meetings are held as a forum for planning activities and airing problems. Careful attention is given to resolving problems in the most creative way possible. The now-traditional mud volleyball games started as an alternative to problematic cabin raids. Playing, sliding and laughing on the muddy flooded volleyball court served as a fun way to release energy and develop group consciousness. Staff and resource people offer skills in dance and drama, carpentry, art, cooperative games and sports, puppetry, rowboating, ecology and music. Campers have access to a wide variety of books, records, games and films. Theme days provide variety in the pace of the program - a carnival, Backwards Day (doing most everything creatively in reverse), and Intergalactic Day (an outdoor space cross-cultural experience). During this last activity, campers were led on a simulation in which they travelled to other planets, and each of four planet groups developed their own costume and face decoration, forms of communication, songs, and, through discussion, visions of an ideal world. The camp ran for 12 days in 1981; children could attend for a six or twelve-day period. The 1982 summer camp will take place sometime in June (1982).
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