Let us take you back to the early beginning of camp. Learn about our heritage through pictures and artifacts displayed in our museum cabin and see how camp has changed over the years. How we do camp has seen many changes over the years (campers originally stayed in canvas tents with straw filled tics for mattresses,) but the mission is the same as always!
As early as 1881, the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church held “Bush Meetings” in Ontario. This style of Camp Meeting was the predecessor to Christian Camping in Ontario.
In 1925, sites in Kitchener and Stayner were purchased. The Kitchener site hosted camp meetings for nearly 40 years, after which it was donated to Emmanuel Bible College. The white pine acreage on Scott Street was purchased from the Gartlan Estate for $1500 and became Stayner Bible Conference Grounds. In 1931 the camp committee planted 3,000 seedlings which have matured into our magnificent white pine forest. Through the years the kitchen and dining hall were built. The tabernacle was erected in 1947 with the use of timber from the acreage. Improvements and additions over the years were done to meet the needs of a growing youth camp program. Today Stayner Camp hosts youth camps, family camps and the retreat center sees year round use by evangelical groups from across Southern Ontario.
In 2016 one of our older cabins was refurbished to become our camp museum. Donations of interest and pictures from long ago are on display. Maybe you can help us identify some of the faces in our pictures. Video footage from past Salt and Light conferences and EMCC Pitch and Praise weekends will be sure to bring a smile to your face. The museum is open from June 10 to Labor Day weekend during events and camps. If you are in the area and want to visit the museum, talk to us in the office and we will be sure the building is open for you.
White pine land on Scott Street purchased from the Gartlan Estate for $1500
Campgrounds committee plants 3000 seedlings on the grounds.
Kitchen and Dining Hall erected, west four acres planted with red pine
Dr. I.H. Erb starts a youth camp that runs during the regular camp, the South Washrooms are built
The Tabernacle is built with timber from the land
Camp Pinewagami begins. Trail of the Pines camp follows as a camp for younger boys and girls.
The Fellowship Hall is funded by District Youth who also help to build it
The North Field is purchased from the Brown family
A new kitchen and addition to the dining hall are built
Municipal sewers are connected and the east section of the Lodge is built
The first stage of the winterized lodge is built
Link between the Dining Hall and the Lodge is built (Lower Lounge and offices).
Dining hall is insulated/winterized, fireplace added
An addition to the lodge is constructed
Purchase of 9 Lots from Irvine Locke on the North side of the property
North Washroom is built
Gymnasium is built, Air Conditioning installed in the Dining Hall
Tuck Shop is erected
A Manager’s Home is built on Saunders St.
Renovations to winterize the Nursery
Evergreen Christian Ministries becomes an independent entity, governing Stayner and Camp Mishewah
Heroes on the Move Day Camp begins at Stayner
Lodge renovations add washrooms to most rooms
Major kitchen renovations are completed