History

Evans Lake Over the Years
Evans Lake Over the Years

TIMELINE

1959 — With Point Atkinson becoming too crowded, the Provincial Government agreed to lease 640 acres for the Evans Lake site. It was to be known as the Evans Lake Junior Forest Warden Camp and Demonstration Forest.

June 27,1960 —The camp was officially opened for the first campers. 64 boys attended.

1960 — A dining hall, washroom, two cabins and a diesel house (current Tool Shed) were built. A total of 183 Junior Forest Wardens attended three camps.

1963 — The camp was first made available for rental groups. The first group was the Canadian Army.

1964 — Cabins were moved from the nursery area to the upper grounds and cabins five and six were built. The Recreation Hall was completed. A huge forest fire burned from Hutt Lakes to within 3/4 km of camp.

1965 — The first major expansion for the camp – wooden Sabot sailboats and Frontiersman fiberglass canoes were donated by the Vancouver Hoo Hoo Club #48. Rifle safety (using .177 pellet guns), BC Safety Council Mile Swim, rock
hounding and RCAF Survival lessons were introduced in to the program.

1967 — Dave Campbell became Coast Regional Manager and Evans Lake Camp Director.

1970 — Site reforestation began after the fire.

1972 — Doug Ballantyne was hired, becoming the on-site program director. Under his leadership, year-round rentals and programs were encouraged.

1976 — The First ‘Up andOver’ hikes were pioneered by Dale Samuelson from the north end. These were followed by Gary Haensgen from the Hutt Lakes south end.

1978 — The first permanent residence was built.

1970’s Highlights: First winter camp in the 70’s. Campers ice fished, snowshoed, curled with cedar rounds with spikes for handles, and played hockey in the dark using lit oil cans for light. The staff played “Marshmallow” Golf. Silver Summit was the overnight sleepout site. Backpacking trips to Diamond Head began.

1980 — Most of the trails and bridges were built or rebuilt. 100 hectares of juvenile forest was spaced and released.

1982 — Eight canoes and eight sailboats were donated by the Vancouver Hoo Hoo Society.

1983 — The second permanent residence was built.

1985 — Evans Lake celebrates its 25th Anniversary reunion and ‘Bon Voyage’ party for camp director, Doug Ballantyne.

1986 — The cabins were lifted and turned 90º and put in their current locations.

1987 — Cabins seven and eight were built on the site of an ancient fir tree 90 feet long. The International Hoo-Hoo president – The Grand Snark presided.

1980’s Highlight: When the lake froze, campers played hockey, ice fished and curled using cedar rounds with spikes for handles.

1994 — New washrooms were constructed between the cabins. The old washhouse building was converted to storage, bedrooms and office space.

1997 — The new Evans Lake Forest Education Society was formed, separate from the BC Forestry Association.

1998 — Horseback riding at Sea to Sky Stables was added as a new program.

1990’s Highlights: The Best Cabin Award given at the final campfire and usually presented by King Aroo. Sawmill and logging site tours continued to the early 90’s. Hikes to the “The Caves.”

2000 — A new septic system was put in the upper half of the rehabilitation site.

2001 — Renovations were undertaken to the Recreation Hall chimney and porches, and new washrooms were added.

2003 — Additional canoes were purchased and a new archery range was built.

2004 — The Wilderness Site was upgraded and the boat dock was fitted with rails and seating. The new Outdoor Adventure Camp (OAK) program was launched.

2005 — Work began on the new log cabin.

2006 — Hikes into Garibaldi Provincial Park were re-introduced through the OAK program.

2007 — The Junior Forest Wardens loaned six canoes to Evans Lake to expand the fleet.

2008 — A paddle room (the Paddy Shack) was constructed on the boat dock. A self-guided
interpretative walk was set up on the Copperbush Trail. The interior of the Recreation Hall
was re-painted.

2009 — Re-designed climbing wall on Chimney Rock set up by Tom Urquhart. The log
cabin was completed.

2010 — Evans Lake hosted the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering. Evans Lake
celebrates 50 years with homecoming events.

2012 — Replacement of the dining hall roof. Retractable canopy added to the rock wall.

2014- The main stair connecting the lower grounds to the upper ground were replaced with more durable material.

2015- The Leadership program was revamped and implemented as two programs.  This year also saw the installation of a Low Ropes course at Evans Lake.

2016- The Outdoor Learning Centre was built with the support of VanCity Community Grant and the Vancouver Hoo Hoo’s. The dining hall tables and benches replaced.

2017- New washrooms are built in the lower grounds, as well as a new cabin set in the upper grounds. Also, launched a new offsite activity for the Youth camp program, the River Float.

THE EARLY DAYS WITH THE BIRTH OF THE CAMP

Point Atkinson was the original Junior Forest Warden camp located in Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver. This camp had originally been a Canadian Military camp during the Second World War, but after the war became the first training camp for the Junior Forest Wardens*. Due to increasing public use of the park, the metropolitan parks board requested that the camp be relocated.

In the spring of 1957, Mr. Gattie, President of the Canadian Forestry Association of BC, which was the sponsor to the Junior Forest Wardens, asked Dr. Orchard, Deputy Minister of Forests, to assist in searching for a new site. Sites on the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and Harrison were all considered but ruled out. Next the search went up to the Squamish area. A committee set off to meet John Jacobsen, one of the directors and the manager of Empire Sawmills in Squamish. As there was no highway yet to Squamish, the only way up was by railway – The Pacific Great Eastern.

Two lake sites were looked at, including one at Brohm Lake, but neither was accepted. The group then drove up the mountain over a washed-out logging road and bushwacked into a third lake that was Evans Lake. On that eventful day in July, the committee knew at first sight that this would be the location for their camp.

Following the Annual General Meeting in the Spring of 1958, the Evans Lake Camp Development Committee, chaired by Brian Gattie, was established. The directors were: F.H. Dietrich, K.E. Gregg, J.F. Jacobsen, J.K. Liersch, K.J. Palmer, J.C. Sheasgreen and T.G. Wright. At the AGM, Ray Williston, Minister of Lands and Forests had announced the establishment of 640 acres at Evans Lake to be used as a site for the new Provincial Junior Forest Warden training camp. Construction was planned for the spring of 1959.

The committee announced that a total of $12,326.00 had been raised, with $10,000.00 coming from Hoo-Hoo Club #48 in Vancouver. The balance came from private subscribers, association members and others interested in the project. The committee decided that the site would be primarily used as a training centre for the Junior Forest Wardens and their leaders. The site could also be used by teachers and others who were interested in natural resource conservation and multiple-use forestry.

Companies were asked to help in designing the buildings and site. Designers from Crown Zellerbach and MacMillian-Bloedel, with their experience in building for logging camps, drew up plans for the first buildings. Canadian Forest Products designed the kitchen facilities. In the Spring of 1959, the road was complete and the grounds were ready for the buildings. A contract was awarded to Greenball to prefabricate two bunkhouses, a cookhouse/mess hall and washroom facilities. Volunteer workers assisted in the erection of the buildings. Work was carried out on weekends and two one-day work bees. The workers camped out at the new site while they were working on the building.

The first camp buildings were covered in plywood and cost a total of $14,310.00. In the Spring of 1960, a water system consisting of a 16,000 gallon wooden tank and located on the hill above the new log cabin, along with a pumping cistern was built with funds provided by Hoo-Hoo Club #48. A diesel generating plant located in the present Tool Shed at the bottom of the big stairs was installed in time for the opening of the first camp. On May 17, 1960, the building committee solicited more funds to assure that the camp would be ready for the proposed June 27, 1960 opening. Jim Moyer, Chief Junior Forest Warden for British Columbia took up residence at the camp to supervise the construction project.

After some disappointments with fund raising for additional monies, and the difficulties with some equipment that had been promised but did not materialize, the major work was completed in time for the opening camp on June 27, 1960. When the camp opened on time, the chairman of the committee remarked, “We have a plant valued at some $27,000.00”.

The first campers arrived with work still going on. On top of that, there was initially a small problem with the old relic stove which had been donated from a nearby logging camp. The stove did not work well, which necessitated that meals be pre-cooked at Camp Atkinson and trucked to Evans Lake to be warmed up and served. However, this problem was soon resolved.

Sixty-four Campers arrived for the first camp and slept in the two bunkhouses. The summer of 1960 saw 183 boys enjoy the new camp at Evans Lake. Campgrounds were limited to small areas around the buildings. The present playing field did not yet exist, as it was a swamp that needed to be filled in. In 1961, the swamp area was cleared and willow trees were interlaced over the area. Rock fill and gravel were trucked in, as well as fill obtained from the hill behind the where the present day log cabin is located. Logging companies and Paradise Valley Resort (now the North Vancouver Outdoor School) donated trucks and equipment to extend the field down to the beach area. Over the years, more fill and topsoil were added and the area was seeded to grass.

In the summer of 1961, 453 boys attended. This increased to 753 in 1962, with operations being extended to weekend camps as well. The summer of 1962 was also the year of the “big one”– a monster forest fire that came within three-quarters of a kilometer of reaching camp in August of 1962. At one point, it was feared that the buildings would soon be ablaze. Also during the proceeding two years, negotiations had been occurring to decide the form of the tenure for the camp. A tree farm license did not quite cover the specific needs. Finally, a lease agreement was worked out that had to satisfy access to the lake and to do this, a recreation reserve was established on the west side of the lake.

By 1963, a decision was made to make the camp available to rental groups. The first group to take advantage of this was the Canadian Army for special training operations. In 1964, further clearing above the cabins was undertaken and the Recreation Hall was built and completed. Also during 1964, logging of the burned over area was begun. Junior Forest Wardens replanted that area as part of their training. Much was achieved in 1965. Wooden Sabot sailboats were donated by the Hoo-Hoo Club #48 of Vancouver, a donation arranged by their president, Ted Taylor. Sailing, rifle safety (using .177 pellet guns), the BC Safety Council Mile Swim, Rock Hounding and RCAF Survival Lessons were introduced into the regular camp program.

The hiring of Doug Ballantyne came in 1972. He eventually became the first on-site Program Director. His arrival heralded the introduction of much of the Evans Lake camp lore: legends, stories and songs. Many are still in use today. This period also marked the beginning of year-round school group use of the site for Outdoor Education Programs within their curricula.

THE HISTORY OF THE JUNIOR FOREST WARDENS

The “seeds” of Junior Forest Wardens were planted in British Columbia in the late 1920’s, when a few young boys reported a forest fire to a local Forest Ranger. Their story was published in the Forests and Outdoors magazine, the official publication of the Canadian Forestry Association. The response to the story was incredible, and boys from across British Columbia contacted the author wondering how they could help their local rangers.

In response to the inquiries, Charles Wilkinson, the local manager from the Canadian Forestry Association, decided to teach boys about forest protection and established the Junior Fire Warden program. By 1930, 300 boys in the province were involved in the warden program. In 1935, the “Red Shirt” uniform was created and first worn, and the movement truly began, with clubs starting in Vancouver and spreading throughout the province.

As the program grew, sisters of the active wardens became interested and wanted to take part. In 1944, the Girl Forest Guards were formed and continued to grow to a wider audience. In 1974, the two groups were combined to form Junior Forest Wardens.

The Junior Forest Wardens became a national program on February 16th, 1962 when the Honorable Norman Willmore, on behalf of the Government of Alberta, officially accepted the Alberta Charter at a meeting of the Alberta Forest Service.

Junior Forest Wardens is an outdoor oriented program, with an emphasis on the experience. The program is committed to providing opportunities to get outdoors: camping, backpacking, canoeing, mountaineering, tree planting and more! And to prepare for adventures like these, education is offered and promoted in wilderness skills development, frst aid, trip planning and survival. To provide a greater appreciation of the natural resources while outdoors, Wardens are taught about tree, plant and animal identification, soil types, weather and water, resource management, threats to the environment.

Currently, there are clubs now found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

THE HISTORY OF THE VANCOUVER HOO HOOjfw

The Vancouver Hoo Hoo Society is the Vancouver club of Hoo-Hoo International. Over the years, the Vancouver Hoo Hoo club has provided tremendous support to Evans Lake Forest Education Society.

About Hoo-Hoo International:
The Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo is the oldest industrial Fraternal Organization in existence in the USA, having been organized in January 1892. That it has survived during these years is due to the fact that it has included among its membership, 98,000 men and women whose interests are the welfare and promotion of the lumber industry.

Membership is drawn by invitation from all aspects of the forest products industry, which involves the growing of trees and the management and harvesting of forests. It includes people from forestry, saw milling, research, education, manufacturing and marketing of all wood-based products, officers of lumber associations and suppliers to the lumber industry–in fact it includes all who derive their main livelihood from the forest products industry.

Hoo-Hoo membership is limited to persons who are the full age of 18 years, (with the local club having the option to raise the age to 21 years) of good moral character and are engaged in one or more of the above facets of our industry. Membership is granted to an individual in his own right, not as a representative of any company or organization.

Hoo-Hoo, as it is commonly known, has fun with unusual names and titles. Fortunately, what we are called is less important than what we actually are. Hoo-Hoo is an organization of individuals dedicated to the idea of a united and progressive forest based industry, contributing to the welfare of the community. It is uniquely constituted as a fraternal order with an industry base.

Hoo-Hoo could also be appropriately called the “Public Relations Department of the Lumber industry.”

We are the “Fraternal Order of the Forest Products Industry.”

Our Motto is “Health, Happiness, and Long Life.”

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