As Agur Lake Camp continues to build momentum, the organizers are planning their second annual Visitor’s Day – where the public is invited to see what the society is all about.
On May 30 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., anybody who can attend – especially families with young children – is encouraged to explore Agur Lake Camp, which is 20 kilometres west of Summerland.
In their first year partnering with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, this year’s Visitor’s Day will offer free fishing. The fisheries society will supply the equipment and tackle, and fishing licences won’t be necessary.
“They’ll be teaching anybody who comes up,” said Mirjana Komljenovic, office administrator at Agur Lake Camp. Anybody is welcome to try, though “I’m sure the freshwater fisheries would like to see children come so they can take advantage of the learn to fish program,” she said, adding that the society released 1,000 trout into the lake last week.
The amount of time it takes to tour the camp depends how thoroughly each visitor wants to explore, Komljenovic said. With a new specialized cabin under construction, there will be three six-man units in operation before the season’s start, which are encompassed by a network of wheelchair-friendly trails, and beside a lake which has been fitted to make fishing easy for anybody.
“Everything is specially designed for those with special needs,” she said, mentioning the wide hallways, fully accessible washrooms, and the adjustable dock which reaches into the lake.
“Our mandate is to maintain a barrier-free recreational environment for those who need a lot of care,” said director Ken Carlson. “And not just those with special needs, but their caregivers too. Everybody needs to enjoy a little bit of relaxation.”
The Agur Lake Camp Society took an overview of operations during their annual general meeting on April 20. The organization received a $500 donation from the Penticton Rotary Club.
Carlson said that because of support from their sponsors, the camp’s fee is nominal in relation to what it costs to operate.
Also at the annual general meeting, author Yam Cooper presented as a guest speaker. Cooper shared excerpts from his book The Story of Bill and His House on the Hill, and reiterated its message of inclusivity.
“His book about someone who’s a little bit different and had to find a way to communicate with someone else who’s different,” Komljenovic said. “It’s a great book and beautifully illustrated.”
His presentation was recorded and can be seen through Agur Lake Camp Society’s Facebook page.
With the approval of a recent grant, Agur Lake Camp is able to hire a student for the summer as an onsite supervisor assistant. The job will begin on May 4 and run through the middle of August. Applicants can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While paid positions depend largely on their success with grants, the organization is always looking for new volunteers, which Komljenovic said is the biggest component of Agru Lake Camp.
“So many people have come together for the sole purpose of creating this wilderness,” she said.
“It’s just the peace and quiet, the tranquility of the lake,” Carlson said.