The Chestermere Historical Foundation helped celebrate 80 years of use at the Camp Chestermere site by presenting the unique history of the oldest not-for-profit organization in the City.
“Our intention is to be a gift to the community,” said Camp Chestermere Director Shannon Dean.
On June. 19, residents came out from the community to learn the history of their own backyards.
According to the Camp Chestermere website, the camp first began with 14 acres being used for activities including archery, crafts, nature study, sports, and swimming by approximately 70 campers for $7 each.
The camp was purchased with six cabins on the property, but as Camp Chestermere gained popularity, several teepees were required for campers use.
However, mice infestation was a common problem in the teepee’s.
Every night campers would have to ensure there weren’t any mice in their sleeping bags, the website stated.
Not only was it a great relief when five cabins were donated to the site, but the cabins also ensure the longevity of camp use throughout the winter. Those cabins are still used to this day.
Along with two of the oldest buildings in the community, one now an ice shed, and the other now turned into a storage shed, Dean added.
The not-for-profit organization has come a long way, and now provides summer day and night camps, event rentals, kayaking, karaoke, archery, indoor wall climbing, leadership development and group building classes.
Through the activities provided at Camp Chestermere it is building relationships with youth, creating experiences, and developing the leaders of tomorrow.
“It’s our heart beat,” said Dean.
Not only was the Camp Chestermere history presentation educational for residents to learn about their local history, but the event has also opened new opportunities for the camp.
These included things such as promotional opportunities, business connections, and other organization connections which include another local group, the Calgary Yacht Club.
“In Camp Chestermere we live in an attitude of the answer is yes, ask the question,” said Dean.
“We believe that by living in that attitude we are going to open doors,” he said
Dean added, he is continually amazed about how little people know about Camp Chestermere.
“We’ve been here for 80 years, and people who are been here for 90 years don’t know we exist.
“People who are well established in the community came out to the event and said they didn’t know how big we were or that we have so much to offer,” said Dean, “we want people to know that we’re here.”
As of right now, Dean is working to grow community support. He is also planning some major site upgrades and expansions to the camp.
Dean’s goal is to change the perception of Camp Chestermere, and for the organization to become more plugged into the Chestermere community.
“We want to be a significant partner that other organizations can work together on a variety of things,” Dean said.
“A lot of people genuinely love and care about this place. We’re here, and we want to work with you.”
For additional information or to get involved with events happening at Camp Chestermere visit https://www.campchestermere.com.