Camp Stone volunteers remind public camp is closed after numerous issues

Camp Stone volunteers remind public camp is closed after numerous issues

The volunteers who maintain Camp Stone hope to convey to the communtity that the park is closed by order of Scouts Canada due to COVID-19. They are having issues with seeing trespassing, litter, and parking at their gate access.

Gene McIvor, the property manager of Camp Stone, has been in his current role for around 10 years, but has been volunteering as an adult for over 30.

Camp Stone is 125 acres of wilderness camp located within Kimberley City Limits, just past the entrance to Riverside Campground. Scouts in Kimberley first started using the property in around 1929, back when it was owned by Cominco.

Later, it was owned by Teck, and Scouts Canada leased the property from them.

“We were leasing it and then when Teck was pulling up stakes, we had numerous conversations with them and they agreed to donate the site to us, that would have been around 2001,” explained McIvor. “So we took ownership of it.”

McIvor added that First Kimberley Group Scouts, as a group of volunteers, are not legally owners of any property, so Camp Stone, as well as Resker Hall in Marysville, are owned by Scouts Canada Properties Trust BC/Yukon, a holding company.

“We, however, are responsible for all aspects of management and upkeep and everything else,” McIvor said, adding that there is indeed a great deal of work being done there, with longtime Scout volunteer Ed Purves handling much of the upkeep in recent years.

READ MORE: Kimberley’s Ed Purves honoured for 50 years of service to Scouting

Camp Stone is a heavily-forested wilderness camp with minimal development; basically just one small cabin, a longhouse with a kitchen, a large fire pit and a number of outhouses. During regular operation, before the pandemic, it was used for weekly program meetings for Scouting people and camping.

It has hosted very large camps, up to as many as 400 to 500 kids at a time, according to McIvor.

“We offset our expenses by renting these facilities out,” McIvor said. “So, Camp Stone in particular, it’s booked every weekend all summer, every summer, typically a year in advance. For such things as family reunions, weddings that sort of thing, which is our primary source of income to keep that place alive.”

Both Camp Stone and Resker Hall have been closed since March 15 by order of Scouts Canada.

“They remain shut, and will remain shut, for the foreseeable future,” McIvor said. “We don’t believe we’ll be into either the hall or Camp Stone at least until the new year and quite likely longer.”

McIvor goes down to the camp every three days to inspect it for insurance purposes. He said that some people simply walk through the camp to go for a walk, which under their current directive is forbidden, but the main reason people go through there is for access to the river.

“People like to go down there and sun and swim and, hey, we understand that, however trespass is trespass,” he said.

On his trips to the camp, McIvor has been picking up litter, dog excrement and cigarette butts. He said he’s not seen any vandalism this year, but over the course of the many decades the camp has existed, they have encountered it. Their biggest concern currently is the risk of fire.

McIvor already had no-trespassing sign up at the gate, and went back to put up a bigger sign saying that park is closed by order of Scouts Canada, but McIvor said that, “people walk right past those signs like they’re invisible.”

He’s also seen, as recently as two days prior to the time of writing, vehicles parked at the pullouts located at the eastern and western corners of their property of the St. Mary River Road.

“Where people are parking there’s no other reason for them to be there unless they’re going down through Camp Stone, there’s nothing else within walking distance,” he said.

McIvor has spoken with the RCMP and they told him that he should by all means collect all the vehicle and licence plate information to send on to them. He said that while they’re not going to charge up there and arrest anyone, the RCMP is prepared to contact offenders to remind them that they need to stay out of there.

“The difficulty of it, and I understand, is people want to get to the river. We fully understand that, but we’re concerned about fire and we’re concerned about our liability insurance if we have people. Insurance is a massive, massive, expense for us. We have extensive property management protocols that we are expected to enforce and report upon.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

David Moskowitz file
Wildsight to present webinar on Inland Temperate Rainforest

Join Wildsight next Tuesday, December 1, 2020 for a free webinar on… Continue reading

Carmen Hintz (right) donates $500 to Heather Smith (left) at the Kimberley Food Bank, leftover cash after fundraising to rescue four kittens. Paul Rodgers photo.
Local’s extra kitten fundraiser money donated to Kimberley Food Bank

Carmen Hintz donates $500, after raising money to support rescued cats

Ryder and Cohen of Kimberley Minor Hockey can play on with new mandates from the Provincial Health Officer. Photo submitted.
Kimberley Minor Hockey president hopes to see curve flatten for a return to hockey

New COVID-19 orders put in place by the government last week stated… Continue reading

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Smoothing out the walking path near the roof extension at Centre 64. Photo submitted
BC Rehab sponsored Accessibility Project completed at Centre 64

Work continues on making the Arts Centre accessible to all

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Most Read