1973 – 2008: Kawkawa History and Beginnings
Since about 1973 when the Vancouver and Fraser Valley Alliance churches bought what was called then the “Grape Vine Resort”, a fishing camp, and re-named it “Kawkawa Camp and Retreat” a Christian Camp and Retreat Centre, many changes have happened on these camp grounds. The property had several already in place cabins and other out-buildings, some of which were used for many years by Kawkawa in its operation. There were 4 cabins on the beach, a single family residence just above the road that runs through the camp and 2 cabins just above the location of the house. The place was a little run down, but its location fronting Kawkawa Lake and just 2 miles from Hope, B.C. was and still is an ideal location for a camp to be developed. The camp has about 360 feet of beach frontage is about 1800 feet long straight back from the lake up the hillside and then is about 1500 feet wide at its widest point at the rear of the property. The camp is 20 acres in size and “L” shaped.
The support for Kawkawa has continued to grow, particularly with the addition of a new Executive Director. The supporting constituency has come to include people from other denominations with similar evangelical view points. Also, incorporating the camp under society status has allowed this supportive constituency to grow in financial, volunteer and leadership favour. The summer camp numbers have seen considerable growth and off-season rentals have increased as people discover Kawkawa.
The ministry of Kawkawa can be summarized with the phrase; “Christian Camping with a Purpose!” In October, 2010, Kawkawa received its first building permit in over 25 years. This has allowed us to construct a new on-site residence now occupied by the Executive Director and family. Attaining this permit paves the way for future development. Future projects include an outdoor gymnasium, new lodge and redesigned waterfront with new composite docks. Several significant donations have assisted the efforts to bring the camp back on-line. The phrase; “God is not finished with Kawkawa yet“, was adopted as our marching orders.
As each of us does what we can we will accomplish much in Christ’s name and for His glory!
2011: Property Purchase
On August 26, 2011 the camp property land title was transferred into the ownership of Kawkawa Camp Society at the request of the Canadian Pacific Alliance District. this landmark move, although huge behind the scenes, paves the way for new development and new relationships to be forged for the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the gospel.
2009 – 2011: Building
In October of 2010 Kawkawa received its first building permit in 25+ years. This has allowed us to construct a new on-site residence for the executive director and his family. This project was funded in part by a significant donation to the camp and has moved ahead unencumbered. This building permit also allows us to begin removing all the temporary buildings and structures that were erected during the building freeze. Things are looking up for Kawkawa!
Over the winter of 2009 and into the spring of 2010 the Dinning room underwent a significant face-lift which included new flooring, cedar trim, gas fireplace, leather couches and floor to ceiling stonework. On October 31, 2010 a ground breaking ceremony was held to commence building the new on-site residence. In March, 2012, a new outdoor, wood burning, stone pizza oven was completed. Future projects include an outdoor gymnasium, new lodge and re-designed waterfront with new concrete docks. Several significant donations have assisted the efforts to bring the camp back on-line.
9 Square In The Air
This upgraded version of 4 Square is a fast paced~ move towards the middle “King Square” game played on the grass or at the beach and is great for all ages at once.
This outdoor arena version of Israeli dodgeball quickly becomes a fast paced addictive game of simple elimination with a twist! We have even placed a huge light above the game so the night time version brings out the camps special outdoor evening flavor.
2012 – 2013 ~ Recreational Upgrades…
We saw the site upgrades kicked off with our brand new “Outdoor Wood Burning Pizza Oven” With the ability to cook 80+ Pizza’s in an hour this old school traditional oven takes technology back 100 years but increased the flavor and atmosphere incredibly! It has fast become a favorite of both the summer campers, staff and year round retreat/rental groups.
2015 ~ Facilities Improvement
In 2015 we completed work on our maintenance shop. Construction on this facility commenced the previous year and after many hours of volunteer labor we now have a custom maintenance facility. The new shop replaces a number of aging trailers that were used to house the maintenance facilities over the years. These trailers have now been moved off site and the areas cleaned up.
In April 2015 our brand new dock was installed. The new dock is much sturdier and considerably wider and longer than our previous aging dock. The new dock will be a fantastic resource for the camp for many years to come and makes a visual improvement to our greatest asset – 400 feet of lakeside property.
In the Spring of 2015 we were able to complete a beautiful gazebo at the entrance to our property. This donated project with lake views adds curb appeal to our site and will serve as an ideal place to gather for small group devotions, private conversations and personal reflection times.