South Surrey’s Kelly Tarry and her family participate in the inaugural BC Stay-at-Home Campout on April 25. The event was so successful, a second one is planned for May 16. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey Stay-at-Home Campout organizer plans second event

Province-wide fundraiser supports BC Centre for Disease Control Emergency Response Fund

A province-wide camping event organized by a South Surrey resident was so successful that it’s coming back for a second round.

The first B.C. Stay-at-Home Campout was held April 25, and saw families donate a $5 “camping fee” to the BC Centre for Disease Control Emergency Response Fund, before pitching tents and camping out in their own yards, garages, basements, driveways and living rooms.

Organizers, led by South Surrey’s Kelly Tarry, originally hoped to raise $1,000 in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

In the end, they raised $3,905 as campers across the province got involved in the campaign.

Groups took part from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, as far east as the Kootenays and as far north as Prince George.

“It was a huge success,” Tarry told Peace Arch News this week.

Now, they’re aiming to do it again – this time on May 16, as part of the Victoria Day long weekend.

Typically, the May long weekend is popular one for B.C. outdoors enthusiasts, and under normal circumstances would unofficially mark the start of camping season.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, provincial parks are closed until at least June.

“It was so successful that people asked if we could do it all again and try to reach even more people,” Tarry said.

To register for the May 16 event and pay the $5 fee, visit

Campers are also encouraged to join the campaign’s official Facebook group (, where participants are posting photos of their own camping set-ups.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to

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