It’s been said that there probably isn’t many people in the Campbell River area that haven’t been to Camp Homewood at least once in their lifetime.
“I go to lots of different places in town and I mention I am from Camp Homewood and they say ‘Oh, I go there and my kids go there,’” Camp Director Irwin Harder said.
He added that there are families here who have third and fourth generations attending the camp.
The popular youth and family camp on Quadra Island has been a mainstay in the region for 70 years now and this summer it is honouring that legacy with a season-long celebration.
The festivities began last month with a celebratory weekend of activities and a gala dinner hosted by Deb Gray, former MP who was a camper at Homewood during her teens and credits the camp with having a major influence on her life. In her adulthood, she continues to support Camp Homewood.
Homewood’s origin goes back to when the Pacific Coast Children’s Mission was founded in 1944 by Alf and Margaret Bayne. They purchased the Goforth, a 36’ motor vessel, and ministered to families and children in isolated areas on the coast of British Columbia. The first summer camp was held in 1947 near Terrace but the need for a permanent base was realized and provided for in October of 1948 when the Baynes moved onto a portion of the present Homewood property. The first camp at Homewood was held the following summer.
Over the years the camp program has expanded, involving more campers and reaching out to more people every year.
Homewood is an openly Christian camp whose mission is “To present the love of God and the claims of Christ on an individual’s life in an unthreatening atmosphere through quality programmes and caring relationships, utilizing God’s creation.”
The facility is non-denominational but is run by a board adhering to Christian principles. Despite that focus, the camp is attended by many people just looking for wholesome outdoor activities and a refuge from the pressures of daily living.
“Our take here at Homewood is that we want to be able to retreat away from the world,” Harder said. “People can come here to feel at peace and through that, learn about God.”
The camp offers a range of activities and comes up with creative ways for people to attend. There is an emphasis on family but besides youth camps, there are mother and daughter camps, father and son camps, homeschooling camps and many others. School programs are offered as well and the camp has catered to youth organizations like Guides and Scouts.
“We try to offer a simple program,” he said. “Our activities are a bit more traditional camping activities.”
In the summer, there are week-long themed camps offered: a harbour camp, focusing on the main property in Gowlland Harbour; a ranch camp, focusing on horsemanship; a sailing camp; and a Woodsman Camp.
Homewood is located on 200 acres on Quadra Island and has two components. The main camp has permanent facilities on the shores of Gowlland Harbour – stables, barns, lodging, docks, archery and shooting ranges and more.
Further north on Quadra, the Woodsman Camp is located on the shores of Main Lake in the interior of northern Quadra Island. It’s emphasis is on wilderness skills and rustic camp living.
Weekend retreats are popular as well and run the gamut from Mother and Daugther weekends, Mother and Son, Valenteen, New Year’s Family Camp, Homeschool Family Camp, Father and Daughter weekends and Father and Son weekends.
Harder said anyone is welcome come out to the camp and get a tour of the facilities.
“Contact us if you’re interested but don’t know what it is about, and I will give you a tour,” he said.
For more information visit www.camphomewood.com, phone (250) 285-3483 or e-mail email@example.com.