The history of The Scott Mission Camp, like The Scott Mission itself, goes back quite a few years. The camp went throughout a number of versions before it got to the one we have today. Though initially conducted at various locations, by 1920 the Scott Institute had acquired two cottages in Grimsby Beach. These cottages were small, primitive and there were difficult times ahead, but the Lord used them for His purpose.
The Thirties brought many European refugees to Canada. While the Scott Institute served their needs during the winter, the camp was a refuge in the summer. Songs were sung at night in the covered dining area; evenings were a time for everyone to gather for hymns, choruses and Bible talks.
The Forties brought the founding of The Scott Mission and with it the need for a new camp; Miss Catherine Carmichael offered the Mission a property in Hillsburgh, Ontario. The property was small, about two acres, and consisted of an old house and a small barn. Miss Carmichael was certain that this was God’s will, but faced a lot of opposition from neighbors, her family and her lawyers. She stood firm and plans were made for the summer. On May 24th of that year, just a short time before camp was slated to begin there was a large fire in the house, burning the front half of the house. A needlepoint reading “The Lord Will Provide” survived the fire and now hand in the Chapel at the Caledon camp. This needlepoint gave perspective to the fire and to the task at hand. A bunkhouse was built, an outhouse extended and the camp was ready for campers by summer. Over the years, running water and electricity were added to the house.
By 1957 the need for a larger camp was obvious. The property in Caledon was acquired with its white house, a barn and forests. For the first year meals were cooked and eaten in the house. The upper level of the barn (once the bottom level was cleared of manure) served as the bunkhouse with girls on one side and boys on the other. The look of the camp has changed a lot in the years since. A pond was added for canoeing as well as a large pool for swimming; hundreds of seedlings were planted to give the camp the woodsy feeling it has today.
Annie Zeidman wrote:
“Only eternity will tell the number of lives changed through the camp ministry. Perseverance, trusting in the God who promised to provide, and the confirmation of the worthwhileness of camping experiences has kept the camp operating. Regardless of the quality of commitment of a camper’s parents, or the camper’s lack of preparedness to come to camp, each child has received a fulfilling holiday, and heard the gospel, placing with that child unforgettable memories and ethics to build on. We have invested in the future of thousands of boys and girls, many of whom have become productive citizens in their community. Thanks be to God.”