Jocelyn Palm received the Order of Canada from Governor General David Johnson.
When Jocelyn Palm was a young girl, she dreamed of becoming a doctor, but in the mid-20th century that dream was almost impossible for women to realize. Since then, the Bayview resident has devoted herself — both as a dedicated volunteer at Women’s College Hospital and as the owner and director of Glen Bernard Summer Camp for girls — to helping young women realize their own dreams.
When Palm bought Glen Bernard in 1977, she says many were skeptical of her decision. But it was her dream to provide young girls with the chance to discover what they were capable of in a place they were free to be themselves, so she bought the camp, set herself up as director and continued to work her permanent job as director of the Lifesaving Society by correspondence. It was not easy, working by correspondence before the age of email and cellphones, but she doesn’t regret a moment.
“At camp, girls have a chance to learn who they really are,” she said.
During the winter months, Palm continues to devote herself to women’s causes and particularly women’s health. She is also the director of Women’s College Health Research, a charitable organization supporting research into women’s health. Last year, she was named a member to the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnson for her work in women’s initiatives. But despite receiving one of the country’s highest accolade, Palm says she’s no where near finished working for women.
“The world is changing for women. It’s gotten better, but we’re not done yet.”