On the weekend of September 10th, 2011 almost 60 volunteers came together and worked harder than any crew, to build this shelter. These volunteers were regular people, with various skills and interests, from different places and backgrounds, all working together for one goal. Devoting every free minute they had, working from the early hours of the morning till past sundown just to be able to finish. After 2 very long and hard days they proudly stood in awe of what they accomplished together.
In 1978, a small group of people built a shelter in almost this same spot, with no money, just a dream of a place for all to enjoy and share. In 2006, after many additions of structure and character, after almost 30 years of memories, that shelter was dismantled.
Since 2006, the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC worked long and hard with many people in an endeavour to bring a shelter back to the shores of Hale Creek. Attempting to obtain funding, coordinating the workforce, and proving to the Ministry that Hale Creek was worthy of such a gift.
With the generous funding from Recreation Sites and Trails BC, the design and original construction of A Fine Log Building Company, and the skillful work of Gormac Developments, this project finally came to fruition. All that would not have been possible if it weren’t for the volunteers though.
That morning, none of us had any idea what would happen, we weren’t sure what the building looked like, how many people would show up to work and what their skill level was, who could stay and for how long, it was all a mystery. When the barge touched down on the shore we were all shocked at the size of everything. Within an hour the pieces started to fall into place only thanks to an excellent coordination between the volunteers. Everyone took on a job, regardless of age or ability, every person was energetic, passionate and ready to help. The shores quickly filled with freshly stained joists, the foundation was being excavated and filled with gravel and cement, picnic tables were being built and painted. Everyone worked tirelessly through the midday heat and well into the dark hours of the day. Lunch and dinner were served thanks to generous donations and more volunteer work.
Sunday brought another challenge; many people had to go home on Saturday so we were not sure how much help we would have. Luckily a new group of people joined the work force, falling into place as if they were there from the beginning. Once again, the volunteers worked through the heat and midday sun, not even scathed by how tired they were. Lunch and dinner were served by volunteers working hard behind the scenes. The sun disappeared behind the mountains and the full moon shone brightly as the last of the screws were being driven into the roof by the help of flashlights. Out of the many that came out to help only a few had the pleasure of seeing it finished that evening, but all contributed more than any could have ever expected.
Some people risked the drive home in the dark, having to go to work the next day, while a few stayed the night to clean up and add any finishing touches.
This was built by volunteers! Hard working, regular people like you. Please respect it.