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Elphinstone Chronicles: Sharing some partying etiquette

And gearing up for the next Trash Bash

Beach parties: A Sunshine Coast teenage tradition since probably before the first settlers came here. One gets tired of haunting the Tim Horton’s after a while. But where’s the party etiquette? There have been reports of an abandoned cabin getting trashed on Secret Beach in Area E recently. Located on the border of the beach and the undeveloped portion of Ocean Beach Esplanade, I have to say trashed is an understatement. Surrounding the little derelict cabin, the area is littered with old appliances, broken glass, styrofoam, spent fireworks, and an endless amount of empties. Remnants of fire pits are right under the cedar trees. The closest thing to fire safety I could see was an empty fire extinguisher that looks like it’s from wartime and also been through wartime. The problem is this cabin seems to be on crown land, so it is unclear who is legally responsible for it. Fire chief Rob Michael says they would put out a fire or attend to an incident, but they do not have authority over parties and garbage, especially on Crown land. Fire and safety hazards abound, so what’s to be done? 

A couple things I thought of while exploring the cabin’s bric-a-brac: There are no trash bins or recycling bins at Secret Beach. As a park of the SCRD that is located far from bus stops and town, having bins available would encourage people to pack out trash. Also, maybe Elphinstone Secondary could find ways to inform students on beach party etiquette. It might not be young people doing the trashing, but I will admit I partied down there as a kid myself, so… just sayin’. It’s important to let teens know about putting out fires, keeping below high tide lines, and leaving no trace behind.  

Looking for hands-on solutions? Join Area E’s Trash Bash coming up on Saturday, March 25. Volunteers are meeting at Cedar Grove Elementary School from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Garbage bags and vests are being supplied by the SCRD, but if you have your own vest and grabber, bring it along. Rain or shine, volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for the quick neighbourhood clean-up, including gloves.  

“We would like to recycle as much as possible this year,” said Lee Carter, the organizer of Elphinstone’s Trash Bash, “which means sorting when the bags come back.” A recent Coast Reporter headline disappointingly explained that 46 per cent of the garbage delivered to Sechelt Landfill could have been recycled. If any youth group wants to participate in sorting recyclables for money, they just need to tell Lee they’re showing up to sort and take their section of bounty away. If you’d like to preregister or get more info, please email Lee at  

But Area E is huge. Lee had already planned this Trash Bash for Pratt Road, and the Secret Beach cabin is a massive project that will need more than a two-hour window. MLA Nicholas Simons has been alerted and said this “concern has been appropriately passed on to the Natural Resource Officer for Sechelt as it pertains to potential trespass on crown lands under the Land Act”. It sounds like official wheels are starting to turn. But it also sounds like they are all etiquette, no party. 

I would love to hear feedback, take suggestions on topics, and hear from all 3,883 residents of Elphinstone. Email me at