Summer Camp

Summer Camp is an opportunity for British Columbia Lapidary Society members from all over the province to gather, socialize and rockhound in a different area of the province. Generally, it is four days of organized field trips and five nights of social activities.

2019 Summer Camp

August 5 - 10, 2019
Galloway, BC
BC Mountain Hideaway
7060 Galloway FSR
Galloway, BC

Final 2019 Report

Summer Camp was a great experience for those lucky enough to attend despite the confusion with accommodations, the take - over of the resort by the mining company, and the lack of communication on our website. Computers are my weakness and I hope the Rockhound magazine returns and we improve our communication with our members by other means.

Jason (Cranbrook Chamber of Mines), Guy (trip consultant), Chris (trilobite expert) and Rick (Bull River Mine Manager) provided so much help in making this camp so special and exciting. The weather co-operated and we had blue sky and 30 degree temperatures all week and no smoke. The mining camp accommodations were fantastic and we were so well taken care of by Rick, his partner, and the camp cook (super breakfasts).

29 Campers started our first day trip at the Palaeontology area of the Cranbrook Museum and were shown fossils from the areas we were going to be visiting. Now truly inspired, Chris escorted us to one of his trilobite claims 65 km up the beautiful Bull River valley. Chris was so helpful in identifying everyone's finds and spent the whole day making sure the hunt was successful for everyone. Back at camp we had a pot luck dinner and conversation around the gazebo until dark.

Day 2 started at Wii-O-Bend golf course at Jaffray where Jason took us to 4 different sites around Elmo, Fernie, Sparwood and all the way into Alberta. We collected fossil specimens between a few million to a few billion years (stromatolites). Single cell creatures, petrified wood, plants and sea life. All the sites were so easy to get to and Jason was the perfect host. He talked to everyone about the areas and their finds and again we all left with buckets full of material and heads full of information. After a full day at the sites we got back to camp for Chilliwack corn on the cob and hot dogs. We started metal detecting for buried treasure and then Rick gave a very informative talk on the Bull River Mine and had samples for everyone. It was a special evening for us all.

Day 3 Jason us up the Bull River for trilobites at Brown's Cabin site and then for fossils from a Devonian coral reef. Jason was again the lead man and never stopped talking and helping us find our fossils. His enthusiasm was contagious. We were out for a full day despite 35 degree heat on the rocks. Sam and Scott went out with Chris to a secret site and found some large fossils and also saw a grizzly bear mom and cub and a cougar. Thrill of their lives. Thursday night was Pub night at the Jaffray Pub. Food and drinks were great after the super-hot day.

Day 4 was a surprise because we got to go on an unexpected tour of the Bull River Mine. Rick made it possible and we were shown the complete site and then spent over an hour on the ore piles, not the dump but the good stuff. The specimens were fantastic and there were over a dozen different minerals. If you're lucky enough to see Phillip's sample you'll know what I mean, a beautiful piece. The field trip resembled a children's trip to a candy store. Rick even handed out nice rocks from the garden outside the mine office. The afternoon was spent at the rifle range site where we found more trilobites. Friday night was deserts and snacks. Lots of cake, rock prizes for our weeks intrepid adventurers and some games. We did some more metal detecting but I think we left at least $10.00 in coins on the lawn.

Saturday we packed up and left camp, some to continue exploring the area and some to head home. I'm not sure how some made it home with the weight of their collections filling their vehicle. While we had only 29 campers and 2 dogs, it was the right number for field trips. We represented all areas of the province and the Cranbrook trip leaders and mine manager enjoyed hearing about other people's areas and their points of view. It was so nice to have people with so much knowledge leading the trips. Lesley helped on Friday at the rifle range and throughout the week. After 35 years as a geology professor she had been to some of the sites and was another source of information. It was a full week of adventure and for some the end came too soon. I hope they will share their experience with their clubs and also think about helping out at future events. I asked everyone to send in some pictures so hopefully they share some of the beautiful things and places we visited.

Cranbrook Museum is holding their 1st Rock, Fossil, and Gem Show on November 2nd and 3rd so if anyone is interested in supporting, visiting, selling or displaying at the show please get in touch with them.

Linda Marcelet
Summer Camp 2019 Coordinator

Past Summer Camps

The British Columbia Lapidary Society and its chartered clubs and members have been hosting Summer Camp since 1960. Throughout this time we have explored a great deal of British Columbia and collected a wide variety of interesting rocks and minerals.

Year Location Host
2019GallowayLinda Marcelet
2018Takysie LakeLakes District Rock & Gem Club
2017Takysie Lake (Cancelled due to fires)Lakes District Rock & Gem Club
2016Quesnel British Columbia Lapidary Society
2015Nahatlach Valley, Boston Bar Fraser Valley Rock & Gem Club
2014Port Alberni Alberni Valley Rock & Gem Club
2013Lillooet Hastings Centre Rockhounds
2012CrestonCreston Valley Prospectors & Lapidary Club
2011Van Anda, Texada Island Ripple Rock Gem & Mineral Club
2010Little FortRaft River Rockhounds
2009Tachick Lake
2008Fort St. James
2007Tchesinkut LakeLakes District Rock & Gem Club
2006Port McNeill
2005Puntzi Lake
2004Slocan Kokanee Rock Club
Selkirk Rock & Mineral Club
2003Fraser Lake
2002Sheridan Lake
2001Dragon Lake, Quesnel
2000Takysie LakeSpruce City Rock & Gem Club
1999Tchesinkut Lake
1998Montana, USA
1997Black Creek VI, Oyster River
1996No camp
1995No camp
1994Kamloops, Tranquille
1993No camp
1992Whitehorse, Yukon
1991Summit Creek, Trail, Creston, Nelson, Champion Lakes
1990Williams Lake, Quesnel
1989Duncan, VI - Skutz Falls
1988No camp
1987Whitehorse, Yukon
1985Drumheller, AlbertaChes Larson / Win Robertson
1984Manson Creek, Omineca RiverOmineca River, Vanderhoof
1983Scotty CreekChes Larson
1982Washington StateChes Larson / Federal Way Club
1981Monte LakeChes Larson
1980Yukon TerritoriesFred Dorward / Ches Larson
1979Qualicum BeachChes Larson
1978Francois LakeChes Larson / Nechako Valley Rock Club
1977Monte LakePeter Constanzo
1976Crawford BayHarold Sutton
1975Princeton/HedleyHarold Sutton
1974GreenwoodHarold Sutton
1973SmithersJack Chappel
1972Monte LakeBob Armstrong
1971Francois LakeNachako Valley Rock Club / Fraser Lake
1970BarriereBob Armstrong
1969GoldenBob Armstrong
1968GreenwoodGreenwood Rock & Antique Club / Alice Wade
1967TakysieFred Preuesse
1966SorrentoFred Preuesse
1965QuesnelFred Preuesse
1964Pinaus LakeLew Carswell
1963No camp
1962SquilaxNorman Fisher
1961Francoise LakeJack Sankey
1960Empire ValleyJack Sankey