Cancellation of 2017 Adult Retreat From August 21-25 at the Lodge at the Old Dorm On Bowen Island

Hello, Everyone,

This is to let you all know that due to insufficient number of registrations, The Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired is having to cancel the retreat that was scheduled for August 21-25 at the Lodge at the Old Dorm. We sincerely regret this decision and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone.

We understand that for many of you the fact that camp wasn’t at the usual spot may have influenced your decision not to register. Our hope is to plan the 2018 retreat at the familiar and well-loved Bowen island Lodge, provided that adequate safety measures that had been compromised on the property can be put in place once more. We are continuing to work on resolving this issue by every avenue available to us and will keep everyone posted on our progress.

For up to date information, please visit or call us at +1 (604) 947-0021 or +1 (844) MYBOWEN (692-6936).


The Camp Bowen team

A Message From Defend Island Forrests

Hi Everyone,

Below is a message circulated on behalf of the Defend Island Forrests group on Bowen Island.

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Thousand People March

I am sending you the letter below In the hope that you will copy, paste and share it with your anyone and everyone as soon as possible so that this information gets to the population of Bowen Island immediately.

Thank you for your help,

Lyn van Lidth de Jeude

Dear Neighbours,

As you may have heard, BC Timber Sales, an arm of the Provincial government, is proposing to add Bowen Island to its logging area. Their proposal has allocated 1,414 hectares of forested Crown Land (that’s 28% of BI’s land mass) as eligible for Industrial logging over the next 20 years. The trees that are proposed to be harvested are all on our mountains where they retain the water that sustains us through the dry times. This is a serious threat to an already limited water supply and there is very little time to change the course of this action.

Please join your neighbours and voice your opinions at the
Thousand People March Sunday July 30th at 1pm on the Bowfest Field

We will meet at the Bowfest Field and walk together to the open house meeting being held by BC Timber Sales at Collins Hall.

Bring your sun hats, water bottles and respectful signs.

Bowen Island needs to stand together to protect our Crown Land from industrial logging. More information is available at

Some of you who are very involved in our community and will receive this information more than once. Please share it with others who may not know and Thank you for your help to defend our Forests.


Defend Island Forests

Camp Bowen Gives Back: Screen Readers, The Bowen Island Public Library, and Making Information Accessible to Everyone


Working in a community that has supported us with open hearts throughout the past seven years has been rewarding. The generosity of islanders is what has allowed us to remain on island as long as we have and to continue to rebuild the Camp Bowen programs. However, we’ve always felt that we should do more to give back to the island community that has given so much to us. The project outlined in this post marks the first public step in that direction, a step that we hope will be the first of many to come.

Back in February, we approached the Bowen Island Public Library to see if it would be feasible to make the public access computers in the library accessible for blind and partially sighted patrons. The enthusiasm from library staff has been wonderful through the entire time we have worked together on this project.

We’re very pleased to announce today that both of the public computers in the library now run NVDA, an open-source screen reader that reads out the computer screen to blind and partially sighted computer users. Information is so important in this day in age and we recognize that libraries are an important conduit to the world for many people. We at Camp Bowen are glad to have played a part in making some of that information more accessible to Bowen Islanders with disabilities and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Leo and the rest of the team at the Bowen Island Public Library for working with us to make this project a reality. We couldn’t have done it without you.

In the coming weeks we will be providing more information about how to access NVDA at the library and where one can go to find additional resources on this great tool.

Looking for a Volunteer to Help Translate Material Into French

We are currently seeking a volunteer to help us translate our English content and communications into Canadian French. As an organization working at a national level, we recognize the importance of providing our information in both official languages.

The ideal candidate will be motivated and able to work with minimal supervision. Candidates must have oral and written proficiency in both English and Canadian French.

Candidates are expected to be able to work from home and will work closely with the board of directors at Camp Bowen.

If you would like to apply, please express interest by contacting us.

Camp Bowen’s Fundraiser at Doc Morgan’s

Jessica, Peg and Alex are standing in front of the Camp Bowen banner. Jocelyn is sitting in front of Peg.

From left to right: Jessica, Peg, and Alex. Jocelyn is sitting in front of Peg.

On Saturday, we had our White Cane Week themed fundraiser at Doc Morgan’s on Bowen Island. Members of the community came out to join us for an evening of live jazz music from Bowen’s own talented Teun Schut Trio, a live auction, and a 50/50 draw. Our door prize, which was one of our new Camp Bowen mugs, was popular. It was lucky we had a second one for the auction. Our banner was on display for the first time.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support us. We would also like to thank Doc Morgan’s for hosting us and providing meals for the band. We would furthermore like to thank the Ruddy Potato, Cocoa West Chocolatier, and the anonymous donors who generously donated items to our auction. We couldn’t do the work we do without your support.

Announcing the Camp Bowen Banner, Logo, and Tagline

The Camp Bowen Banner. On the left is the Camp Bowen logo, a stylized portrayal of the CP Rail dinner bell that hangs on the patio at the Bowen Island Lodge. On the right are the words 'Camp Bowen' in print followed by the same in Braille. Under that is a green stripe, followed by the tagline, 'Fostering Independence Through Friendship', followed by another green stripe, followed by the words 'The Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired, a Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind'. The banner colours are white, blue, and green.

Last summer, Camp Bowen brought a Showdown table to Bowfest on Bowen Island and allowed attendees of the fair to play Showdown games by donation. Showdown, a sport that can be described as a cross between table tennis and air hockey, was designed to be played blindfolded and is a popular game in some blindness circles. Players have to listen to the ball, which is filled with rice or a similar noise making substance and use paddles to direct the ball into their opponents goal. It was created right here in BC.

A generous member of the Bowen Island community, who wishes to remain anonymous, noticed that we didn’t have any advertising on our tent and decided to get in contact with us to see what they could do. After some back and forth discussion with the aforementioned community member, the team here at Camp Bowen, and a local designer, the Camp Bowen banner was born.

The Camp Bowen banner, pictured above, is the first time the Camp Bowen logo has seen widespread use. The logo, designed by Araceli Jurgensen and the Camp Bowen team, features a stylized portrayal of the CP Rail dinner bell that hangs on the patio of the Bowen Island Lodge and has served as a call to meals at camp for many years.

The release of the banner also marks the first time our organization’s tagline, developed by the team during the banner consultation process, will be making a public appearance. The tagline, which reads, “Fostering Independence Through Friendship”, was adopted by unanimous consent on December 3, 2016.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the community member mentioned above for providing the backing and the designer for providing the expertise to produce the banner. We could not have completed the banner project without your help. Thank you!

The banner will be unveiled at Camp Bowen’s upcoming fundraiser at Doc Morgan’s this Saturday. If you still haven’t gotten tickets, you can still get them from Doc’s in advance or at the door. We’re also selling them online.

Camp Bowen Outside the General Store

Alex, Jessica, and Jocelyn are sitting at a table outside the General Store. On the table are a Sign, a Perkins Brailler, a stack of tickets, a stack of bookmarks, and a donation jar.

From left to right: Alex, Jessica, and Jocelyn

On Thursday and Saturday of last week, Jessica, Alex, and Jocelyn from here at Camp Bowen had a table at the Snug Cove General Store on Bowen Island. They were selling tickets for the upcoming Camp Bowen fundraiser at Doc Morgan’s this coming Saturday. They were also Brailling names onto bookmarks by donation.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and say hi. We would also like to thank the Snug Cove General Store and its staff for letting us setup outside the store and for all of their help.

If you haven’t had a chance to purchase tickets for our fundraiser, they can be purchased from Doc’s in advance of the event or at the door. Tickets can also be purchased online.

A Visit to Bowen Island Community School

Jessica, Jocelyn, and Alex are sitting behind a table in a classroom. On the table are Braille books, a green cloth bag, a Brailler, an iPhone, a bag of cards, a BrailleNote in its case, 2 slates and styluses, a MacBook Pro, and Braille paper. Zandra is to the right of Alex.

From left to right: Jessica, Jocelyn, and Alex

Last Thursday, our own Alex, Jessica and Jocelyn went to Bowen Island Community School to talk to kids about blindness. This White Cane Week themed event was originally supposed to take place on Thursday, February 9 but got postponed due to bad weather.

Alex, Jessica and Jocelyn spoke to more than 50 students in grades 4 and 5 about Braille, assistive technology, and mobility. Students got to learn about the Braille alphabet, Braille books, the Perkins Brailler, Braille notetakers, the iPhone’s accessibility features, white cane travel, and guide dogs, among other things. Alex brought his guide dog, Zandra, who was a big hit. All in all, the day was a huge success.

We give a huge thank you to Bowen Island Community School for the opportunity to speak to your students. Thank you to the staff and students for your enthusiasm and openness. We look forward to coming back next year and talking to even more classes.

Save the Dates – July 31-August 4, 2017: Adult Retreat (Ages 19+) at Bowen Island Lodge

Hello, Everyone,

Yes, after all the wintry weather we’ve had, The Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired is now plotting our course toward times of warmer weather and planning our adult retreat for ages 19+ this summer at Bowen island Lodge. We have set the dates for the retreat to be from Monday July 31st through Friday August 4.

Once we have obtained the pricing package for the time, we will send out a further notice with more information.

I’m sure that those of you who attended the retreat in 2016 will agree it was a real success. We look forward to building on that success and hope to have an even larger group joining us this year.

So stay tuned as our plans move forward.

Warm regards,

The Camp Bowen Team

Our New Street Signs

Those of you on Bowen Island who have headed down Cardena at Bowen trunk Road may have noticed two new signs. Those signs were put in to replace the sign that used to sit further up the road and cautioned drivers of the presence of blind and partially sighted pedestrians.

On behalf of all of us at the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired, we would like to thank Bob Robinson, Sue Ellen Fast, the Public Works team, the Bowen Island Municipality, and everyone else involved with the implementing of the new signs posted for our organization on Cardena. We appreciate the hard work everyone at the municipality has put in to ensure the safety of our staff and program participants.