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A Brief History of Camp Kwasind
Originally the Baptist Convention of Ontario camping was conducted on rented facilities. In the fall of 1942, news that the Skeleton Lake property was being offered for sale was received. This 13-acre site was then named Camp Cheboygan and then consisted of eleven sleeping cabins, a large lodge-dining hall, five canoes, a sailing dingy, tables, dishes, flatware and other camping equipment.
Mrs. Ruth Trinier (nee Johnston) was one of the original people to learn of the availability of the site. Mrs. C.W. Dengate first provided momentum, for the purchase, while Dr. and Mrs. O.C.J. Withrow along with Mr. And Mrs. E. Frank Wright of Yorkminister Park Church made monies available. Under the leadership of Dr. Leland A. Gregory, of the Religious Education Department of the BCOQ, the site was purchased. The following year, 1944, an opening ceremony was conducted on August 6 with Dr. H.H. Bingham serving as the speaker.
In September 1943, the Baptist Young People?s Union cabinet agreed to accept the challenge to raise funds towards the purchase price. Subsequently they also raised funds towards the refurbishing of the camp facilities. During the early years the Board acquired additional shoreline, to the northwest from Mr. William Olsen. This purchase secured the entire section of the bay for Camp Kwasind. Dr. Gregory discovered that the offshore island could be purchased from the Department of Lands and Forests. The sale was immediately authorized and Mr. Orland Osbourne reimbursed the Board for this modest outlay.
Through various work camps the following conveniences were installed; the first electric water pumping system, electric wiring for the Lodge and cabins, a new privy was erected, a large commercial refrigerator was installed, canoes werer repaired and painted, a new wood stove and the installation of a new 75 gallon hot water heater. The Lord continues to provide valuable volunteers to this day for the ongoing process of maintaining the facilities.
Over 100 suggestions were received to name the new BCOQ camp. Dr. Withrow?s suggestion was chosen and the camp became known as Camp Kwasind. The name?s source is found in Longfellow?s poem entitled Hiawatha. In the poem, the warrior Kwasind, is depicted as being strong and of good virtues.
On August 23, 1965 tragedy came to Camp Kwasind in the form of a fire that destroyed the Lodge/Dining Room. A new structure was built and dedicated on July 24, 1966.