We are deeply saddened to share that the McDougall Creek Wildfire has wreaked havoc on Camp OAC, causing the destruction of over 90% of its cherished infrastructure. While we haven’t been able to physically visit the camp, we have received images taken from the water that reveal the extent of destruction. The dining hall, staff quarters, residence building, crafts and program building and the dock have been completely destroyed. In the distance, we can see that the near bathroom, showers and cabin 1 are still standing which showcases the randomness and power that fire can bring. This wildfire has caused so much destruction to our community and we are grateful 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.
We look towards the future with hope for the camp and the community it serves. Camp OAC has been a part of the community for over 70 years and we acknowledge it is so much more than just a summer camp. While Camp OAC has been built around a physical location, 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.
While we don’t know what the end result will be, 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. The camp has never been about the buildings. It’s always been about the people and the gifts they bring to create such a remarkable place.
While a formal campaign will be needed, we acknowledge that many have reached out wanting to donate at the present time. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements. This will ensure the full amount goes toward helping the camp rebuild.
We know the rebuilding process will take time but we will take it one step at a time. We hope the community will support us and we will work tirelessly to rebuild the magic that is Camp OAC.