Camp Squeah has been providing summer programs in the area for five decades.
To mark this milestone, the local camp hosted an alumni gathering last Saturday for over 500 families and staff.
“Our 50th anniversary celebration was a huge success, exceeding even our highest expectations,” said executive director Rob Tiessen.
“The only concern we faced throughout the day, was the fleeting time. Between all the great displays to visit, activities to participate in, great food to enjoy, and all the great people to reconnect with, time to say goodbye came way too soon.”
Camp Squeah first opened its doors off Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon in 1962 with a few cabins, outdoor swimming pool, and dining hall. Since then, its expanded to include a lodge, outdoor gym, low and high ropes course, rock climbing area, crafts hall, games room, numerous meeting spaces, and an extensive trail system. The camp strives to provide a place of refuge for people of all ages to build relationships, grow and explore their faith in an outdoor setting.
“It’s a place to get away from the stresses of life and the fast-paced frenetic activity that can sometimes overwhelm us, and to get grounded and connected in a loving, supportive environment,” said Tiessen.
“We’re finding more now that it’s a necessary gift to give children the ability to come out here and feel comfortable in the beauty of nature.”
Camp Squeah, a ministry of the Mennonite Church British Columbia, is a children’s summer camp, year-round retreat centre, and outdoor education facility. Summer camps include children’s programs ranging in duration from three to six days, backpacking trips, and junior and senior leadership training camps, which encourage the development of skills from a servant leader perspective. During the summer, there can be up to 70 staff working every week for 102 campers.
Camp Squeah also hosts Camp Skylark every September, a bereavement camp for children sponsored by the Fraser Canyon Hospice Society.
Tiessen says for many people, Camp Squeah has been a family tradition. Part of the draw is the relationships that get formed with fellow campers and cabin leaders.
“There’s a real legacy of handing things off to the next generation and a desire to be connected that way,” he said. “We just feel blessed to be in this space.”