Camp Woodlands’ rustic atmosphere and prime location on the northern arm of Cowichan Lake has attracted Scout groups from across Vancouver Island to the camp for decades. Earlier this month however, Camp Woodlands also attracted a spurt of vandalism.
According to camp chairperson Arnold May, a Scouts group from Cedar discovered the vandalism on the afternoon of June 12 when they arrived at Camp Woodlands for a weekend excursion. The camp was strewn with empty and smashed liquor bottles and several wooden poles, used for building shelters, were burnt or missing. The group spent the afternoon cleaning up the mess before setting up camp.
May said that he filed a report with the local RCMP, who informed him that the vandalism was likely the result of a grad party the night before.
“We got an excellent response from the RCMP that we were very pleased with,” May said. “We’ll be keeping them up to date with when people are using the camp, to help ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Though May said the RCMP are now keeping a record on the camp, he also asked nearby residents to keep an eye out for any parties or other activity taking place at Camp Woodland in order to keep it available for its intended purpose.
“The camp is for children for the most part,” May said. “We try to give them a chance to learn skills and experience the outdoors. We’re a volunteer organization, and [Camp Woodlands] was built from volunteer money. Any damage inflicted affects what we can offer there.”
The act of vandalism takes place just four months after a large breakthrough for local scouts – the reformation of the Lake Cowichan chapter, which is likely to result in Camp Woodlands seeing more use throughout the summer.
Camp Woodlands committee chairperson Arnold May can be contacted at 250-748-0058.