The camp was established by Dr. Howard Guinness, who came to Canada from England as a missionary. Believing that summer camp is also a vital part of spiritual and leadership development for young people, he invited his first group of young leaders and campers to a summer camp experience at Doe Lake, Ontario in July, 1929.
Pioneer Camps were held at Doe Lake until 1936 when Inter-Varsity began looking for a permanent, expandable site. Cyrus Dolph, a retired businessman and devoted Anglican layman, offered 250 acres on Lake Clearwater in Muskoka. Boys Camp was first held there in the summer of 1938. Girls Camp was eventually built on the original site of the Dolphs’ cottage. We have continued to expand over the years to our current 1200 acres and five sites.
250,000 campers and growing!
Over the past 85 years more than 250,000 campers have experienced the beauty of creation and learned about God’s love for them at Ontario Pioneer. We offer many activities such as high ropes, horseback riding, sailing, kayaking, mountain biking, archery and wall climbing at our camps for youth between the ages of 5 and 17.
Our goal is to provide a transformative experience for campers in a fun and caring environment. In this camp community, where leadership and faith development is encouraged, children and youth are comfortable asking tough questions about life and faith. We believe that faith in Jesus Christ and an understanding of God’s love leads to a life full of purpose and meaning. Campers find answers and direction for life here. For 85 years, we have been helping children and youth develop into mature Christian leaders.