Image

The Old Glad Tidings Camp

Old Camp

From Nine Mile Point you now make a right and enter into Salmon Inlet.  A little over a mile up the south side of the inlet is the site of the old Glad Tidings Church Camp.  This place always leaves me with mixed emotions.  The area is absolutely beautiful but what has been done to it is very disheartening.  The property is a government Crown lease that was held by the Glad Tidings Church since the 1950’s I believe.  The church had been running it as a summer camp and had built cabins, a rustic but very attractive dining hall, a very large A-frame type structure for activities and equipment storage and numerous staff quarters.  During the summer of 1992 the camp was suddenly closed down because of health issues.

In September of 1992 I happened to be boating in the area and dropped in to see the camp.  I had just spent nine years as Property Manager/Maintenance Director at Keats Camps on Keats Island, so camp operations were of some interest to me.  The place looked as if everyone had been airlifted out with little notice.  The tables in the dining hall were still set, the covered dock had rows of life jackets hanging up.  In the staff quarters books and shoes were still beside the beds and clothes in the closets.  Already there had been some minor vandalism.  The toolroom door was broken open as was the storage building where the food was stored.  There was a backhoe in the A-frame and  if I remember correctly, a skidder.  The diesel generator building had also been broken into.  A sorry sight.

When we returned home we contacted the Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver and told them of the vandalism that we had seen and suggested that the site needed to be secured better.  They indicated that they were dealing with it.

I didn’t get back to the camp until 2008.  The dining hall had been torched (apparently by vandals in 2006) and the long dock had completely disappeared.  Most of the outbuilding were heavily vandalized.  In the A-frame the backhoe had been stripped and smashed with rocks and the entire building was in danger of collapse.  Very little was left of the diesel generator.  Once again we contacted the Glad Tidings organization, more this time to express our disgust.  We were told that they were also concerned and they were trying to formulate some sort of plan.

Very little had changed when this picture was taken in 2010 and it was obvious nothing more had been done to secure or clean up the camp site.  With my years of camp experience I know how hard it is to get funds to run and maintain a camp.  Much of the money comes through people’s tithes and donations.  It was difficult for me to see hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of resources abandoned and wasted and I think the Glad Tidings organization should be ashamed of itself.

There is conflicting information on whether Glad Tidings still holds the lease but recently there has been some very significant archaeological discoveries made in the area, in fact the camp had been built over an ancient burial site.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t an uncommon practice, especially with logging operations, prior to 1960.  It was then that the British Columbia government finally initiated the British Columbia Archaeological & Historical Sites Act.  This act made it a punishable offence to disturb or desecrate middens, burial sites, habitation sites, pictographs, etc.  Desecration is the perfect word for what I have seen happen at the church camp property and I think the government should rescind this government lease and put the land under the protection of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation, to the people who respect what they have and what they have been given.

Advertisements

10 comments

  1. I just visited the old camp today with my family and was very intrigued. Other than this blog, I couldn’t seem to find any more information on it. It’s very mysterious how it was suddenly abandoned, with the tables still set. Do you know what kind of health issues? It where I can find more information?

    • I believe there were two issues. Fresh water was supplied by a creek from Mt. Richardson and it was deemed unsuitable for drinking. The kitchen refrigeration was run off a generator and it would be shut off at night which didn’t meet the approval of the inspectors. I assume that because children were involved they didn’t want to take any chances. The camp officials may have thought it would be an easy fix and planned to return but it never happened. Really a shame because it was lovely when I first saw it and it is such a wonderful place for a camp.

  2. I’ve visited the site 3 times in the last 6 years and it has steadily gotten worse. I do think the lease should be rescinded and the Church held responsible to clean up the site. There is an old bus left abandoned and rusting as well.
    With regards to your statement “…put the land under the protection of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation, to the people who respect what they have and what they have been given.” I’m not sure I can agree with you on that point. Most of the Indian lands I’ve seen are a disgrace of garbage and tar paper shacks so I’m skeptical that they would maintain it any better than it currently sits.

    • It is a sad situation and I don’t know the status of it now.

      I’ve lived in Sechelt for 40 years now and have great respect for the Sechelt Nation. There have been more significant archeological finds in the immediate area and the Band is very concerned and motivated to preserve their cultural history. Because of the isolated nature of this property I’m not sure how the site can be adequately cared for and protected but anything is better than what has been done in recent history. BTW – haven’t seen the tar paper shacks and garbage on the Sechelt Band lands.

    • Hello, I am from the sechelt first nation and I can assure you that my people would not disgrace that land. Also, I feel your comment to be very rude.

      • Thanks for commenting! I think anyone living in the Sechelt area knows the regard and respect the Sechelt First Nation has for their land and culture. Unfortunately there will always be those with a negative opinion.

  3. Thank you all for your concern. As always, people sometimes feel the need to jump to conclusions without all of the information. I attended this camp as a young man and I am still a part of Glad Tidings. I can tell you that in its day this was one of the best camps in the area. However, through a set of unavoidable circumstances the camp is in the state that it is in. We have been trying to work with the government (provincial) and the local Indian Band in order to come up with a plan moving forward. As you can imagine, this has been quite a chore and has not been as successful as we would have hoped. For this I am truly sorry and I hope that one day children can once again run and play in this beautiful spot.

    • Thanks for your comment Marco. As I mentioned in my post, I was director of maintenance for Keats Camp for 8 years and I can truly appreciate what a wonderful location the Glad Tiding camp is. Unfortunately it makes the situation all the sadder as from appearances nothing has been done to rectify the situation. Just clearing up the site would go a long way in showing that Glad Tidings has good intentions and good stewardship. It would also show that they deserve to continue to hold the lease.

  4. Pingback: Tetrahedron Provincial Park – Adventuring Scott


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s