Do you have questions about Camp Bow-Isle? Here are some answers to our most commonly-asked questions. If you don’t see your question answered here, please see our contact page for ways to get in touch with us by phone or email!
What is the camp facility like?
- Camp Bow-Isle is set on 208 acres in the middle of Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada. The facilities are rustic, with private outdoor biffies and indoor showers. Campers and counselors sleep in platform tents with tarpaulin roofs, using their own sleeping bags (we supply a thick foam and vinyl mattress for use in camp.) The main A-frame lodge, kitchen area, and shower house have hot and cold running water and electricity.
How is Christian Science used at camp?
- We look to God to guide everything we do at camp. Acting in a manner which reinforces the lessons taught in the Christian Science Sunday School is the primary goal of the staff at Camp Bow-Isle. Jesus’ dual commandment to “love God supremely” and “love thy neighbor as thyself” has special import here at camp. We strive to live up to this direct command, and we help campers do so as well. Ways in which Christian Science is practiced at Camp Bow-Isle include:
- Having a Journal-listed Christian Science Practitioner on hand during every youth session;
- Holding Sunday School each session with the Camp Director, Practitioner, and qualified Staff serving as teachers;
- Holding midweek Testimony Meetings in which a staff member or camper prepares the readings, and campers are encouraged to give testimonies;
- Studying the Christian Science Bible Lesson each morning within tent groups, and marking the Lesson in the books after Sunday School;
- Discussing our Metaphysical Theme or other metaphysical ideas before various activities to be sure we are bringing the right thought to those activities.
What is the weather like at camp?
- The weather at camp during the summer is usually beautiful, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celcius (70 degrees Fahrenheit.) However, nights can be cooler, and it has been known to rain. Please follow the packing guidelines and pack extra warm clothes if you think your child may need them.
Can I call or e-mail my child at camp?
- Our experience has shown that campers grow the most when calls to or from home are avoided. Because Camp Bow-Isle has just one telephone line (and a second one reserved for the Practitioner), we ask that you please do not call your son or daughter except in the case of an emergency. Letters and e-mails are always welcome, and we deliver them daily. While we cannot facilitate outgoing e-mails, we do post pictures on the camp website at www.bowisle.ca during the session. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. On transportation days, feel free to contact camp director Ali Osborne to confirm the safe arrival of your child and transportation details. Our phone number is (604) 947-2500, or toll-free: 1-877-943-BIG-A. Needless to say, if we feel any cause for concern about your child, we will contact you immediately.
Can I write to my child at camp?
- Campers love receiving mail! Letters and postcards sent from within Canada will usually arrive in just a few days. Letters sent from the US often take a week or more. Remember to check with the post office for current postage rates, or put two stamps on your letter if sending it from the US! Your child will write a letter home during their stay with us. If you would like them to write more than once, please include money for postage (they require Canadian postage stamps!) You’re also welcome to write a few letters in advance and give them to staff to hand to campers throughout the session.
Can I send my child a care package?
- Care packages can be a lot of fun, but they can also cause challenges when campers who do not receive packages feel left out, when care package recipients fill up on candy instead of food, and when candy wrappers tend to litter camp and attract rodents and insects. If you would like to send a care package to your child, consider sending non-edible items such as t-shirts, craft items or toys, or homemade goodies from home that your camper can share with their tent-mates. Please do not send gum!
Is it hard to cross the border from the US into Canada?
- The Canada/US border is the longest undefended border in the world, and crossing it is seldom a problem. However, occasionally people are turned back at the border if they are not prepared. It is a good idea to follow these guidelines:
1) Everyone 16 and over entering Canada must carry a valid passport. Children under 16 must have a passport or a birth certificate. If you are sending your child with only one parent or another adult, be sure your child carries a passport or birth certificate, and a letter signed by both parents stating that you are aware your child is crossing the border with one parent or another adult. This form should be notarized.
2) Do not bring guns, drugs, cigarettes or alcohol across the border. It may seem a little odd coming from a camp for Christian Scientists, but these are the primary concerns of the customs officials.
3) Do not bring meat, fruit with cores or pits such as apples, pears or peaches, potatoes, fresh corn, or potted plants.
How long does it take to get from the Vancouver airport to camp?
- Approximately 1 hour of driving, plus a 20-minute ferry ride.
Will you meet my child at the airport?
- Yes, we will arrange for a staff member to meet your child at the airport. Due to security restrictions, we are unable to meet your child at the gate. If your child travels as an Unaccompanied Minor, a flight attendant will escort them through Customs and/or Security to meet us. If your child travels alone, we will meet US campers after Customs/Security in the main receiving area of the International Terminal. We will meet Canadian campers after Security at their Baggage Claim carousel.
Does it cost anything for you to pick up my child at the airport?
- Yes, we charge $25 each way for an airport pick up or drop off. This helps to cover our ferry, gas and parking expenses.