MacKenzie Camp made its start in 1927, on Mabel Lake’s Dolly Varden Beach. Then, in 1947, Russell and Alice Large made their homestead available at the river mouth. Rev. Guy MacKenzie, the minister of St. Andrew’s United Church, Enderby, showed campers how to make fishing rods from the local maple trees and to tie flies. (That’s him in the boat in 1954.) There was the loft of an old barn for rainy days. Meals were prepared on a wood stove in a log house. There were camps for boys and camps for girls.
Lots has changed since then! There are cabins, canoes, kayaks, and a climbing wall. A dozen staff (many former campers) and volunteers offer an array of great programs. There’s a big Craft Hall and an even bigger Lodge, with a spacious dining room, kitchen, walk-in cooler, dormitory, and laundry facilities. A cruiser whisks visitors across the river mouth to camp.
Well over 7000 children have attended MacKenzie Camp over the years. The number of awesome volunteers, staff, chaplains, international students, and dedicated board members is beyond counting. The camp has reached out and shared an appreciation of Creation and hope for the future with thousands of people from around the world.
A past board member tells how she made a purchase in a local store. The cashier asked, “Did you once cook at MacKenzie Camp?” “Yes,” she replied, “many years ago.” The cashier declared, “That camp saved my life. Because of it, I was able to turn my life around. Thank you for being there.”
Behold The Power of Camp!