Children enjoy a dip in the Lake of the Trees while attending the Lake of the Woods Bible Camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

Day camps on this summer at Lake of the Trees Bible Camp

‘We have fought hard to keep camp open’

If you’re looking for something for your child to do this summer have no fear for the Lake of the Trees Bible Camp opens this July with a new day camp COVID-19 safe program.

The Lake of the Trees Bible Camp has long been a positive fixture for Cariboo life since 1969 according to its current director Tom McIntosh who himself went to the camp in the 1980s while growing up in Williams Lake. The camp left a lasting impression on the young McIntosh as he worked in construction, the food industry, sales, public speaking, as a pastor and a wide range of other careers.

“I served in my college years here a couple of summers and I enjoyed it, thought it was the dream job never thought it’d be a career but in 2001 my wife and I moved up here to take the director role and been here 19 years to serve the children and youth of the Cariboo,” McIntosh said. “It attracted me because my story is about how people cared about me through camp and showed me God’s love through fun and bible learning that I had here. It was such an amazing experience for me.”

Because of the great experiences he had while at camp and growing up in the Cariboo, he said he’s long wanted to provide that for the children and youth of today which continues to drive him today. For him directing this camp is as much about paying that gift forward as it is a job.

At the camp, he gives children of all denominations the chance to learn about and study the bible while having fun in the beautiful setting of the camp with turquoise coloured waters, wildlife and an overall amazing gift of land for them to explore. These activities include tubing, access to a lakeside waterslide, kayaking, canoeing, archery

However, this summer McIntosh said they are retooling their efforts to instead offer day camps under the express consent of Dr. Bonnie Henry. As an accredited camp with the BC Camps Association, he has received clear requirements on how to operate the camp safely for both their staff and campers.

“I like to say we’re building this airplane as we fly it,” McIntosh joked.

To facilitate the day camp during the months of July and August the camp will be offering daily bus rides to and from the camp to bus stops in both 100 Mile House and Williams Lake. While riding the bus campers will sit one to each seat, unless they’re from the same household, to enforce physical distancing. Children from Williams Lake will be able to catch the bus at 7:30 a.m. from the Tim Hortons parking lot and will return at 5:30 p.m. for the pickup while 100 Mile House children will be catching the bus at 8 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. from the Co-Op Gas Station.

At the camp meals and snacks will be provided and activities will take place via a cohort model where campers will be grouped into groups of 10 and will then follow their leader to various activities distanced from other cohorts. McIntosh said some aggressive hand sanitation efforts will also be in place with McIntosh joking he thinks they’ll introduce a new game called “Capture the Lysol Wipes” rather than the classic capture the flag. A temperature check will be conducted before each camper boards the bus and a background check on the family’s health will also be required in the interest of safety while workers will also be symptom checked daily.

The day camps will take place from July 6-10, July 13-17, July 20-24, August 10-14 and August 17-21 for $220 a week and July 27-30 and August 4-7 for $180 for four days. Registration is being done primarily online via www.lakeofthetrees.com though McIntosh said they will accept registration via phone at 250-791-5502 if a family doesn’t have reliable access to the internet.

“We have invested in some really good online registration software that’s secure and confidential,” McIntosh said. “It takes about 20 minutes to gather some health and contact information for the campers and they can pay by etransfer or credit card.”

As the Lake of the Trees Bible Camp is a local camp McIntosh and the board are doing everything they can to make sure that any local child who wants to attend camp will be able to. To that end, if anyone wishes to donate to cover the costs of campers attending camp or to help pay for the bus ride to and from camp every day is invited to do so at their website.

“I think it will be a quieter start at the start of July but by the middle, I think we’ll see every parent in the Cariboo declaring camp an essential service,” he remarked with a laugh.

McIntosh said that the research for the benefits of camp is overwhelming and points to positive growth in child development coming from a camp experience. These can include emotional, physical, social, and spiritual benefits, he said.

If any parents wish to view the facilities before signing their child up for the camp he said they’re happy to arrange a private tour to show them their facilities. All of the leaders, meanwhile, McIntosh added are background checked and trained in how to care for their campers.

“Children and youth have everything to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to the opportunity of camp,” McIntosh said. “We have fought hard to keep camp open. It is with great sadness that most of the camps in B.C. are closed at this point and they’re talking nationally about a 1,000 camps not being able to make it this next year because of this COVID shutdown. We’re fighting to keep camp not only affordable, fine and bible centred for the campers of the Cariboo but we are keeping i sustainable and affordable for generations in the Cariboo.”


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile HouseCampingCaribooWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Campers at the Lake of the Woods Bible Camp at a previous summer camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

Campers enjoy a spot of tubing before plunging into the lake at the Lake of the Trees Bible Camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

A young boy tries his hand at fishing at the Lake of the Trees Bible Camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

A girl aims for an archery butte during a visit to the Lake of the Trees Bible Camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

A Lake of the Tree Bible Camp camper smiling for the camera. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

Some campers take a silly photo together at the Lake of the tree bible camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

A duo of campers at the Lake of the Trees Bible Camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

The Lake of the Trees Bible Camp is for children aged seven to 13 and welcomes all denominations. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

A girl takes a turn kayaking at the Lake of the Trees. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

Campers at the Lake of the Trees Bible Camps pose together at a previous camp. (Lake of the Trees Bible Camp photo)

Just Posted

Disconnect to Reconnect with free, outdoor event at Scout Island Aug. 22

The event is being hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and Gaming Enforcement Branch

Soda Creek Sweet Corn loses major building and equipment in blaze

Equipment used for harvesting corn, sorting and storing was destroyed

First Nation-made wood products aiding on-reserve economic development

Yunesit’in recently finalized the purchase of Leading Edge Wood Products in Horsefly

Housing study to examine priority needs across Central Cariboo, Chilcotin

Residents will be invited to participate via a survey in early autumn

Amended rules and regulations spark concerns for trailer court tenants in Williams Lake

New rules state owners have right to fine, terminate and take legal action without warning

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Funding to support early reclamation work at acid leaking B.C. mine

B.C. Government committing up to $1.575 million for Tulsequah Chief Mine site

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read