The idea for our Co-op began in May 1993, after the Okanogan Escapee Chapter #33 Annual Meeting. It was decided to write to every known Escapee in Canada to see if the numbers were there to form a co-op in this area.
Others investigated possible sites from Cherryville in the north to Osoyoos, Rock Creek and Christina Lake closer to the border. Thousands of miles later, a meeting was held that fall to consider the three best sites. No one site was voted conclusively and we reluctantly gave up for the winter.
It quickly became apparent that there were not enough Escapees interested in a Canadian Co-op. Meanwhile, the parent group nixed further co-ops anywhere. Two letters published in the RV Times brought many enquiries and we were much encouraged as we entered 1994.
We heard about this property in May and the Steering Committee was unanimous in their approval. The value was there, in land, buildings and services. More important was the fact that it was currently licensed for our purposes and the area did not have zoning by-laws. This meant that improvements would likely be grand-fathered in any future zoning.
A deal was signed, a deposit placed and we had thirty days to come up with $150,000.00. The balance would be carried by the sellers on an open mortgage. Frantic phoning brought in the required money, plus working capital, and we had our property.
A first meeting was held in early July, our first Board was elected and we were a reality.
We were offered the net camping revenue from the park from August 1st if we took over management of the then campground. The pioneers of our group accepted the challenge and worked the long hours required.
A further general meeting was held in late September and by October we were able to burn the mortgage. Plans were forming for the replacement of services. A hardy group wintered on the site and ground was broken in February 1995 after much planning.
New sewer, water, TV and telephone cables were laid as well as individual electric services with meters. For these four months it was a war zone with open trenches everywhere. With the exception of a supervising electrician and a hired digger at the end, it was all accomplished by the members of the day.
By June, 1995, the trenches were closed and beautification began. You will need to spend some time with the pictorial history in our clubhouse to understand the full impact of what was accomplished in those early years.
Another side not covered well pictorially, but nevertheless very important, was the yeoman work done by others to ensure that the “I”s were dotted and the “T”s crossed. The work done to create the agreements with various departments of governments and to write the Indenture, Rules etc., was an important, if sometimes overlooked, job.
We now have a park to be proud of, with no debts, money in reserve for emergencies and yes, in the year 2003, the dues were re-established at – $55.00 a month.