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History of Camp Klahanie

by on May 10, 2010

Camp Klahanie is located on Black’s Point Road West just south of Goderich off Hwy. 21.  The name of the camp when translated means, “Great Outdoors”.

From the very beginning, the camp was not intended to be a “money-maker”. It was the vision of a local conservationist. It was built on the foundation of community support, sweat equity and the belief that “Guides are thrifty”.

Although a place for Guides to camp for a number of years prior, the property was officially offered to the Girl Guide units in Goderich and Bayfield by the late John Hindmarsh and his wife, Marion, in 1970. In 1973, the land was given in trust to be used as a Girl Guide Camp for the sum of $1.00.

The property is approximately 6 acres.

The Pan-abode, a British Columbia red cedar log building was ordered to be used as a kitchen and quarter master’s stores. The Goderich Lions Club donated $1,600 of the $1,900 required for the building. It was estimated that the Lions’ also donated $12,000 of labor free of charge.

By 1989 drainage problems at the camp location came to a climax. It was decided that 300 loads of granular fill material would be hauled in to raise the field area above the water table. This was done in part through the generosity of the Lions’ Club and local contractors.

From then until 1996 the camp’s wish list was worked on wholeheartedly by both the local Guiding community and the Goderich Lions’ Club. A one-room, Brownie House with attached cloak room and washrooms was erected. The Pan-abode was moved to higher ground and attached to the Brownie House via a brand new picnic shelter. A new septic tank system was also provided. It is estimated that the Goderich Lions’ Club has provided over $60,000 between material and labor to Camp Klahanie .

By Oct. 1996, the big items on the wish list at Klahanie were filled and a dedication ceremony was held. The Goderich Lions’ Club, John and Marion Hindmarsh, and the late Guider Sylvia Brady were recognized for their tireless efforts in making Camp Klahanie a haven for the youth and women of local Guiding.  Since that time the camp’s condition has remained excellent due to the efforts of local Guiders and community supporters that believe in it; take pride in it and maintain it.

In fact, Girl Guides of Ontario and Girl Guides of Canada never provided one penny of support to the camp in the over 30 years that it has officially existed. They classified Klahanie as a “District” Camp and therefore didn’t know under whose jurisdiction it fell.

Financial records archived from 1996 to 2007 also show that the camp never lost money but remained in the black throughout its history until Girl Guides of Ontario mandated its control away from local Guiders.


From → Camp Histories

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