January 12, 2016 - 1:19 PM
ARMSTRONG - A ‘magical’ summer camp in the North Okanagan will no longer be welcoming throngs of children to its 80 acres of wilderness.
The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club bought the property on Salmon River Road in Armstrong five years ago and created Camp Arrowflight, operations director Jeremy Welder says. Now, the organization has decided to sell the property due to the high cost of running it.
“It became too much and we were subsidizing the camp to a level that wasn’t feasible for us,” Welder says. “It was a very difficult decision for our management team and board of directors.”
The property was put up for sale in September 2015, and there’s been some interest so far, but no buyers.
“We’re optimistic the camp will find a good new owner,” Welder says, adding he hopes the property will continue to be run as a camp.
An estimated 2,000 kids from across the North, Central and South Okanagan spent time at the camp over the past five years, and Welder says the site will be missed.
“It’s a pretty magical location in Armstrong. It was always great to get out there and see the staff and kids interacting in a unique environment,” Welder says.
Providing youth with an outdoor experience is still a priority for the Boys and Girls Club, and Welder says the organization is seeking partnerships with other groups and planning to offer mobile programs to fill the gap.
“We used to, before we had the camp, run mobile outdoor education and adventure programs,” Welder says. “We’d have a van with staff take groups of 15 to 20 kids to do an outdoor adventure, like backcountry hiking or canoeing.”
The organization is exploring its options and promises to offer outdoor programs in summer 2016.
Money from the eventual sale of the property will be used to cover costs incurred from the camp and to put funds into other facilities, Welder says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016