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Alumni

Onondaga Camp

History

In 1918 Mr. Keith Crowther, a staff member at Upper Canada College, started Onondaga as a boys’ camp at Port Dover on Lake Erie. It was named “Onondaga” after one of the five Iroquois tribes.

The Port Dover site had its limitations and so the camp was moved to a spot near the mouth of the Nottawasaga River and then a few miles north to a site at Woodland Beach.

Eventually, Meredith Brockwell bought out Keith Crowtherʼs interest in the camp, and once again relocated Onondaga, this time to its final site, Middle Bob lake, near Minden Ontario. In 1931 the camp had its first full season here.

In 1954, Onondaga Camp Limited was born with a Board of Directors all of whom had been associated with the camp. The Board engaged Hadley Armstrong of Trinity College School as managing director; eventually Hadley became the owner of the Camp.

During the Brockwell and Armstrong eras the physical site evolved steadily. The tent lines were levelled and extended. Cabins and a health centre were built. A cedar swamp was cleared for a ball field. The sea wall was constructed. Brockwell Lodge was built, largely from wood cut on the property, in memory of the Brockwell’s. Tennis courts were constructed. In 1974 Hadley Armstrong sold the camp to Nick and Janis Florian. The camp became co-educational in 1975. Many exciting activities were introduced such as: windsurfing, horseback riding, kayaking, flying fox, SCUBA and waterskiing. Camp enrolment increased significantly and diversified to include many more international campers.

The camp was once again sold in 1992 to David Hadden, David Lever and Michael Moore, all of whom were once directors of Onondaga. Since then the site has seen the addition of numerous new buildings, primary among them the new dining hall, constructed in 2004. Activities added during this time include: basketball, climbing wall, 70 ft. swing, aerial ropes course, watertrampolines and golf.