This post was provided by Keith Hadigate, Executive Director at Camp Cherith, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.
For many people, summer camp is one of the sweetest childhood memories. Camp provides the opportunity to form new friendships, learn new skills, gain independence and open our eyes to the connection between ourselves and the rest of the world. Camp gives us confidence to grow, appreciate nature, explore, and make memories to be forever treasured. We learn self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, teambuilding, leadership and problem solving skills. But above all, camp is fun and Camp Cherith is certainly no exception.
In the midst of summer, our campers can be found in and around our camp grounds frolicking in endless activities. Through sports, crafts, camp songs, teambuilding exercises and more, Cherith provides campers with a safe environment to learn, grow and explore the world around them all while facilitating personal development as individuals, a team, and as citizens of the world. But what makes our camp unique is our celebration of faith and connection with God.
“While fun, games, friends, programming, and time well spent are all elements of the camp experience that I love, there is something far greater. It’s something you can’t really understand unless you’ve been there, it’s something you can’t really explain to an outsider, and it’s something you can’t really miss once you’re there. Simply put, God is there. God is at camp, and it’s obvious to almost all who come. The spiritual nature of camp allows campers to grow, not just in their life skills department, but in their relationship with Jesus, the most important relationship they could ever have. God is at camp, and He is working—in visible and invisible ways—and working at Cherith gives me an opportunity to be a part of it.” — Rebecca S., former camper and Camp Cherith staff
At Camp Cherith, we experience God’s word in action and enable our children to enter a personal relationship with Christ and to know his word. We host several prayer meetings everyday while weaving in scripture into every activity at Cherith. We strongly believe in the ability to appreciate God and his creation when surrounded by the great outdoors, one of the many reasons why our camp motto exclaims, “Leave no child indoors this summer!” — a core value that has been with us since our start back in 1954.
Our humble beginnings.
Ontario Camp Cherith was the first Pioneer Girls’ camp in Canada founded back in 1954. Over the years, growing interest sparked the need to locate our larger, current site. On opening day back on July 9, 1961, a modern dining hall, 13 camper cabins, a pump house and maintenance cabin, a cooks’ quarters and a director’s cabin all stood on the site, and in our first year, 366 girls attended our five week camp.
Since then, thousands of trees have been planted, swimming was transferred from the river to a concrete in-ground pool, and horsemanship began in 1962 — a popular camp activity still enjoyed by many campers even today. Over the years countless hours of selfless, dedicated labour went into site preparation each and every spring as trails were cut and campsites developed. Two years after beginning in Walkerton, a grass tennis court was laid out, but this activity lasted only a short time; an archery range now stands in its place. A much needed tuck shop, office and administration building, and Chalet, was also erected in 1974 among countless other drastic changes we have seen over the years.
From a very humble beginning in 1961, the site at Walkerton has developed into a fine camp where girls and boys can enjoy the outdoors, learn skills, and become introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ. Cherith has always followed the theme, “Christ in every aspect of a person’s life” and it is only through the kindness of our donors which we are able to provide our campers with the opportunity to experience camp, while learning more about their faith and connecting with God.
To learn more about the Camp Cherith, please visit their charity profile page >>