West Kelowna  

Burned children's camp on Westside Road won't reopen this summer

Camp OAC closed for 2024

A children's summer camp on Westside Road that burned in last summer's McDougall Creek wildfire will not open as hoped this year.

Established in 1950 and hosting summer camps for kids ever since, Camp OAC will unfortunately have to wait another year before reopening after 28 of its 33 structures were lost in the blaze. The camp is located across the street from the Wilson's Landing Fire Hall.

The Camp OAC team and staff took to their website on May 21 to announce that their number one priority when the camp burned down was to get it rebuilt as quickly as possible.

"Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to hit that goal and I share the devastation of many people within our community," said camp director Ian Dixon.

"Since the camp was destroyed we have had so many problems come up, ranging from archeological restrictions, environmental restrictions, geotechnical, as you can imagine losing 28 structures on one property has been a massive loss and it's a massive project we are going to have to work on for years and years to come."

Dixon previously spoke with Castanet about the red tape associated with rebuilding.

According to Camp OAC, a dedicated team of volunteers has overseen securing permits and site remediation.

Trying to free the space of fire fuel and bad memories of forest fire, Camp OAC staff spent much of the first half of 2024 removing upwards of 600 burned down trees around the property.

"We are continuing to work on everything that's going to be needed in order to have the camp be open for next year. We are confident we will be able to have camp here next year," added Dixon.

In an effort to help gather money for the long list of repairs and rebuilds needed at Camp OAC, a donation page has been set up by the Anglican Foundation of Canada.

Camp OAC is hoping to raise $20,000 and currently sit just over $1,000 in combined donations.

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