Even though it was the first time he’d ever been away from his family for a whole week, Dawson* had the time of his life at Junior Coed: Camp is awesome! Everything was great, but waterfront is the best. I learned how to kayak and canoe and I swam in the ocean, and James* and Tyler* and I went tubing behind a big boat. James almost flew out one time when we went over that big wave. We were all laughing and screaming at the same time! Camp is the best! (*not their real names…)
Dawson isn’t alone. Over the past 2 summers we interviewed 1,288 campers, and tubing and waterfront were, by a wide margin, the top two highlights both years. It’s hard to imagine a week at Homewood without playing in (or on) the water! Our sheltered harbour and docks are two of our greatest assets.
A recent inspection of our wharf by a marine engineer revealed that the majority of the 22 creosote piles that support the wharf are no longer structurally sound. In addition, the piles that secure our floating docks are rotten, the hoops and connecting hardware are rusting away, and the docks themselves are in such a state that there is no sound wood to attach new hardware to. Our steel access ramp is also well past its best before date. None of this should surprise us: Russ Swanson installed the piles and built the wharf in 1953!
This is a massive project, and time is short. We must have a safe, functional waterfront ready to use prior to April, 2020 when our school groups begin arriving. The cost of replacing the wharf, docks, and pilings could surpass $750,000 if we hired contractors. Building 8,000 sq. ft. of new docks to replace our existing dock system could cost $400,000 – $800,000, depending on materials used (all wood construction vs aluminium frame or welded plastic vs concrete floats). Just replacing the 33 piles at an estimated cost of $5,000 each would exceed $150,000. Yikes!
But wait! THERE IS GOOD NEWS! A dedicated group of volunteers has been working hard to solicit gifts in kind from local businesses. A donation of several dozen sections of retired steel docks is pending from a local aquaculture company. A steel fabrication shop owner has said that he will donate time and materials to modify the docks to suit our needs. Another company has promised a quantity of used 30’ wooden pilings. Still another is going to give us HDPE pipe to build welded plastic floatation units for a new dock to facilitate tubing and another low dock to launch canoes and kayaks. We’ve even got a tug lined up to move all of the finished pieces into place for free! Total value of gifts in kind: approximately $550,000!
WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need to raise $158,000 to complete the project so that our waterfront is safe and functional by the end of March, 2020. Your gift will enable us to replace the 22 rotten wharf piles and drive 13 new extra-long piles in the deep water to secure the docks ($67,500), purchase and install a 60’ x 5’ aluminium ramp ($28,000), buy pressure treated decking and whaler boards ($20,000), pay for plastic welding for the HDPE pipe floats ($12,500), and build a custom float for the ramp to land on ($14,000). We have also included a 10% contingency fund ($16,000) to help cover any ‘surprises’ we encounter along the way!
Our Progress in Photos
Keep up with our progress with the photo gallery! As we continue to make progress on this project we’ll update the gallery with new images, so keep checking back! To view the gallery, please click on any of the images below and scroll through!