Muskoka Mosaic: Community spirit thrives
Introducing Judy Hall
/ Mandi Hargrave
Judy Hall is a strong believer in community and providing youth with activities to build a solid foundation for their journey to adulthood.
MUSKOKA – Within six months of moving to Muskoka Judy Hall became her own boss.
Although Hall spent time in the restaurant and recreation industries, massage therapy had always been in the background. It became her choice of career after a meeting with a massage therapist, Jan Archer, in Alliston.
She moved to Muskoka to work as a massage therapist in 1990 with a local resort, but wanted to do more.
“After the appointment with her I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” said Hall. “It’s health care at a different level; it’s the amount of time you spend with somebody to really find out what’s going on.”
The independence of self-employment and being able to choose when and where to work was also a big draw to the field for Hall. In April 1991 she became self-employed.
“It’s really gratifying to see somebody feel better,” she said.
Hall is the outdoorsy type and loves hiking, cross-country skiing, skating and golfing. She said having Arrowhead Provincial Park in town is one of the perks of living in Muskoka.
After growing up with 4-H clubs and her love for the outdoors, becoming involved with the Huntsville and District Scouts was a natural fit.
In 2006, she became commissioner for the 2nd Huntsville Scouts to stop the club from closing. Had the position not been filled, the club wouldn’t have been able to continue. She’s also a part-time Beaver Scout leader.
“In order to keep the hubby in scouting and the stepson in scouting, so he could complete his chief scout awards, I jumped in,” said Hall, who also has a daughter. “The changes have been interesting, people like what they see.”
She said membership with the scouts fluctuates every year, but there are currently no meetings for the Cub Scouts (eight to 10 year olds) and the Scouts (11 to 13 year olds) as there aren’t enough members.
“The biggest challenge is the other things the youth have to do, other things they’re involved in, between hockey and skiing and the outdoor activities, they’re already committed to other things. So getting them out for a meeting once a week is hard,” she said.
Hall said it’s nice to see the kids involved with scouting learning new skills, whether it’s crafting, co-operation, survival skills or emergency preparedness.
“The discovery in their eyes, the connection with other kids, it’s just neat to see that,” said Hall. “It’s that aspect of an opportunity for the kids to do something else that’s not competitive or score-based.”
The group meetings are held at Trinity United Church and through scouting, Hall became more involved with programs at the church and is the chair of one of its committees, along with a number of other responsibilities.
“It’s giving back to the community, being involved in the community, being aware of the things going on around because without the community, without the activities for the youth, how are they growing up?” questioned Hall. “What are the things that they’re learning from in becoming adults? Hopefully, good things … Without a community you can’t raise your kids very well.”
Through Hall’s journey in life thus far, the key lesson she’s learned is that “the only constant in life is change.”
“You just gotta go with it,” she said. “Life’s too short not to enjoy it, not to make the most of each moment. You pass this way once.”
Thank you to Robert Attfield for recommending Hall. If you have someone in the community you would like to see profiled, contact Mandi Hargrave at 705-789-5541 ext. 285 or email email@example.com.