Camp Menesetung is a non-profit, charitable coorporation, that operates as a United Church residential & day camp located just north of Goderich, ON. on the shore of Lake Huron. Today we offer recreational and spriritual programming throughout Spring and Summer, hire a staff team of 25 post-secondary and high-school students, run a youth leadership training program, and impact the lives of hundreds of campers from 5-16 years old each year. How did we get here? This is our story.
We began as Goderich Summer School, which met for a week each July in Goderich (at North St. United Church) every year, beginning in 1921. Edward Lawson was one of the 100 people who attended. On October 1, 1933 Edward sold what is currently the present camp property for $2160 as a part of a combined purchase of land by Huron Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, and a group of ministers and lay people in the church. The 15 lakefront lots were purchased by the ministers and cottages were built. By the summer of 1935 some buildings had been erected on camp property; training and inspirational sessions occurred throughout the summer for children and young people, families and single adults.
There was a close relationship between the cottagers and the camp. Many were actively involved with various camp activities, including program leadership, campfire, chapel services, kitchen help, and sharing water resources.
Gradually the property was developed further, with permanent structures for sleeping quarters, and a recreational hall. The original outdoor chapel was replaced in 1953 when the church building from Leeburn was moved on site. The present dining hall was constructed in 1964 to replace the original, which is currently used as a craft hall. The inground swimming pool was also built in 1964, eliminating the use of the waterfront for swimming. A house for the Director was built in 1974. After the Walkerton water fiasco a pumphouse was built in 2001, a chlorination system was installed, and the camp no longer supplied water to the cottages. In 2002 a new septic system was installed to replace the 5 existing septic systems which were all failing.
Goderich Summer School was incorporated on April 8, 1947. The name was changed to Camp Menesetung, meaning ‘Laughing Waters’ in 1968. The camp is managed by a Board of Directors. Staff is hired and trained by the Camp Director. Youth camps are offered in July and August. The facilities are available for rental during May, June, September, and October. The camp is accredited by the Ontario Camping Association, and in July, 2004 was 1 of only 4 United Church Camps Canada-wide to achieve 100% accreditation on all mandatory and recommended guidelines for United Church Accreditation. A partnership with Reach For The Rainbow was established in 2005.