MiSSion StatMeNT

Camp Abegweit provides an environment of safety, love and respect, where Christ's loving presence can be celebrated and shared. Camp Abegweit is an ecumenical Camp sponsored by The United Church of Canada, PEI Presbytery. 

 
 

History 

Camp Abegweit 1946-2017 (a brief historical summary)

Camp Abegweit was established and operated by the Maritime Religious Education Council (MREC) in response to the growing interest in youth work following World War II by the United Church of Canada and the United Baptist Churches. 

The property, 13 acres,  for the Camp was purchased from the Mrs Edward MacFadgen for $100.00. Work on building first Lodge which included the dinning room (45X22) and kitchen and two cabins began on June 15, 1946. The 1st Lodge faced the Northumberland Straight 100 feet away. Sadly the land on which the Lodge was build has been surrendered to the sea. Tables, benches, cots were purchased from the army surplus in Debert, NS and for several years campers were housed in rented Bell Tents. Money to purchases the land, build the lodge and purchase supplies came from: $2500.00 from the MREC; and $3,500.00 from local congregations and individuals- half of this amount being raised by the Island Young People's Union (youth aged 18-25). When the dedication of the property and Lodge took place on July 2, 1946, the Camp had $29.22 left in its account.

During these early years the work of the leadership provided by Rev. Jud Levy, minister at First Baptist Church and Charlottetown and Rev. Austin Jardine, minister at the Tryon United Church and Anna (Mrs. T.J.) Humphrey proved to be very important. Mrs Humphrey served as Secretary to the Camp Board for its first 25 years. She assumed the task of equipping the kitchen and dinning hall with dishes, cooking equipment and for years was responsible for ordering the groceries.

In 1961 the MREC was disbanded and ownership and responsibility for the Camp shifted to a local Board composed of members from the United Baptist congregations and United Church of Canada. In 1966 the United Baptist sold their interest in the Camp to the United Church Of Canada, PEI Presbytery for $2,000.00 so they could consolidate their efforts at Camp Seggie.

The new Camp Abegweit Board formed in 1966 consisted of 6 people appointed by the Presbytery, 2 appointed by the United Church Men, 2 by the United Church Women, 1 youth member and 1 member from the Church Extension Board.

In 1966, $3,725.00 was allocated to the Pastoral Charges in the Presbytery to carry out much needed repairs and build new cabins. During the 1950 and 60, the Camp was staffed by volunteers and the program segregated into different weeks for boys and girls. In the late 70's Camp Abegweit became co-ed. In 1966 there were 305 campers and 59 volunteer leaders.

In 1976-77 a new Camp Lodge with combined the kitchen, dinning room and recreation all in one building was established further from the shore line and on the East side of the property next to the woods. This building served until the present Lodge was built and opened in 2009.

The Rev. Che's Boutilier spear headed this project. This $80,000.00 project completed with help from government winter works grants, a grant of $6,000.00 from the Presbytery and a loan from the Church Extension Board.  

The new lodge offered the opportunity for the Camp to develop a year round camping program which continued until 1987 when it ended as a cost cost saving measure.

Over the years, new cabins have been built to replace older cabins built in the 40's and 50's by congregation from O'Leary to Montague; and a new shower house, bathrooms, septic system and basketball court were built by friends of the Camp who have raised money to whittle ways loans and help purchase much needed equipment. 

There have been periods of success and positive gains. For example the most recent Capital Campaign, headed by Senator Callbeck which raised ....allowed us to build a new lodge----, recreational building....cabins...duck ponds ..... And carry out work to protect the beach...

And their have been years of struggle when it was not known if the Camp would survive. Numbers have over the years been up-as high as 545 (1999) and as low as 135 (2009). Over the past few years our numbers have settled around 220.

At times our buildings have served us well. Currently we are in great shape. At times they have been health hazard waiting to happen. It crucial we maintain our facilities. Hence the health and safety of our campers and staff is a priority for the Board. 

Since the mid 90's, the Camp has been staffed by young people who have been hired for the Summer. We expect so much of our staff and it is an extremely demanding job.The Camp Board which is staffed by volunteers appreciate greatly the service the staff have provided and the leadership they have provided campers. The Board looks forward to the day when we will be able to hire a year round Executive Director to help the Board in it work.

Camp Abegweit is today what is because of over the years  "Friends"  have given countless hours of their time and their expertise to the Camp by serving on the Board and volunteering their time on behalf of the camp. The Camp is also indebted to the ongoing support it receives from the United Church congregations, the PEI Presbytery,  the Church Extension Board, Maritime Conference and most of all generous individual benefactors. Straight 100 feet away. Sadly the land on which the Lodge was build has been surrendered to the sea. Tables, benches, cots were purchased from the army surplus in Debert, NS and for several years campers were housed in rented Bell Tents. Money to purchases the land, build the lodge and purchase supplies came from: $2500.00 from the MREC; and $3,500.00 from local congregations and individuals- half of this amount being raised by the Island Young People's Union (youth aged 18-25). When the dedication of the property and Lodge took place on July 2, 1946, the Camp had $29.22 left in its account.

During these early years the work of the leadership provided by Rev. Jud Levy, minister at First Baptist Church and Charlottetown and Rev. Austin Jardine, minister at the Tryon United Church and Anna (Mrs. T.J.) Humphrey proved to be very important. Mrs Humphrey served as Secretary to the Camp Board for its first 25 years. She assumed the task of equipping the kitchen and dinning hall with dishes, cooking equipment and for years was responsible for ordering the groceries.

In 1961 the MREC was disbanded and ownership and responsibility for the Camp shifted to a local Board composed of members from the United Baptist congregations and United Church of Canada. In 1966 the United Baptist sold their interest in the Camp to the United Church Of Canada, PEI Presbytery for $2,000.00 so they could consolidate their efforts at Camp Seggie.

The new Camp Abegweit Board formed in 1966 consisted of 6 people appointed by the Presbytery, 2 appointed by the United Church Men, 2 by the United Church Women, 1 youth member and 1 member from the Church Extension Board.

In 1966, $3,725.00 was allocated to the Pastoral Charges in the Presbytery to carry out much needed repairs and build new cabins. During the 1950 and 60, the Camp was staffed by volunteers and the program segregated into different weeks for boys and girls. In the late 70's Camp Abegweit became co-ed. In 1966 there were 305 campers and 59 volunteer leaders.

In 1976-77 a new Camp Lodge with combined the kitchen, dinning room and recreation all in one building was established further from the shore line and on the East side of the property next next to the woods. This building served until the present Lodge was built and opened in 2009.

The Rev. Che's Boutilier spear headed this project. This $80,000.00 project completed with help from government winter works grants, a grant of $6,000.00 from the Presbytery and a loan from the Church Extension Board.  

The new lodge offered the opportunity for the Camp to develop a year round camping program which continued until 1987 when it ended as a cost cost saving measure.

Over the years, new cabins have been built to replace older cabins built in the 40's and 50's by congregation from O'Leary to Montague; and a new shower house, bathrooms, septic system and basketball court were built by friends of the Camp who have raised money to whittle ways loans and help purchase much needed equipment. 

There have been periods of success and positive gains. For example the most recent Capital Campaign, headed by Senator Callbeck which raised ....allowed us to build a new lodge----, recreational building....cabins...duck ponds ..... And carry out work to protect the beach...

And their have been years of struggle when it was not known if the Camp would survive. Numbers have over the years been up-as high as 545 (1999) and as low as 135 (2009). Over the past few years our numbers have settled around 220.

At times our buildings have served us well. Currently we are in great shape. At times they have been health hazard waiting to happen. It crucial we maintain our facilities. Hence the health and safety of our campers and staff is a priority for the Board. 

Since the mid 90's, the Camp has been staffed by young people who have been hired for the Summer. We expect so much of our staff and it is an extremely demanding job.The Camp Board which is staffed by volunteers appreciate greatly the service the staff have provided and the leadership they have provided campers. The Board looks forward to the day when we will be able to hire a year round Executive Director to help the Board in it work.

Camp Abegweit is today what is because of over the years  "Friends"  have given countless hours of their time and their expertise to the Camp by serving on the Board and volunteering their time on behalf of the camp. The Camp is also indebted to the ongoing support it receives from the United Church congregations, the PEI Presbytery,  the Church Extension Board, Maritime Conference and most of all generous individual benefactors.

 

Additional Resources:

Project Report: Camp Abegweit Living Shoreline 2018

South Shore Watershed Association Year End Report 2017