By Chad Ingram
St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club has purchased a summer camp property in
Minden Hills, and its president made a presentation to township
councillors during a May 9 meeting.
Alban’s purchased the property off of County Road 121, located on 242
acres with 7,000 feet of shoreline on Howland Lake, last year. The club
was founded in 1949 as a boys’ sports club meeting in the basement of
St. Alban’s Parish Hall in Toronto. As president Don Stewart informed
councillors, the club is today non-denominational when it comes to
religion; St. Alban’s is simply its namesake. Girls became a part of the
club in the 1960s, and it was renamed the St. Alban’s Boys and Girls
Club in the 1970s.
the club operates in four Toronto communities, one in York Region, and
has a total of about 800 kids per day partaking in mostly after-school
programming, with some 3,000 in all taking part in programs.
The plan for the camp is to focus on outdoor and wilderness experiences.
“It’s very different from programming we run in the city,” Stewart told councillors.
organization has been making upgrades to the property, including
repairs to its dining hall and the refurbishment of a road. The camp,
the former Toronto Y.P.U. Camp, has sat unused for about 15 years.
plan for the summer of 2020 is to offer camping on the site, with about
40 children attending throughout the summer. The presentation also
included renderings of communal cabin designs, and by 2029, the plan is
to have 12 cabins constructed, with about 1,200 children attending
during the course of the summer.
the club’s regular activities includes programming for daycare-aged
children up to those in their early 20s, the camp will focus on
activities for those eight to 16 years in age.
said the club had been utilizing local contractors, would like to make
more community connections, and was looking to the township for guidance
with planning bylaws, building permits, etc., and Mayor Brent Devolin
said they’d be put in touch with township staff.
“Welcome to the neighbourhood,” Devolin said, adding, “We’re as excited as I think you probably are.”
Jean Neville, noting a number of area camps offer day camps for local
kids, said she hoped local children could be included, which Stewart
indicated would be a consideration.