Members of Trinity United Church celebrate the grand opening of Hurlburt Park, formerly Camp Hurlburt which the congregation used to run before it was sold to the Regional District of North Okanagan and then transferred to the City of Vernon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Hurlburt tradition honoured at new Okanagan Lake park

Former kids camp sold to city, developed into Okanagan Lake park

A camp that created smiles and memories for thousands of children may be gone, but the land will continue to see that legacy live on.

Hurlburt Park was officially opened on Okanagan Lake on Friday, Aug. 2, since remaining inactive following the last Camp Hurlburt summer camps in 2012.

Mr. and Mrs. Hurlburt purchased the 2.5 acre lakeside lot in 1931, before the Camp Hurlburt Association was incorporated in 1935.

“Thousands of Vernon children, including my own, attended the camp,” said Vernon Coun. Kari Gares, who led the the ribbon cutting at the park.

Trinity United Church owned the land and operated the camp, but made the tough decision to sell the property to the Regional District of North Okanagan (which was then transferred to Vernon) in 2012.

READ MORE: Okanagan Lake property purchased by regional district for park

“There was a plan originally to redevelop the camp, but it was too high a mark and we couldn’t reach it,” said Jeff Seaton, who was minister at the time of the sale.

The congregation wanted to honour the legacy of Camp Hurlburt and therefore came to the decision to sell the land so it could continue to be enjoyed by the public.

“All those generations of people who camped here can come back and enjoy it,” said Seaton.

Gares adds: “The camp creed was based on respect, honouring each other’s diversity and encouraging and awareness through interaction and reflection of our natural surroundings, and, well, you can’t get any more natural than this. It’s beautiful. This tradition was influential in the church’s decision to sell the land for public park.”

Patricia Hesketh’s late husband Bill was very involved in Camp Hurlburt as a director.

“We led a lot of camps here,” said Patricia, who made sure to be on hand for the celebration. “He worked for the John Howard Society and when the first house burnt down the church invited all the ex cons to live here (at Camp Hurlburt). And they built the chapel.”

The decision to keep the land public is one Patricia is pleased with, and she is sure Bill would be too.

“I’m thrilled, it just couldn’t be a better outcome for everybody. It’s a win win.

“The old buildings were falling down anyway.”

The land now boasts picnic tables, a dock and 1,500 linear feet of lakefront. It is also the site of sensitive Kokanee spawning habitat.

“It belongs to the whole community, today and into the future,” said Gares.

Trinity’s current minister Robin Jacobson is also pleased with the new park, and to see the tradition of inclusivity of the camp continue at the site.

READ MORE: New Vernon park opens on former camp site


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

City of Kelowna moving temporary shelter off Recreation Avenue

Sheltering space moving to 890 Baillie Avenue, expected to be completed this week

BC Green Party looking for Central Okanagan candidates

The party only has two confirmed candidates: Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen

Evil Dead: The Musical to perform at Kelowna Actors Studio

The performance is a comedic, live stage show, of the cult classic film trilogy

Professional basketball league eyes Kelowna for possible expansion

The CEBL was the first Canadian professional sports league to successfully complete its 2020 season in a bubble format

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

First responders from multiple agencies assist in getting individual out of the creek

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police watchdog investigating after man injured in Penticton RCMP cells

Man suffers serious injuries after being lodged into cells at the detachment

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Most Read