Camp had always had the philosophy of democratic decision-making, though structures for achieving this varied. Decentralized, camper planned programming, built around the individual teepee group had been tried on occasion. The late fifties saw a move to this.
This movement was greatly accelerated during the sixties. In 1962, the year Ed Johnston became Camp Director, the third period was used as a trial for complete teepee unit programming. Counselors remained with their own groups throughout all activities and the group remained intact. It is said that Rae Robertson, the Assistant Camp Director, slept for the entire summer and thus missed the experiment. The trial was judged to be a success and camper planned program was instigated fully the following year. The style remains the same today. Leadership and group dynamics improved greatly with this change.
Counselors now had to become skilled in all facets of camp life. This created some interesting learning situations and many laughs. Leaders of the time such as Bryon Ward, Ron Dunbar, George Taylor, Bill and Bob Kelly, Stu and Russ McKinnon, Dave Yule, Wayne Cooper, Don Johnson, Jim Acheson, Al Gardner, Pete McArthur, Jake Blair, Dave “Camp is a tiddly experience” Hanley, Steve Senert, John Dillen, Adrian Swan, and others found learning with the campers an interesting and beneficial experience.
The experiment successful; Ed Johnston wished to try another one. The staff vetoed him however. Ed wanted to change the name of the camp. Ed had an interesting way of naming things. His dog was namedDog. His cat, Cat. It was years before anyone knew his family had names. At any rate he was vetoed on the name change because no one wanted to work at a camp called Camp.
Out-tripping underwent much expansion in the sixties. The Pioneers under directors such as King Woodside, Mickey McDonald, Ernie Stapleford, and Mike Love, were moving into much more extensive and challenging activities. In 1964 trips to Calgary via canoe were started for boys meeting the standards. This has become a highlight of Pioneer programming. Intermediate and Junior Sections also participated in expanded hiking to favorite campsites. Junction, Newfort, Wolena, Shangri-La, Cooper stone, Loggers, AI, A2, and Horseshoe, became special places for many campers and staff. Also in 1964 the C.I.T. (Counselor-In-Training) program was expanded and a C.I.T. director was hired. Garth Holler from Nova Scotia was the first of many fine directors.
In the same year an exchange visit was arranged between camping associations in Canada and Russia. Jim Love represented Camp Chief Hector on a most interesting trip.
In 1965 an unidentified Pioneers counselor on a canoe trip to Calgary ran his canoe into the Tenth Street Bridge. He reported that it moved into his path. Harley Smith, Assistant Camp Director, verified this. (Clearly the editor in 1980 was taking liberties… Roger Tierney was the counselor in question!)
Music has always been an important element at Camp Chief Hector. The sixties saw the advent of a number of musical groups at camp. There were the Feces Five (very poor), the Chin quay Three (not much better) and the Mecrotch Brothers (truly superb). Dramatics also abounded as the Piffle took on a verbal method of reporting camp news.
A special Grand Council was held around this time. It was a staff only “mock” Grand Council, held in post camp. The “Chief” for the day, Gary Sargenia, received a surprise when after the fire had been magically ignited, a line of fire proceeded to move along the ground to his chair. The ever-popular “Go-Juice” had done its trick. The assembly was then surprised when the Chiefs burlap pants caught on fire. Fortunately, a quick roll on the ground extinguished the Chief and no injury was incurred. “Mock” Grand Councils were laid to rest.
Bill Halliday returned to direct Hector in 1966. Junior and Intermediate Sections were expanded to accommodate the large numbers of campers coming to Hector. A helpful new book entitled, “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Nature Lore But Were Afraid to Ask” was written by Rod Hayward (he still has three thousand copies if anyone is interested).
Camp facilities underwent numerous improvements in the sixties. A new maintenance shed was built and a propane heater was added to the wash shack, replacing the old wood-burning heater.
Nineteen-sixty-seven saw Terry Patterson become Camp Director and the Pioneers began canoe trips from Banff to Seebe. Wilderness One (a proposed mountaineering and high alpine hiking camp for older boys) was operated as a pilot project in 1968 under the direction of Pioneer Section Director, Gary Luthy
Early directors of WI like Rich Harding and Wayne Lyons made this a very successful and respected program, which has taken a permanent place as one of the ‘Y’s’ successful programs.
In 1969 Gerry “Krink” Cragg became Camp Director. It was the year of the first and last Pioneer Canoe trip through Seebe and Horseshoe rapids. No injuries, but paddles had to be fashioned from driftwood planks to continue the trip. (The editor is pleased to note that other people had difficulty with rapids.) A number of things occurred in the late sixties that were harbingers of change to come.