North Middlesex -They say it takes a village to raise a child
They say it takes a village to raise a child, the problem is, that there aren’t many villages left in Ontario………….
I had the privilege to travel to North Middlesex, a small community about an hour outside London. I travelled by train and was picked up at the station by two “villagers”. Their role was to show me what North Middlesex has to offer tourists. They took me on a tour of a number of small villages where residents still help to raise the children.
In a few brief hours, I was able to enjoy a home cooked meal and meet with local government officials. I had the chance to stop and admire charming village shops, where the proprietors took the time to share a little of their history with me.
I stopped, shopped and fell in love with a community called North Middlesex.
I was quick to learn that this quaint and welcoming community not only loves their kids, they love to volunteer, and they do this on a regular basis for all of the local events that occur each year.
2010 was a sesquicentennial year for North Middlesex, and to celebrate their 150 birthday everyone got involved. I was asked to come to the community and to help keep that spirit and excitement alive.
I was invited to facilitate an evening event where everyone enjoyed “Beef on a Bun” supplied by the local legion. The hall was full of community-minded people, all whom were there to see what I could suggest that would bring more visitors to their charming villages.
I began the evening by asking if there were any service clubs in attendance, and there were. I asked if there were any municipal government officials in the room, and there were. And I asked if there was anyone in the room who hadn’t been actively involved in the celebrations around the 150 birthday and there were NONE!
This was a room full of volunteers, dedicated men and women who want to see visitors flocking to their events in the coming months.
I met Quilters and their spouses – and I quickly found out that there is a group of Dutch Quilters coming to North Middlesex this spring. The Quilts of the Netherlands will be in Ailsa Craig from May 23 – 28th, 2011. I suggested that using Social Media would help raise awareness and bring lots of interested visitors. I’m pleased that they have a website that I can direct you to! www.ailsacraigquiltfestival.org Quilting is almost a lost art – there will be over 120 quilts in the exhibit. I’m making a point of returning to North Middlesex in May to see some of those quilts!
The Lions Club was another service club in attendance and they shared a little bit about themselves. I learned that they have donated over $50,000 locally. I am a foster mom with Dog Guides of Canada, and I know that the Lions Club is an active sponsor for this worthy charity, what I didn’t know was how extensive their youth programs are. I’m glad to see they’ve got a website! http://www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/ailsacraig/index.php This is another opportunity for me and social media to share stories about the Lions Club in North Middlesex!
I found out that the Optimist Club was also represented and I asked that they share their creed with everyone in the room – I share it with you today.
The Optimist Creed
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
If you want to know more about North Middlesex, they have a Cardboard Boat Race, where entire families pitch in to build the winning boat! They have Turtle Races, where one of the turtles was called “Sir Loin” – a noble entry and obviously a winner!
I’ve promised I’d interview some of the business owners and help them reach you through social media.
I’m going back to North Middlesex, and when I do, I’m going to offer a training program to anyone who wants to put North Middlesex on the map for tourists everywhere!
I’m looking to reconnect with the merchants, the residents, the local government and the service clubs to help raise awareness for this wonderful community. When they say it takes a village to raise a child, I’ve found some of those villages, and you just have to visit them and see for yourself!
North Middlesex, Proud Heritage, Bright Futures and it’s all because they areWorking Together! www.northmiddlesex.on.ca