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Our Story

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!

The Beginnings of Stayner Camp

As early as 1890 “Bush Meetings” were held in Ontario. This style of Camp Meeting was the predecessor to Christian Camping in Ontario. The white pine acreage on Scott Street was purchased in 1925 from the Gartlan Estate for $1500 and became Stayner Bible Conference Grounds. In 1933 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.

Timeline

1925

White pine land on Scott Street purchased from the Gartlan Estate for $1500

1933

Campgrounds committee plants 3000 seedlings on the grounds.

1936

Kitchen and Dining Hall erected, west four acres planted with red pine

1938

Dr. I.H. Erb starts a youth camp that runs during the regular camp, the South Washrooms are built

1947

The Tabernacle is built with timber from the land

1953

Camp Pinewagami begins. Trail of the Pines camp follows as a camp for younger boys and girls.

1957

The Fellowship Hall is funded by District Youth who also help to build it

1965

The North Field is purchased from the Brown family

1970

A new kitchen and addition to the dining hall are built

1974

Municipal sewers are connected and the east section of the Lodge is built

1976

Link between the Dining Hall and the Lodge is built (Lower Lounge and offices)

1977

Dining hall is insulated, fireplace added

1983

Purchase of 9 Lots from Irvine Locke on the North side of the property

1988

North Washroom is built

1989

Gymnasium is built, Air Conditioning installed in the Dining Hall

1992

Tuck Shop is erected

1993

A Manager’s Home is built on Saunders St.

1999

Renovations to winterize the Nursery

2002

Evergreen Christian Ministries becomes an independent entity, governing Stayner and Camp Mishewah

2013

Heroes on the Move Day Camp begins at Stayner

2014

Lodge renovations add washrooms to most rooms

2019

Major kitchen renovations are completed

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