Our Story

Fraser Lake Camp was formed in community, by community and for community.

Emerson McDowell, the pastor at Danforth Mennonite Church in Toronto, along with a committee of seven others, planned the first summer of programs. In the summer of 1955, children from Toronto went to camp at Elvon Burkholder’s farm near Fraser Lake. There were 23 boys one week; 30 girls the next week. Activities that summer included climbing trees, watching the farmer milk his cows, and playing with the kittens in the barnyard. After a half hour hike through the forest to the lake, the campers enjoyed swimming and boating. Campers slept in tents, and meals were served in the summer kitchen at the back of the farmhouse.

It was the beginning of a great story – one that continues today.

What a different place it is now! With a beautiful dining hall with a wrap-around lakeside deck, no more half hour trek to the lake, electricity in the cabins, a climbing wall, jumping tower, water trampoline, landscaped waterfront, kayaks, bikes, dragon boats, canoes, and more, it has grown and evolved beyond this early vision.

But the vision remains: to give children an escape from the everyday – to find their true selves through the non-judgmental and natural setting of Fraser Lake Camp. To nurture a diverse community where everyone is welcome, and where everyone can grow.

What is it about this place? Over the years, many people have come to describe it as “home.” As a place where they really come alive, exploring creation, and live in community with others.

Fraser Lake Camp boasts a rich history, with hundreds of hands that have helped to make it the wonderful place it is. We continue to promote Mennonite values of community building and peacemaking. We continue to grow and evolve, adapting to change.

And do you know who continues to shape this amazing place? You! By becoming part of this community, you help to mould it through the gifts and talents that you bring.

Will you and your child help create Fraser this summer?

Register Now


In compliance with the closure of all non-essential businesses, the Willowgrove office will be closed until further notice. These measures are being made in solidarity with province-wide efforts to minimize the spread of novel COVID-19.

All Willowgrove staff will be working remotely while the office is closed. While we will not be available to take any calls, we encourage anyone who would like to contact us to do so through email. If you are unsure who the best person is to contact, please email info@willowgrove.ca and your email will be directed to the correct person.