Pines is the place to be!

Residential camps are very popular where the kids stay up at the camp for the whole week.

Dan Hawkins facilitates Aston Sweet on the 1

Although summer might be close to half way done, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at Pine Bible Camp.

Pines has been operating since 1963 and has had more than 1,000 kids pass through its doors. The camp is spread out over 65 hectares and features cabins, a kitchen/dining hall, an outdoor chapel, a 50’ dome tent, and a nearby beach on the river.

The camp offers both week-long residential camps as well as day camps for boys and girls with a variety of themes. This year’s camps have once again proved to be very popular, although there is space in the upcoming camps.

“The camps are going really good,” said Gene Krahn, executive director for Pines Bible Camp. “We’ve got kids coming from all over from Creston/Cranbrook area to the Fraser Valley.”

Krahn said the residential camps are very popular where the kids stay up at the camp for the whole week.

“They stay up from Monday to Saturday and participate in a bunch of activities such as archery, kayaking, crafts, high ropes course, swimming, wide (group) games and chapel,” said Krahn.

Krahn said the camps are divided by age with groups for 8- to 12-year-olds, 11- to 14-year-olds, and a shorter “small fry” camp for 5- to 9-year-olds. There is also a teen camp for 13- to 17-year-olds.

Krahn said the day camp program has really increased in popularity. “We’ve really developed that into quite an exciting thing,” he said. “This week is art week so we have a few art specialists coming in to do art with the kids. We’ve had a sports week and other weeks are planned such as science week. It’s going really good. The kids come up just for the day and it’s a lot of fun.”

Pines is currently running a wilderness camp for girls, where they spend a week sleeping in teepees experiencing the outdoor lifestyle.

“We provide the food and they cook the food over a Coleman stove,” he said. “They sleep in the teepees. It’s more rustic but a lot of fun. Just like camp was a long time away. It’s good fun and it’s growing in popularity.”

Krahn said there’s still lots of room in all the upcoming camps. For those who remember their camp experiences from years ago, you know it’s lots of fun and a great way to make friends.

“Camp is a great place for kids to make some new friends and try some new experiences and build memories that last a life time,” he said.

Krahn said the hot and dry weather is not putting any kind of damper on the camp at all.

“Every afternoon is beach time,” he said. “Everyone gets cooled off for a good, long time at the beach. We’ve got a great swimming hole. We have lots of nice sand and great swimming. Everyone gets cooled off well in the afternoon.”

There are plenty other exciting events coming up at Pines including a family camp this weekend.

“It’ll be a great time,” he said. “We have a square dance. We have a caller come in and we have a hoedown. People from age 8 to 88 participating together; it’s a lot of fun.”

There’s also a SERF program, which is for those boys and girls in Grade 8 and older. “It’s for kids who want to Serve Enthusiastically, while building Relationships and having Fun,” said Krahn. “It’s a service. The kids come and do dishes and have their own program. It’s a smaller group. It’s a great experience helping kids to be a bit more selfless and put others first. That experience can really change someone’s view dramatically.”

Pines celebrated their 50th anniversary back in 2013 with a big celebration. Krahn said Pines is the biggest camp in the entire Kootenay region.

“I’ve been at the camp for 21 years now and I’m seeing teen campers from my first years here bringing their kids,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to have these parents who had a great summer camp experience and want to pass on that legacy to their kids. It’s just a delight to chat about old staff and who their cabin leaders were and the memories of great games we used to play.”

Krahn said it’s great to see the former campers want to bring their kids to camp to have some of those same experiences. “It’s pretty rewarding,” he said.

For a full list of all the remaining camps and important information such as dates and costs visit Pines’ website at pinesbiblecamp.com. You can also find Pines on Facebook.