By Gary West
If you were, or are a young person who has ever been to summer camp, it's very possible that you attended summer camp at Camp Bimini at one time or another. The camp is located southeast of Stratford on the Embro Road has offered a camp experience since 1947.
Camp Bimini is one of about 55 United Church of Canada camps across Canada. The camp came into being about 75 years ago through the foresight and hard work of some of the local clergy. Following World War II, there was a new interest in doing something for the youth of the country.
The United Church was caught up in this interest and Perth County presbytery embraced the idea in the Camp Bimini history. In that history, officials continued to say that the beautiful shaded meadows on the farms of Monteith and Cardwell along the Embro Road, in Downie Township, would become known as the Bimini picnic area.
Camp Bimini coordinator, Carol Young, who everyone that knows her will say “that she is energetic and full of good ideas,” recently stated that they are back this year to being an overnight camp. She goes on to say that they employ 60 teenagers as counsellors-in-training, counsellors, program leaders and more. This year the camp begins July 3 and finishes August 26 with about 700 campers attending over the summer, with ages ranging from 9 to 14 years.
The list of churches/organizations that sponsor cabins at Camp Bimini include Kiwanis Club of Stratford, Thamesview United church in Fullarton, St. Mary’s United Church, Avondale United Church - Stratford, Kirkton United Church, Atwood United Church, Parkview United Church - Stratford, St. Paul's United Church in Milverton, Main St. United Church in Mitchell, Grace United Church in Tavistock, and Hampstead United Church, north of Shakespeare.
Camp Bimini is celebrating its 75th anniversary on Sunday, August 28 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The golf tournament is Friday, August 26 at the Mitchell Golf and Country Club.
Just as the motto of Bimini camp states: experience nature, grow spiritually, and create lifelong friendships. More info is available at www.campbimini.ca.