Agur Lake Camp
BC’s Only Barrier Free Wilderness Campground
Agur Lake Camp is, BC’s only barrier free wilderness campground is located on Agur Lake 30 minutes outside Summerland BC, in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan Valley. This campground is the only one in BC that provides anyone with mobility challenges an opportunity to experience nature and the outdoors safely with their friends, family and caregivers. Agur Lake Camp operates on grants, donations, and fundraisers alone. Thank you to everyone who gives so selflessly of themselves to make this barrier free campground such a special place for everyone.
One Man’s Dream
This camp has a beautiful history that all starts with the promise of a special man, Bonnar Dowler. In 1974, Bonnar’s son was born with a heart deformity. As he cared for his son and watched other families struggling, he realized how difficult it was for people to get a break from the stress of hospitals, and care. Sadly, Bonnar’s little boy passed away, but he vowed that he would create something better, a place a family could go to heal, bond, relax and enjoy the outdoors together. His passion for helping children of all abilities led him to the Oliver Kiwanis Service Club where he was an active member for years. His enthusiasm for the Agur Lake Camp project was infectious and he managed to get support from other club members and friends to help make his dream a reality. Listen to Bonnar tell his story, the plans for Agur Lake Camp, as well as a timeline of the site development.
If you ever attended a fundraiser for ALCS, no doubt you would find Bonnar serving the hotdogs or flipping the pancakes while chatting to everyone about how great a day it is. Chances are you left a new volunteer or helping at the next event someway or another. If any one is good at getting people excited about making any dream a reality it is Bonnar Dowler, and Agur Lake Camp is all the proof you need.
History of Agur Lake Camp
History of the Camp
- 2001- Bonnar meets Robin Agur, landowner of the future home of Agur Lake Camp
- 2004 – With the help of friends and fellow Kiwanian Peter Armstrong, the Agur Lake Camp Society (ALCS) was created, charity status obtained, and the process of recruiting volunteers, raising money and creating business plans begins.
- 2007 – The Agur family leases the land to the society for 99 years and starts the fundraising project with a generous $10,000 donation. The RDOS approves the use of the land. Penticton Indian Band approves the camp proposal.
- 2008 – John Glaspie receives the Minister’s Award for exceptional services to the ALCS for his work in obtaining co-operation from the many provincial government ministries necessary to lease the Crown land adjacent to the camp property.
- October 2008 – The first guests arrive at the site, including those with disabilities
- 2009 – The first building is in place. The barrier-free outhouse named “The Biffy”. Not very glamorous but it is a perfect start. Bonnar and Amanda Lewis cut the ribbon and the camp is officially open. The first two cabins are framed offsite at UBC Penticton and transported to the site for the volunteer construction crew to complete.
- 2010 – Fire-pit is constructed. Water wells are dug and ready to be connected to the buildings. Environmental studies are commissioned to evaluate how paved trails will be installed without damaging ecosystems.
- 2013 – Agur Lake Camp is opened for the first season.
- 2014 – Accessible pavilion is created
- 2015 – Cabin #3 is moved onto the campsite
- 2016 – Local contractors pave the first kilometer of trail.
- 2017 – Generators are installed and provide full power, trails have yellow lines painted and the floating dock is installed
- 2018 – The first building “The Biffy” has electricity installed
- 2019 – Overhead tracking is installed in the bedrooms of Cabin #1 and #3
Agur Lake Camp Mission Statement:
Agur Lake Camp Society is a caring organization that operates a barrier-free campground for children and other people with disabilities to enjoy nature in a safe and enabling environment, along with their families & caregivers.
Camping at Agur Lake
Here is a list of some of the activities you can participate in during your stay. All activities are accessible.
- Adult and Child safety swings
- Badminton net
- Merry Go Round
- Bocce Ball
- Basketball hoop
- Paved trails
- Fishing from safety-railed dock, shore or boat
- Observation deck with picnic tables
- Opportunity to bring instructors for a variety of lessons including accessible water sports, trail rider outings
- Community barbecue
- Campfire fun
- Bird and nature watching
Video Presentations and Tours of the Camp
Video Tour of the Camp Presented by Katie Bowling. Follow Katie’s tour of Agur Lake Camp, BC’s only barrier free wilderness campground Agur Lake Camp Tour
Accessible Media included a piece on the camp in their Postcards from the Okanagan segment. Agur Lake Camp is showcased at the 41:31 minute mark.
Things You Should Know.
Like camping you will need to bring your own bedding, towels and linens. All three cabins are equipped with overhead ceiling tracking in one of the bedrooms with portable lifts, and commode chairs. You are required to provide your own sling. The ceiling lift can hold up to 440 pounds.
Swimming is not recommended in the lake as it is weedy and better suited to fishing. The shorelines are not sandy or gradual. Rods and flies are available, just bring your own bait. If you are over 15 you will need a fishing license.
There is a power wheelchair, manual wheelchair and power scooter available for guest to use. Operators who live on site, can deliver you to a location and then pick you up in a golf cart.
Cell Phone service is limited and there are no Wi-Fi, internet or TV services. True modern day roughing it.
Service dogs are allowed in the camp, but you must provide their registration certificate.
Reserve Your Family’s Summer Holiday Today.
For reservations we encourage you to book early as the camp fills quickly. Reservations can be made online at https://agurlakecamp.ca/camp/reservation. The camping season runs from mid May until September 15th – weather permitting. This is a higher elevation camp site and the weather gets cooler earlier.
Follow Agur Lake Camp Society on Facebook for updates on camp features, events and community fundraisers. https://www.facebook.com/pg/AgurLakeCampSociety/about/
Thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, donors, Board of Directors and others who have generously given their time or gifted us valuable items over the years to keep the camp operating. If you would like to learn more about how you can support ALCS please contact the office at https://agurlakecamp.ca/contact-us
Photos and videos of the camp have been provided and approved by ALCS.
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