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The mission of Camp Koolaree is
to provide a camp experience in a safe, sustainable and natural setting
and to foster a deeper individual connection
to Community, Creation and the Creator among campers and staff. 


How do you say that?
Is it Koo-LAY-ree, Koo-LAH-ree,
Koo-la-REE or KOOL-a-ree?

The name KOOLAREE is an acronym that came from
KOOtenay LAke REligious Education
so there is some debate over the correct pronunciation.  
Founders in old home movie  footage can be heard calling it “Koo-LAH-ree”, but when set to music in favourite campfire songs, the name is sung more like  “KOO- la-REE”. Over the years, the spoken pronunciation has changed to match the songs, with the emphasis on KOOL.
Let’s face it, camp is cool! 


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2016 T-shirt Contest

a design example(by the way, does anyone know what year this is from?)

the design example
(by the way, does anyone know what year this is from?)

Celebrating our
85th Anniversary

recreate this image with things that signify the camp, the mountains, water and a large “K”
Images are to be only one colour and include the phrase
“Since 1931”
 The winning design will be selected in June 
and the winner will get a week at Camp Koolaree free
Send us your design now:
(or mail to: Camp Koolaree, 1300 Pine Ave, Trail BC V1R 4E6)

First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail Address:

Upload your design:

Why choose Koolaree?

– Lake front rustic Kootenay summer camp
– true wilderness environment
– We are accredited by the BC Camping Association
– Our cooks are trained at Selkirk College in the cooking program

What do the kids do?
– Swimming
– Canoeing
– Crafts
– Hikes
– Hanging out… with new friends

Camp Koolaree Campership Fund

Donate to the
 to support campers who otherwise could not afford to go to camp 
by subsidizing their camp fee.
Your tax deductible donation can be made online through the PayPal link or
by cheque payable to “Camp Koolaree”
and delivered to Camp Koolaree, 
1300 Pine Ave, Trail BC V1R 4E6, 
or your local United Church.

Tax receipts will be provided for all donations over $25.00.

85 Years of Camping

85Camp Koolaree shows off its stuff

Nelson – Camp Koolaree is kicking off its 85th Anniversary Celebrations with a lobby exhibit at Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History on Vernon Street in Nelson. The exhibit is on display until April 2, with a reception on Thursday, March 24 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Admission to the museum’s lobby and gift store are free, so anyone can stop by to learn more about this historic camp or take a trip down memory lane to their own camping days.

Photo credit: Linn Murray

Photo credit: Linn Murray

Among the items on display are the camp’s 1920’s portable Bell Pump Organ, a headdress gifted to the camp by the Ktunaxa Nation in the 1930’s, a World War 2 memorial plaque bearing the names of campers lost in service, and several of the camp’s treasured wooden carvings, some of which have been in continuous use since the 1930’s. There are photos and other memorabilia as well.

Camp Koolaree was founded in 1931 on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake by the Kootenay Lake Religious Education Society and has been operated as a United Church Camp since the 1970’s. Many other groups have also rented the camp for retreats over the years. Located directly across the lake from 6-mile just outside of Nelson, the camp is a rustic off-grid and off-road facility. Campers once were able to arrive on passenger trains, but now the camp is accessed by boat. With 137 acres, the camp offers a wilderness experience.

 The camp will be continuing their traditions again for the 2016 summer season, with camps operated by the Camp Koolaree Society. There will be an 85th Anniversary Open House on Saturday, July 9, followed by five weeks of week-long residential summer camps for different age groups.

thanks-sms-for-friends-1Thanks to everyone who came out and helped us at Camp Koolaree on Saturday.  We had a phenomenal day.  We made a very large dent in our tree situation, staff bathroom and clean up.  We hope that everyone is walking OK today and that your muscles will recover soon.  It is people like you that make Camp Koolaree possible.

Thanks again and we look forward to working with you on future work parties.  I am hoping that one more large work party will take care of our trees and we will do a few other needed jobs at the same time.  I will let you know.

Attached photo taken at the pre-work party on Friday April 22, 2016 when Bill Furey (foreman), Herman Manarin, Len Lippa, Deon Miskell (carpenters), Don Ellis, and I (sawyers) were out at Camp Koolaree.
 L-R:  Bill, Herman, Deon, Don, and Len

L-R: Bill, Herman, Deon, Don, and Len

The “Carpenter Crew” made progress on the staff bathroom project while Don and I did some chainsawing.  Actually Don did the chainsawing and I made two cuts then quit after suffering a bout of vertigo that left me nauseous and wondering which way was up!  Later in the day, I did feel well enough to clean the toilets and sweep out the washrooms and the “Hospital” so it wasn’t a totally useless day for me.
20160422_155603_resizedThe crew soon discovered that the old concrete floor was out of square and not level.  To complicate matters, the wall of the Staff Hut wasn’t exactly plumb either.  Consequently dealing with these issues resulted in a lot of head scratching and deep thinking before cutting up any precious lumber.  They did pretty well to accomplish what they did.  
During the day we had a few light showers.  Then the wind rose and started driving waves over the transom of the Starcraft.  Bill and I swung the boat around so the bow was pointing out into the lake to ease that problem.  But either water was getting in through openings in the motor well or the hull was leaking somewhere as Don had to do a fair bit of work with a hand pump to get the water level down.  The electric bilge pump wasn’t working and using a bailer wasn’t possible.
 Herman is on the roof of the new staff washroom while Len (L) and Deon (back to camera) keep an eye on him.

Herman is on the roof of the new staff washroom while Len (L) and Deon (back to camera) keep an eye on him.

On Thursday the 28th more progress was made on the staff bathroom project.  While that was going on, Bill and Don went up to the water intake to see why we weren’t getting any water pressure.  They cleaned the intake screen and made some adjustments which seemed to fix that problem.  Don said the creek flow was down a bit from the  last visit.

That’s Bill and Don manhandling a contact tank out of the water treatment plant.

Last year there had been a leak from the tanks in the water treatment building.  And by the sound of it, I had thought it was from a hole under tank #3.  So Don and Bill uncoupled each tank and wrestled them outside so we could have a look.  We actually found three small holes – none of which was under the bottom  of tank #3!  In fact, it was the least rusty of the three.  Don mixed up some epoxy filler and patched the holes before the tanks were put back in place and reconnected.
Herman and Len gluing up some fittings for the sink drain.

Herman and Len gluing up some fittings for the sink drain.

The “Carpenter Crew” wanted to test a connection for the new bathroom and as it is fed from the potable supply, I had to fill all three contact tanks first.  That took quite a while, but eventually we had the system filled.  Fortunately they found that the connection was water tight.  Good news.  I didn’t have a look inside the bathroom, but the crew were working on installing the sink and toilet at day’s end, I believe.  They want to return next Thursday, May 5th to complete the job.
The guys came over to Nichawa and assisted us in getting the Starcraft Holiday 18 back on the trailer.  Their help was much appreciated as Don was having some difficulty manoeuvering the boat in the narrow channel.  Keeping that boat off the rocks when a breeze comes up is easier said than done.  But with Herman riding shotgun in the back of my truck, I was able to back it out into a bit deeper water and he managed to guide it right into place.
Bill took measurements of the roofs on the Ad Hut patio and on Cabin #6 in order to determine how much metal roofing we need to fix them.  He also surveyed the bunks in the cabins to find out how much plywood would be needed to make some new sleeping surfaces.  In addition, he also checked out the broken urinal in the boy’s washroom and hopes to get a local firm to donate a new one.
Don and Bill were able to fill out the day by hauling more cut up wood to a growing pile near the campfire pit.  

May 10:
 Ken keeps an eye on Mike (L) and Greg (R)as they use some snow removal equipment to clear moss off the roof.

Ken keeps an eye on Mike (L) and Greg (R)as they use some snow removal equipment to clear moss off the roof.

Once again Bill Furey was able to get a hard working crew together at Koolaree.  This time the main project was to add another layer of roofing to the previous layers of roofing on the kitchen.  After scraping off a thick layer of moss, large sheets of lumber wrap donated by Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. were put in place and secured.  It isn’t pretty, but hopefully this will keep out most of the rain this summer and possibly a bit longer.
Rick, perched on a ladder, nails down a batten.

Rick, perched on a ladder, nails down a batten.

Job almost done, Mike takes a turn up the ladder as Rick, Bill, and Greg stand by.

Job almost done, Mike takes a turn up the ladder as Rick, Bill, and Greg stand by.

We were fortunate to have Rick Miller on the job for the day.  He has no fear of heights and was able to do all the fitting, stapling, and nailing along the ridge of the slippery, steeply pitched roof.  Rick was ably assisted by Mike Balahura, Greg Archibald, and Ken Brownlie who moved and secured ladders, passed up tarps, nails, and wood battens.  I pitched in when I wasn’t taking photos.
I did not get a photo of Don Ellis who spent much of the day chainsawing up more logs.  He did appear for the odd break, covered in sweat and needing a cold drink.  Good job, Don, that’s hard work!  Don had to leave a bit early to attend a meeting so I ferried him back to McDonalds Landing in the Aroliner.
Ken and Bill pose with the new wood pile “book ends”.  Kind of looks like the starting gates at a horse race, doesn’t it?

Ken and Bill pose with the new wood pile “book ends”. Kind of looks like the starting gates at a horse race, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, Bill spent the day assembling many (it looks like 13) wood pile “book ends”.  With the one previously made, there are now enough to support the ends of seven long rows of split wood.  We’ll leave that task for another day.
Thanks to the roofing crew for all their efforts and for staying and helping to put the Aroliner on the trailer at Nichawa.