About 80 members of the parish of St. Cuthbert, Delta, spent a weekend at CampArtaban this summer restoring the chapel. Here the cross is restored. (Sandi LaCharité photo)

The outdoor chapel at Camp Artaban got a new look at the end of June, when more than 80 members of St. Cuthbert’s, North Delta completed a busy work weekend restoring and improving its facilities ahead of this summer’s camping season.

Organizers Wendy Dry and Sandi LaCharité coordinated advance planning by visiting the camp and gathering building materials. They commissioned supervisors to oversee work parties that were tasked with different aspects of the weekend’s programme.

“Support from parishioners was amazing,” said Dry.” “People offered equipment, donations, baked goods and, of course, themselves, with all their different gifts and talents.”

A number of water taxis took members of St. Cuthbert’s to the camp on GambierIsland in Howe Sound. on a Friday. Work began in earnest by 6:30 am the following morning.

In the camp chapel, an area surrounding the altar was raised by two feet and supported by a new retaining wall. New paving stones were laid and the altar base encased in wood. The cross that had been attached to a tree was placed on a secure foundation.

Cherie Paul, Colleen Waswick, and Ann Anderson clean a cottage at CampArtaban

The Chapel benches were repaired and a new bandstand was built, with full electrical capacity. The St. Cuthbert’s parishioners refinished and refurbished two benches given in memory of their former rector, the late Archdeacon Dan Anonby. They also cleaned and painted a number of buildings and reorganized supplies in the Craft Hut.

Artaban Executive Director David Quinton was delighted with both the work weekend itself and with the end results for the camp. “It just goes to show what one parish can do,” he said. “St. Cuthbert’s has made a significant contribution to our ministry.”

“The whole project was covered in prayer and we felt that God was with us every step of the way. The weekend was living proof that with God on our side, we could achieve more than we could ask or imagine.”

Sandi Lacharite

Discovering a bit of CampArtaban’s history

Members of St. Cuthbert’s Parish unearthed a piece of CampArtaban’s past while working at the camp in June.

On the site of the old chapel site, a worker picked up a piece of glass and passed it to one of the teenagers to throw away. Being ecologically minded, 13 year-old Elinor McNamee-Annett decided to recycle it and pulled out what looked like a piece of wood from inside a small glass vial.

Elinor McNamee-Annett

What she discovered was a copy of a dedication ceremony of one of the old chapel arches. Research found it dated to 1937.

The opening paragraph of the weather-damaged 4-page document read: “Dedication ceremony of an ‘arch’” raised in the Chapel of the Church of England Boys Camp at Long Bay, Howe Sound, BC, by the Members of Camp ‘A’” of Camp Elphinstone , Y.M.C.A. Camp at Hopkins Landing, BC, on Friday July ninth at the hour of Evening Prayer, which is at the sinking of the sun.”

In the Artaban Seventy-fifth anniversary book, Heart and Soul: a Collection of Camp Artaban Memories, there is an account of a Senior Boys camp around the same time returning the favour, by placing a similar arch at Camp Elphinstone.

The Artaban arch travelled in a flotilla of rowboats towed behind a motorboat to CampElphinstone, north of Gibson’s. The fragile document has been taken to the Diocesan Archives, where the pages will be carefully separated and preserved. If anyone has any other memories of the arch coming from Elphinstone, CampArtaban would be pleased to hear from you. Call the Artaban office at 604-980-0391.

Barbara Buxton