Slightly North of Zero: Sunny Salmon Arm

Tsawwassen


During the summers that we are in town, we head up to the Shuswap to Sandy Point Resort. For us, it is an opportunity to relax, enjoy the climate and reconnect with friends from Alberta.

My husband has been going there on and off since the 1970s. Back in the day, no reservations were required. His group would choose a site, scout around, and as soon as someone started packing, move in for the kill. Inevitably, they ended up on the highly coveted front row facing the beach.

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Sandy Point

                                 My husband and 6 other skiers leaving the beach in 1977.

Nowadays, seasonal residents occupy these spots. Some of them are very glamorous with permanent decks, tiki bars, green grass, and pots overflowing with geraniums. You’d never know you were living in a campground, unless, of course, you head over to where the masses of transient campers are located.

This year we were “ghetto” camping on a site with 15 amp power and water. Every inch of our site was used. We had two tents, an eating shelter, plus our truck and canopy with our pull out kitchen. We needed the power to plug in the fridge we borrowed from a friend. Two years ago we were tenting in the overflow area with coolers. The fridge gave us the ability to easily store our meals and avoid daily trips into town.

Ghetto camping.

The campground has many worthwhile amenities. The children’s playground area has recently been upgraded. There is a little store where you can purchase necessities like drinks, candy, ice cream and the daily newspaper. There is a concession, which serves breakfast and other hot food. Sea Dog Rentals also has a storefront where you can rent boats, sea-doos, and paddleboards, and they have a gas bar for filling up.

Bar none, the best feature of the campground is the beach. You don’t realize how spectacular it is until you are in a boat approaching it from the water. It looks like it is a mile long. Another added bonus is the water temperature. At Sandy Point, the average person can walk straight into the water. I am a bit of a coward, so for me, it is at least a five-minute endeavor.

Sandy Point Resort

About eleven years ago, my husband and I made our initial trip together to Sandy Point with his daughters, who were 16 and 9. We were sitting on the beach after dinner one night when we met a group of friends from Spruce Grove and Edmonton, Alberta. With them, we experienced the “camaraderie of campers.” The group continues to grow (with spouses, grandchildren and other Albertans), but our time there is very special and they are the reason why we continue to go.

The pace is very relaxed, but there is always a 9:00 am departure for the water skiers, and wake boarders. Some people get up early and go walking or jogging, while others of us (that’d be me) prefer to sip coffee and read. By 11:00 am most of us have congregated at our spot on the beach and the rest of the day involves eating, drinking, swimming, floating and lots of laughter.

All the girls on the giant floatie.

Whether you are roughing it in the wilderness or enjoying the full services of a place like Sandy Point, camping can be an excellent family vacation. If you are lucky enough, you will build relationships that transcend time and distance.

I am sure that many of you have had similar experiences in other campgrounds. I’d love to hear about your favourite place to camp. 

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