Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Making new friends around the world

2021 07 06 BOBBOWLES BY JUNE C. SMALLThe Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre recently had a wonderful opportunity to host a local group called Friendship Force Lake Simcoe.

Their tagline is "A world of friends is a world of peace". They focus on promoting goodwill and understanding through home-stay journeys.

As a member, you get a chance to visit the world staying in the homes of club friends, seeing their country through their eyes. In turn, you can host visitors to our country and show them this corner of the world. This is a world-based non-profit cultural organization founded by Presbyterian minister Wayne Smith and U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

What a great concept. Building friendships worldwide and getting the chance to experience the customs and culture of a country, firsthand. You leave behind the tourist sites and attractions and view the area with local residents who know where all the hidden gems are located.

Bob Bowles, after whom our centre is named, is the 1st vice-president of Friendship Force Lake Simcoe and is looking forward to introducing visitors from around the world to the many interesting and natural features we have here at the Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre.

In June, an outing was organized by Friendship Force Lake Simcoe to visit the Carden Alvar, north-east of Orillia. Bob Bowles led the way, identifying and viewing the dazzling display of flora, including a visit to our nature centre. Four groups were organized, due to the provincial limits of 10 people for outdoor gatherings, spreading the event over two days with a morning and afternoon hike. The nearly 40 club members enjoyed the hike seeing more than 20 different kinds of flora and learning about the importance of alvars. 

They also enjoyed spending time at the nature centre, learning about us and our goals of inspiring people to become stewards of the land by offering programs and workshops on all aspects of nature.


To learn more about Friendship Force Lake Simcoe you can visit:


Many international visitors, living in areas without the natural features we have here in Canada, will be given the opportunity to visit the centre to observe nature at close range, including the moose, deer or bear that often wander through the property. These visitors will experience a very different Canadian adventure than most tourists visiting Ontario.

It is our hope to continue hosting groups such as these with missions of peace, creating new friendships, learning from others and having the best of intentions of health and well-being for all sentient beings.

Blog and photo by June Crinnion

Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre, founded by June Crinnion and Michael Elmer, is a nature and wellness centre in Ramara, named after Lake Simcoe Living Nature Detective Bob Bowles to honour his role in protecting and caring for the environment. For more information, go to







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