The children's camp statement of purpose is that "those who come to Pleasant Bay will experience God in a fun way". Staff to camper ratios are low and children are the priority. Campers are shown love and acceptance and receive individualized attention in their chosen skills and activities. Children participate in campfires, large field games, chapels, devotionals, free swim times and many other activities as they experience God's love for them through our capable and qualified staff.
The catalyst for the founding of PBC was a near auto accident. In 1961 Pastor Ken Cairns of Calvary Baptist Church in Picton was returning from Muskoka Baptist Conference with the five campers who had spent a week there. Just outside of Peterborough, they met an oncoming car, forcing them to swerve onto the shoulder of the road to avoid disaster. When this story was shared at the next Bay of Quinte Association Pastor's meeting, it was agreed that a camp was needed in the Quinte area.
Subsequently, Pastor Sam Dempster of Kingston was visiting (Al) Goheen Realty in Scarborough. He casually mentioned the concept. Providentially, Al noted that a 255 acre farm had just been put on the market- ideal for such a camp. This is the land now occupied by Pleasant Bay Children's Camp and Family Camp.
The Association voted to move ahead with the establishment of a youth camping program. Money was scarce, but there was a sense of urgency that the plans proceed. In the summer of 1963 the first camping ministry began, with the farm house (lodge) and the barn as the focal points. The conditions were primitive, but more than 100 children and young people enjoyed the programs that initial season. The fees were $15.00 per week.
In the beginning, Children's Camp was Pleasant Bay Camp, as the camp was founded with the sole purpose of ministering to the spiritual needs of children and young people. The tent and trailer park element happened by osmosis, as those who served combined vacations with Christian service. Family Camp has its roots in the practice of families who served the children's ministry in the early days. They brought their tents and trailers and "camped" by the lodge. In the early 1970's they leased lots at the present trailer park, cleared out the bush, and set up their units.
The first Chapel, 'St. James Cathedral', was constructed of cedar rails and a truck tarp. In 1974 the first 40' x 40' cement block chapel was erected. Nearby others settled in with their trailers. Gradually water lines, hydro, and washrooms were added. Each step represented generous giving and long hours of volunteer service.
Much has changed at both sites in the last 30 years. Many new cabins and the new dining hall/chapel at Kid's Camp and the improved facilities at Family Camp enable both entities to boast that Pleasant Bay Camp is An Experience to Remember!
Submitted by Glen Goodhand
PBC Kids Camp