“90 acres of green, rolling hills with a pure sparking stream running through. Here’s a healthy country-fresh atmosphere…made to order for all Scouting activities…and only 30 minutes by car from “downtown” Burlington.” – 1958 Burlington District Annual Report. The year 1958 witnessed one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted by the Scouts of the Burlington Area; the campaign to raise funds for the financing of the Burlington Scout Camp. Prior to 1958, Scouts from Burlington would load up their “trek carts” and head up the road to some remote area to practice their camping skills. But as the 1960’s approached it became apparent that as the town grew, camping spaces were becoming scarce. A dedicated campground was needed. A committee was formed under chair W.S. McLaughlin consisting of all Group Chairs in the Area.
In 1957 the camp committee began a series of excursions into the countryside to seek an appropriate campsite. Under the expert guidance of Vern MacArther of Lowville, a number of available properties were toured. The final unanimous choice was a ninety-acre site on Twiss sideroad located between Kilbride and Campbellville. The natural picturesque character of the property was thought to lend itself to long term development, as well as being adequate for immediate use.To finance the project the Burlington District Boy Scouts Association undertook a massive fundraising drive. Publicity for the fundraising drive was achieved through newspaper articles, a full page story in the local paper with pictures and a pamphlet entitled “12 Miles to Better Citizenship”. In addition, a series of slides combined with a talk was given at all “Father and Son” banquets. Through house to house canvassing and corporate donations, the committee was able to raise the $10,000 needed to finance the camp project and assure the Scouts of Burlington Area had a campsite second to none in this part of the province.
Once the property was purchased, the committee set to building an access road, and having a well dug for a water supply. Mr. and Mrs. Reg Twiss, the former property owners, acted as the first Camp Wardens. Members of the 1st Burlington Rover Crew set to the task of producing the very first campsite map in Feburary of 1958.In the first year, the camping experiences at the camp amounted to “681 boy-days”.In December 1959 the first lodge was built on the property by Halliday Co. Ltd. for a cost of $4868.08. In June 1960 the lodge, named “McLaughlin Lodge”, was officially opened with a tea hosted by the Ladies Auxilliary, while the official camp opening has held with ceremony in front of Knob Hill. Additional features have been added to the camp over the years including a swimming pool in 1966 (removed in the late 90’s), “Cub Lodge” (now Rotary Lodge) in 1970, and the Mac Lodge washrooms in 1978 (constructed as a educational project by students at Aldershot High School).– edited from the Burlington Area Archives by Scouter Bill Kowalchyk, August 2010