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Beloved kids summer camp on Westside destroyed in McDougall Creek wildfire

‘We have received images taken from the water that reveals the extent of the destruction’
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More than 90 per cent of Camp OAC, located north of Wilson’s Landing, has been destroyed by the McDougall Creek wildfire, including the camp dock. (Contributed)

A children’s summer camp on the North Westside has been destroyed by the McDougall Creek wildfire.

Camp OAC has lost more than 90 per cent of its infrastructure said Ian Dixon, camp director.

“While we haven’t been able to physically visit the camp, we have received images taken from the water that reveals the extent of the destruction. The dining hall, staff quarters, residence building, crafts and program building and the dock have been completely destroyed.”

Dixon added he is grateful that all campers and staff were safely evacuated.

“We also share our gratitude, thoughts and prayers for all those working to fight these fires while many are dealing with loss themselves.”

Camp OAC has been a part of the community for over 70 years and is much more than just a summer camp Dixon said.

“The OAC family and legacy transcends its boundaries and we know our community will step up in a generous way to help the camp heal and rebuild. We look towards the future with hope for the camp and the community it serves.”

While a formal fundraising campaign will be needed, Dixon said many people have already reached out wanting to donate now.

“If you would like to donate to the rebuilding of Camp OAC, we are accepting donations through CanadaHelps. To spare you the processing fee, we ask that any large donations be made by contacting oacfinance@kootenay.info to make arrangements. This will ensure the full amount goes toward helping the camp rebuild.”

Dixon added that the rebuilding process will take time.

“We hope the community will support us and we will work tirelessly to rebuild the magic that is Camp OAC. We are committed to recreating a space that will share the same special place in our hearts. A place where youth in our community can feel loved and surrounded by nature. A space where inclusion is our priority and every camper can feel safe being who they are.”

READ MORE: McDougall Creek wildfire in West Kelowna grows to 12,000 hectares

READ MORE: Rain, rain, please stay: Precipitation in the forecast for the Okanagan


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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