What are we offering?
A no cost hosted 2 night get-a-way to a vintage log cabin on the shores of an Alberta lake, for combat veterans and first responders (Police Officers, EMS, Firefighters), serving or retired, to recuperate from the stress of their occupations, and reconnect with their loved ones. Our hosts are veterans and first responders that volunteer their time for their brothers and sisters.
*Non-combat veterans are welcome!
Why we are doing this?
During war soldiers risk their lives for the person to the left or right of them, and upon their return home, value life differently than their civilian peers. An instant loneliness sets in, which, coupled with injuries causes many veterans to start a downward spiral into the abyss. These unfortunate events cause significant stress on the Veteran and his or her family.
Over and over first responders see the very worst things that happen to other people. They are often required to handle horrendous situations that others don’t even want to imagine. A little bit of their humanity disappears every time they have to set aside their own feelings in order to respond professionally to whatever these circumstances demand. And so they, too, suffer stresses that some find difficult or impossible to put behind them, and sometimes they begin to self-destruct.
We, as veterans and fellow first responders, simply cannot and will not stand by and watch our friends take their own lives. We believe in taking action, and providing respite opportunities for veterans and first responders to escape these life challenges by offering a FREE all-inclusive get-a-away to re-connect with themselves, families or friends.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of a community partner we are able to provide Canada’s serving or retired frontline workers a place of sanctuary at the “Sheepdog Lodge.”
Sheepdog Lodge is a 1500 sq ft, refurbished, four-season, rustic, vintage log cabin provided to us by a community partner for the benefit of both serving and retired front line workers. This former Rangers Cabin #PB 940 from Cold Lake Provincial Park was relocated to Central Alberta approximately 45 minutes from Red Deer.
Over the years the cabin was used by our community partner and his family, but because of a recent move it is now his desire to offer it as a get-a-way and sanctuary for re-connecting and family fun, and, more specifically, by military, veteran, and first responder families.
Sheepdog Lodge is where memories are created, and where an appreciation for nature can be renewed. Children can learn about the great outdoors while spending much needed quality time with the family, including the family dog!
Your stay at the Lodge will be hosted by another veteran/first responder/family, who, because they do the same job as you, know exactly the stresses that you encounter and the effect they have on family life. You can share your stories, learn from each other, and celebrate your successes in balancing the negatives and positives in your life.
Your host family will provide you with meals and snacks during your stay, but they’ll likely ask you to help out with meal prep and clean-up. A lot of problems can be solved while working in the kitchen!
Sheepdog Lodge sleeps 13 people comfortably. It is fully furnished, so there is no need to bring anything. The following is a partial list of what is at the Lodge for your convenience:
- Fully equipped kitchen including dishes, silverware, pots/pans, electric stove, toaster, microwave, coffee-maker, basic cooking supplies, etc.
- 4 pc bath with towels, shampoo, soaps, etc
- Bunk room for 7 – 3 singles, 1 double, 1 queen
- 1 bedroom with queen bed
- 1 bedroom with king bed
- Hide-a-bed in living area – double
- Washer and Dryer – detergent/fabric softener
- 2 fridges and a freezer
- Iron and ironing board, sewing kit
- Satellite TV
- 1 wood stove and one old fashioned wood cook stove – firewood provided
- 2 large decks with furniture – 1 facing lake,1 at the front door
- Propane BBQ – all fuel and cooking tools provided
- Portable fire pit – marshmallow toasting sticks available!
- Lakeside deck for tanning, picnics, lake supervision
- Lakeside fire pit – firewood provided
- Large selection of books to read by the fireplace
- Games and toys for the kids
- This list could go on and on!
Basically everything in the cabin is fair game for our guests!
Here are the things we want you to leave at home:
- Electronic and computer games – do something different and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors!!
- Laptops (there’s no internet so what’s the point?)
- Worries of life – enjoy a few days of sanctuary, rest from life’s storms, and relaxation!
- All negative thoughts!!
What you can expect during your stay at Sheepdog Lodge?
- To make fond family memories! (take lots of pictures/videos!)
- To spend quality time with your children and/or other families
- To see adults act silly! (for once in their life!)
- To relax and be snoozy! (cabin has this effect on most guests!)
- To eat, drink, and laugh too much (just let go!)
- To get sun-burned! (aww so what, it’s summer!)
- To get cold feet, hands, and cheeks! (the warm cottage is so cozy in the winter! And the hot chocolate and chili? To die for!)
- To not want to leave! (book your next visit soon!)
- To have your spirits renewed and lifted!!
Where is our facility?
Sheepdog Lodge is located on the south side of and near the east end of Red Deer Lake. It is 45 kms east of Ponoka, 18 kms northwest of Bashaw, and 60 kms southwest of Camrose. Situated on a secluded wooded lot, it features a full view of the lake, 300 ft of beach/lakefront, and various lawns. It is an approx 2 1/2 hr drive north from Calgary, 45 mins north from Red Deer, and just over 1 hr south from Edmonton.
The facility is available throughout the year for serving military members, veterans, and first responders. Our guests are welcome back again and again. We do ask that the next time they bring friends and families that need a break away to share in the experience.
Travel to and from Sheepdog Lodge?
At this time travel is the responsibility of the guests. We are diligently working on ways to cover travel costs.
Are pets welcome?
Absolutely! How can you have a rustic log cabin without a dog sleeping by the fireplace?! Man’s best friend is always welcome at Sheepdog Lodge. We actually prefer to have a dog around.
What do I need to do?
If you are a Veteran or First Responder that needs a break away to recuperate just fill out the form below and tell us your story. Some one will get a hold of you as soon as we can.