|Address|| 4926 Hamilton Rd|
Camp Bel is a Scouts Canada camp. It is approx. 53 acres, adjacent to the Thames River in Dorchester, Ontario. It is operated by 1st Dorchester Scout group. It has both an open meadow and wooded camp sites, for all seasons use.
The main building has two large halls, a fully equipped and approved kitchen, a bunk house to accommodate 36, washrooms and showers, all of which are available for rent.
On the grounds, there are two rappel towers, zip lines, a pavilion, cabins and various obstacle courses, and an outdoor Chapel. For Scout section camps there are numerous craft stations available, such as wood work, leather work, silk screening and more. Bicycles and canoes are also available.
Although the camp site is primarily for youth full participation, the facility is ideal for Church and family gatherings and retreats. The facility is wheelchair accessible.
Camp BEL is an active partner of the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority through the Dorchester Watershed Action Committee.
In the late 1980’s, 1st Dorchester Scouting was growing rapidly, and meeting places were difficult to find. In 1988 , Bob Braunton approached Bert Langford with a proposal to use his farm for Scouting activities. Bert thought this was a splendid idea. He wanted the youth of Dorchester Scouting to benefit from the use of his property.
Legal preparations were made for the use of property over the next few years. In 1990, Camp BEL (named after Bert Elgin Langford) officially opened with the first annual DIBC camp.
In 1993, Bert purchased the first two portable buildings for the camp at a cost of $23 500 "just to get us going". Later in the year he would purchase a third one.
Bert Elgin Langford died on January 18, 1994 at the age of 86. He was a very special man who will be missed by all. In his will, he left all his property and belongings to the Ontario Boy Scouts of Canada. A spruce tree was planted by the entrance of the camp in his memory. His ashes were spread in the woods of the property at Bert’s request.
In 1995, another building was moved on to the property. In 1999, Camp BEL hosted Amikaro '99, the first Amikaro to ever be held overseas. The camp continues to host many camps (including the annual DIBC) to this day.
- Grand Howl Hall is part of our Building Complex. It includes 2 individual use washrooms, a small kitchenette, a bunk room that sleeps six individuals and a 20'x30' meeting room. The hall is equipped with lots of folding tables and chairs.
- Langford Hall is part of our Building Complex. It consists of a 20'x30' meeting room. The hall is equipped with lots of folding tables and chairs.
- The Kitchen is equipped with many luxuries. It has a large 10 burner and 2 oven gas stove, a griddle, a commercial fridge, a chest freezer, a large triple sink as well as plenty of work top space. Included with the rental of the kitchen you are able to use the assortment of cooking supplies and dishes
- The Bunkhouse includes the use of 5 bunk rooms each sleeping 6 people, 2 single use shower stalls, multi-use mens and ladies washrooms, a small meeting area and the Camp Office (not accessible to renters).
- Sub-Camp Cabin. Each of our main Sub-Camp areas come with 2 bunk cabins. Each bunk cabin has 2 - 2 person bunk beds. These cabins are non-hydro and not heated.
- River Flats (Mira, Pines, Twins, Timber, Trex)
- Main Field (Newfoundland & Nova Scotia, P.E.I. & New Brunswick (Incl. Kinsmen Pavilion), Ontario & Quebec, Saskatchewan & Alberta)
- Rappel Tower
- Hand Held Ziplines
- Upper Obstacle Course
- Lower Obstacle Course
Camp BEL is known by many for the large events held throughout the Scouting year.
|Event Name||Initialisms & Acronyms||Time of Year||Began|
|Dorchester International Brotherhood Camporee||DIBC||Mothers day weekend in May||1989|
|Dorchester International Cub Camporee||DICC||Fourth weekend in September||Unknown|
|Dorchester Friendship Camp||DFC||Last weekend of October||Unknown|
|Genesis Camp||-||Second weekend of November||1999|
|Great Lakes Jamboree||-||July - every two years||1994|
|Buckys Beaveree||-||Second weekend of June||2016|
While the majority of events continue on to this day, there have been some known to only reappear infrequently. While we mark their beginning, we never quite know when will be the last.
|Event Name||Initialisms & Acronyms||Time of Year||Began|
|Dorchester High Adventure Clinic||HAC||First weekend of June||2012|
Dorchester Rappel Team
The team is structured in such a way that reflects the true spirit of team work: everyone is a member of the team. Those who have demonstrated their competencies through a formal test and their trustworthiness are awarded the responsibility of Rappel Master (RM.) These individuals work together in guiding the team forward.
From 2000 to 2019, members of the DRT have attend a rappel clinic in Newark, Ohio at Camp Falling Rock. This clinic that began in May 1988 was hosted twice a year by the Simon Kenton Council Rappel Masters apart of the BSA. This clinic represented the primary means by which members of the DRT became RMs. Following 9/11 the first members of the DRT to attend made the choice to travel down to Ohio in 2001 to be there with our neighbours to whom many had grown strong friendships. It was described as an experience in solidary. Attendance to the clinic had seen a decline over the years as a generation of members had begun working full-time, started families, or moved on from Scouting. In the later years of the clinic, elements of the program had changed to meet new requirements introduced by the BSA. This took it's toll on both the program and RMs leading to a further decline in attendance. Despite these unfortunate circumstances, the DRT continues to operate using the same standards initially introduced by the Simon Kenton Council Rappel Masters.