- BC Games
Camp Bow-Isle hosts island students and families
After 10 weeks of non-stop action through the summer, Camp Bow-Isle continues to bustle with activity this fall with local schoolchildren and their families as the direct beneficiaries.
During the first week of school, more than 100 students and parents from Bowen Island Community School’s outside45 program met with program leaders at Camp Bow-Isle to kick off the school year. They also enjoyed a potluck feast and learned what is in store for them in the coming year.
This popular program, now in its second year, has garnered widespread support and doubled in size since last year. Geared toward Grade 6 and 7 students who are interested in learning about the environment and sustainability, and who enjoy spending time outdoors regardless of the weather, outside45 immerses students in various environments in order to help them learn about those environments and themselves, in addition to traditional academics.
BICS vice principal Scott Slater said, “For the last two years, we have launched outside45 at Camp Bow-Isle. Building community is important to the program and Bow-Isle is a nice spot where students and parents can come together. Having the camp nearby, where students can walk to and practice their camping skills in a safe and forgiving environment, is also an asset.”
Camp Bow-Isle provides a launching point for the students to learn how to set up tents, cook over camp stoves, tie knots, use a compass, learn archery and canoeing, and work on team-building skills. Some of those skills will later be applied during overnight camping trips to Garibaldi Park and around Howe Sound.
During the second week of school, students from Island Discovery Learning Community visit Camp Bow-Isle for their annual family camp weekend. The first day, students from all grades meet at camp for games, trust-building initiatives and skill-based outdoor education. That afternoon, parents and siblings join them for a potluck dinner, followed by campfire, slideshow and sleepover.
Many of the families bring their own tents, while some stay overnight in Camp Bow-Isle’s tent-cabins. The following day is filled with good food and more fun, games, crafts and kayaking and swimming at the camp lake.
The Island Discovery Learning Community has been coming to Camp Bow-Isle each year for the past decade, and principal Al Saugstad said it’s a highlight for many families.
“For the last 10 years, Island Discovery has started its school year by spending a weekend together at Camp Bow-Isle. We regularly have over 125 Bowen Islanders attend,” Saugstad explained. “This is such a wonderful experience for us. It helps the kids and families get to know each other, and we learn and practice what it means to live and flourish in community with others. We are indebted to the talented and super-friendly staff for facilitating this.”
Camp Bow-Isle is a non-profit organization in its 53rd year on Bowen Island.
It regulary makes all its facilities available for community groups and schools.