Adventures with times to horse around and learn life skills are all part of High Prairie Wilderness Camp that opens its first season this summer.
“We are excited to launch the camp,” says camp director Aaron Harbidge, who will be assisted by his wife Stephanie.
“We teach the application of biblical Christianity to the whole life.”
“We support family, moral, and spiritual values through team building and mentoring relationships in a recreational environment.
Located on the Little Smoky River about 32 kilometres southwest of High Prairie, the camp for youth ages 12-17 offer camps from Aug. 1-7 and Aug. 8-14 at a cost of $275 per person.
“A lot of people in the area like horses and the outdoors, so it seemed like a natural fit to introduce a wilderness-themed camp with a focus on trail-riding,” says Harbidge, who had the vision when he moved to the area in 2012.
“We want to provide a place where local youth can connect and have a fun, safe time in a setting that slows the pace of everyday life and gives time to enjoy creation.”
Harbidge has been involved with wilderness camps since 2003 in various leadership roles.
High Prairie Wilderness Camp is owned and operated by non-profit society Sagitawa Christian Camp Society based in Moberly Lake, British Columbia affiliated with B.C. Camping Association and the Christian Camp and Conference Association.
For the first year, camps will be limited to 15 youth per week.
“When we have an established support base of local staff and program, we hope to be able to offer camp sessions to about 20-25 youth per session,” Harbidge says.
“We would like to have the staff and facilities to host more camp sessions in a summer, anywhere from a full month, to filling both July and August.”
That would require more horses and equipment, tipis, kitchen equipment and finances, he says.
“Further, we would like to purchase a quarter section of land that is surrounded by Crown land where we can develop trails, an obstacle course for team events, 3-D bow hunting, and other outdoor activities,” Harbidge says.
“In the long term, we would also like to develop a river canoeing program, focusing on week-long out-trips where youth learn the skills of canoeing in a hands-on, adventurous way.”
Interest for the local camp already grows.
“At this point, we have had an overwhelmingly positive response from people of all ages who have heard about the start of HPWC,” Harbidge says.
“We look forward to meeting youth and their families, and getting to know better the people of our surrounding communities through providing an unforgettable wilderness camp experience.”
Volunteers are also being recruited for the kitchen, maintenance and set-up.
For more information on the camp or to volunteer, please phone Harbidge at [1-587] 321-0066, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on Camp Sagitawa, visit at sagitawa.bc.ca, email email@example.com or phone [1-250] 788-2361.
Anyone interested can connect to the camp through Facebook by searching for High Prairie Wilderness Camp.