As we head towards another summer, Camp Owaissi is looking forward to welcoming youth from all over BC for an unforgettable experience in nature. This year the camp will celebrate it’s 71st year of impacting the lives of many campers within our community. Just like everything else, the past year has been challenging but fulfilling. After the initial uncertainty settled, we managed to welcome over 250 youth to the camp in a modified day camp format while also giving jobs and opportunities to our faithful staff. As we look forward to this summer, things will certainly be different at Owaissi however, this presents us with opportunities to make sure we are doing our best to serve our community. We opened registration as normal in the middle of January with 7 weeks of camp. However at this time we don’t know whether we will be operating as an overnight camp or day camp. Parents are able to register their campers at no cost and will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to proceed once we determine which format we will be able to provide. Planning for camp this year is definitely more challenging with all the uncertainty, but we know that camp is more important for youth than ever before. We are coming up with multiple plans on how we can operate based on the predicted restrictions. This includes overnight vs day, full capacity vs reduced capacity, longer weeks vs shorter weeks and how we might create cohorts. Most importantly, every decision is based around the safety of the campers, volunteers and staff. In the unfortunate event that we aren’t allowed to operate in person then we will instead come up with virtual ways for us to connect with our community. The restrictions and protocols that we put in place will likely be completely different this year as the pandemic has evolved. We remain confident that our community will adjust to any restrictions that are in place and will find ways to ensure that camp will always be an incredible, life changing experience. Our campers look forward to coming to Owaissi each summer and we look forward to welcoming them. This past year has been incredibly difficult for them with many of their regular activities cancelled which only pushes us further towards ensuring we can give them the magic of camp.
Over the past 12 months we have accomplished multiple projects that we can’t wait to show off to our community. The main project is a brand new craft hut! This building will be operational by May and provide campers with a beautiful space to show off their creativity and imagination while being surrounded by nature. The building will also have a new tuck shop (Ice cream & candy – highlight of everyone’s day!), a program space with an office. The building also has a gender neutral washroom which is part of our commitment to ensuring camp is a safe space for youth. This building is all about investing in our community. Check out our website to find out more about the project or to make a donation to support it and receive a limited edition camp item.
Other exciting projects include the building of a new gaga ball court which is a classic Owaissi game. We have also been working hard on upgrading and renovating many of the existing buildings to make sure they are ready to welcome the campers in a few months. Another exciting addition is the floating dock in the corner of the swimming area and the new paddleboards to make free swim even more exciting.
As we head towards the summer, we are so grateful for the incredible community that surrounds Camp Owaissi. We would never have been able to accomplish so much in the past year without the generosity and support. If you would like to find out more, get involved or support the camp then please reach out to me. We will continue to do all that we can to support youth in our community by offering them a safe place to be themselves in nature while surrounded by faith.