After years of decline, vandalism, and even a burglary in 2015, Camp Hughes has been revamped and revitalized. The property was donated to Scouts Canada in 1946 by William Hughes, and in its heyday in the 1990s, the camp hosted thousands of youth at jamborees. However, Camp Hughes was closed from June 2015 to June 2016 due to the poor state of the grounds and facilities located on Blackwater Road at West Lake.
Guided by their vision of an all-seasons camp suitable for all ages of Scouting (from Beavers to Rovers), local Scouters were given control of $120,000 to deliver on the vision. Along with grants from the Prince George Community Foundation, Northern Health, and Prince George Nechako Rotary, plus significant discounts and donations of materials and labour by local businesses the dedicated team of Scouters oversaw the revitalization of Camp Hughes. All but two structures were demolished, and those that remained were extensively renovated. Northwood House is now a multipurpose building suitable for meetings or sleepovers even in winter, and Rotary House now has a new roof, doors, windows, and a refurbished and food-safe kitchen.
The camp re-opened on Father’s Day weekend 2016 and was attended by youth from all four Prince George Scouting Groups. Beavers “camped” inside Northwood House and Cubs tented near West Lake. A key event during the re-opening weekend was a fishing derby organized by Area Commissioner, Shyr Chui. Thanks to the donation of fishing rods and tackle by BC Family Fishing, the family event was attended by approximately 100 parents and youth.
Now that Camp Hughes has been revitalized, Scouting youth from Prince George and the surrounding area will make extensive year-round use of the property and facilities for activities such as snow shoeing, camping, hiking, learning survival skills, and canoeing. The grounds and facilities are available to rent by outside groups when not in use by Scouting groups. For more information on Camp Hughes, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.