Staff and youth from RockRidge Canyon pose in a blueberry field, where they volunteered to pick berries for a local farmer during their recent stay in Abbotsford.

Staff and youth from RockRidge Canyon pose in a blueberry field, where they volunteered to pick berries for a local farmer during their recent stay in Abbotsford.

Princeton summer camp hosted in Abbotsford during wildfire threat

Group of 80 youth and staff stays in community for one week

A group of youth and staff from RockRidge Canyon near Princeton stayed in Abbotsford for several days after they left the camp due to the threat from wildfires.

RockRidge Canyon is a resort camp which is run by a group called Young Life.

A total of 80 Young Life staff and work crew volunteers, along with 500 others from RockRidge Canyon, were four days into their week-long camp on July 10, when the decision was made to leave.

The youth attending the camp returned home or to other camps, while the staff and summer work crew volunteers were evacuated to Abbotsford.

Half of the team was billeted in homes and at Sweet Dreams Luxury Inn and Suites.

The principal of Abbotsford Christian Secondary School, Gerry Goertzen, arranged for the other half to have emergency housing at the school.

Church networks of volunteers were quickly recruited to help prepare meals. Save-on-Foods (Sumas Way) and individuals within the community provided donations of food.

The Young Life staff and students gave back to the community by working on projects such as maintenance, cleaning and gardening at Abbotsford Christian School, building a retaining wall for a donor, helping the billet families and picking blueberries for a local farmer.

They also enjoyed a day at Cultus Lake Water Slides, thanks to a generous donor who provided tickets to the water park.

The group returned to RockRidge Canyon on July 17, once the fire north of Princeton was 50 per cent contained and there were no further concerns about the wildfire spreading to the camp.

They opened week three of the senior high camp two days later.

The Young Life staff and work crew said they are grateful for the support and donations they received while in Abbotsford.