Scouts from around the world gather at Camp Barnard for Pacific Jamboree

Any potentially dangerous trees have come down at Camp Barnard — where a Victoria teenager was killed by a falling tree in June — in preparation for a gathering of more than 2,000 young scouts from around the world.

The scouts arrived at the camp in Sooke on Saturday for the Pacific Jamboree, an event that takes place every four years in B.C. This year, groups are expected from the U.S., England, Scotland and New Zealand. A group from Uganda was also planning to attend, but they weren’t able to get visas, according to camp chair Bill Schulte.

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Thirteen-year-old Tai Caverhill was killed by a falling tree at the camp on June 19 during a school trip. In preparation for the jamboree, the camp brought in an assessor to identify trees that posed a potential hazard, and a faller to bring dangerous trees down.

“We went with the overabundance of caution. If it looked like it could happen in the next six months to a year, we fell some trees out of the way,” Schulte said.

Scouts are invited to take part in a variety of activities, including canoeing, kayaking, ax throwing and overnight hikes. Some will come into Victoria to explore the city.

Premier John Horgan was at the camp on Sunday morning to speak to scouts.

Groups arrived at the camp on Saturday and will stay until July 13. B.C. Ferries is warning passengers that ferries between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen will be extremely busy on July 13 between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They urge customers travelling by vehicle to make reservations. Those without reservations are encouraged to arrive between 45-60 minutes early or consider taking a ferry later in the afternoon.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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