The Cascadia Society is an member of the international Camphill Community. Founded in 1939 by Dr. Karl König, Camphill has grown to over 100 life-sharing communities world-wide, providing residential care, education, therapy, and vocational opportunities to thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to recognize the individual and spiritual integrity of each individual, and allow every person to contribute to the community in a meaningful and dignified way.
Each community has its own expression and evolution over time. Camphills’s tangible history in British Columbia began when Charles and Adola McWilliam, long-time coworkers in the Camphill schools, responded to an invitation, and set up the Ita Wegman Association and School on the North Shore of Vancouver in 1984. After years of carrying the school class, a decision was made to begin life sharing homes and a day program for special needs adults, while continuing to carry the class through to eighth grade graduation as part of the Waldorf School. In 1990 the day program for 6 adults was inaugurated, with the opening of Knockmaroon House in West Vancouver. Several new coworkers were added to the mix, some from Camphill in the eastern region of North America, and some from the local community. By 1992, there were three houses in close proximity to one another.
But there had always been an intention to form a rural community for Camphill, and, after years of searching an appropriate location was found. In 1993 it became possible to acquire land in the vicinity of Duncan on Vancouver Island, and the first coworkers moved there, to literally lay the seeds for the Ita Wegman Association to move to the Island to form the Glenora Farm Community.
Meanwhile, the urban community continued, to become what is now called the Cascadia Society for Social Working, with its day and residential components. The two complementary communities enjoy a close working relationship. Visits between the two communities occur frequently, highlighted by common preparation and celebration of seasonal festivals. For additional information about Camphill Communities in North America, please view the following resources: Camphill Association of North America (www.camphill.org).