Wilderness camp returns

Campers raise their Bibles during chapel time at High Prairie Wilderness camp in summer 2021.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

High Prairie Wilderness Camp had another successful summer for youth ages 12-17 years after the 2020 camp was cancelled by COVID-19 restrictions.
Camp director Aaron Harbidge says the number of campers was down slightly from the record 71 in 2019.
“We had just over 60 campers join us over the course of our two seven-day camps and our one 10-day camp,” says Harbidge, who launched the camp in 2016 under the Sagitawa Christian Camping Society.
Most campers were new to the camp although he did not know how many youth would sign up after COVID restrictions were lifted July 1 just weeks before the first camp.
“I think that with so many things being shut down, many youth were looking for something new and exciting to do in the summer,” Harbidge says.
“Since camp was open, it was a great option for them.
“As we have seen in other years, coming to a camp with horses is always a favourite for young people and this year was no exception.”
Many longtime campers were too old to return.
“We were very excited to quickly see enthusiastic response from campers and parents alike,” Harbidge says.
“Between younger siblings coming and campers from families who had never before attended the camp, we had a large amount of new campers.”
Campers came from many more different communities throughout the Peace region and northern Alberta.
“It was an excellent summer with horseback riding, games, and great food, not to mention spectacular weather,” Harbidge says.
“We are very thankful for everyone who helped to make it possible.”
The annual fall fundraiser scheduled for Oct. 23 was cancelled by COVID-19 restrictions.
“However, we are working towards having an online auction in November,” Harbidge says.
“Some fantastic items have been donated.”
Watch for updates on the camp Facebook page.
For the second straight camp year, the camp was hit by thefts as kitchen tarps, a wall tent for the directors’ family and all the ropes were stolen before camp started.
Harbidge appreciates all the support from those to donated funds to replace the stolen items.
For more information on the camp, visit the camp website at hpwildernesscamp.ca.

Youth campers at High Prairie Wilderness Camp enjoy the many trail rides on horse down to the Little Smoky River.

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