British Columbia

Students shamed for 'appalling' Harrison Lake area campsite mess

'The message to grads is: What do you want to be remembered for?'

Litter-strewn Chehalis Lake campsite is poor legacy, warns Surrey School District

This pristine campsite at Chehalis Lake south of Harrison Lake was left littered by grad party-goers. (BC Government/Elgin Park Secondary School)

Piles of litter and garbage left at a campsite near Harrison Lake has cast a pall on the 2016 Elgin Park Secondary School's graduating class, says the principal.

The majority of students are as appalled as everybody else.- Doug Strachan, Surrey School District spokesman.

He's urging students to be mindful of the legacy they are leaving — in campsites, on social media and elsewhere.

"It is unfortunate but this reflects very badly on every member of our school community, regardless of direct involvement," wrote Principal Bruce Filsinger, in a letter to parents and students, imploring them for better behaviour.

Grad party refuse in the sober light of day made locals angry. (Kyle Williams)

He reacted after embarrassing images of refuse were posted on a Facebook site and complaints flew about a group of Grade 12 students who left litter, refuse and a bad taste with locals.

Tents, chairs, coolers were left strewn about the Skwellepil recreation site, according to posts on a private B.C. Toyota 4WD Facebook page. Some items were even seen floating in pristine Chehalis Lake.

Kyle Williams posted pictures in fury after he found the mess at his favourite spot north of Chilliwack.

"It was disgusting," he said, describing chip bags and garbage left floating in the lake. "They just left all their stuff and walked out."

Williams hopes that the teens involved face police action.

"It's selfish and really irresponsible behavior, and the majority of students are as appalled as everybody else," said Doug Strachan, a spokesman for the Surrey School District, in an interview with CBC, May 25.

South Surrey graduates left an 'appalling' mess, piles of trash and bad feelings behind. (Kyle Williams)

He urged grads to think of the legacy they are leaving their children.

"The message to grads is: What do you want to be remembered for?" said Strachan, who hopes the mess serves as a lesson and inspires others to do something more positive like a tree-planting or clean-up effort.

Less than two years ago, Earl Marriott Secondary students were rapped for similar behavior.

School officials hope this is the last time a grad mess becomes the focus of social media shaming.

This postcard view was strewn with sleeping bags, coolers and refuse that ended up floating in Harrison Lake. (Kyle Williams)