Camp Sylvan

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Camp Sylvan-Crest.jpg
Address 32098 Scout Road
Thedford, Ontario
N0M 2N0
Established 1960
Closed Open!
Website none

Camp Sylvan's natural resources include virgin Carolinian forest, marshes, creeks, pine plantations, fields, and hills. The Ausable River Valley is categorized as the second most important Carolinian botanical site in Middlesex County.

Throughout Sylvan, you can also observe evidence of prior occupation. Camp Sylvan is threaded with a variety of trails and footpaths, making it an ideal location for hikes, orienteering, map-reading, and GPS-related activities.

The Traverse Wall is a safe rock-climbing activity suitable for all ages. The holds must be installed on the wall prior to use. The geocaching activity is suitable for Scout-aged youth and older. You can book each activity on a half-day basis from the camp bookings website.

Adjacent to Camp Sylvan, the Thomas Tract provides an opportunity for your group to enjoy some of the most spectacular forest in all of Middlesex County, perhaps even all of Southern Ontario. It is a wonderful hiking destination from any of the sites at Camp Sylvan.

Camp Sylvan is located next to the Girl Guides Camp Kah-Ne-Do which occupies 25 acres of land. It was purchased in 1994 to serve Trillium Area Girl Guides. The name Kah-Ne-Do means “among the pines.”[1]

Contents

History

In 1960, with Scouting in London swelling to nearly 5,000, Camp Onkwe was replaced by Camp Sylvan. The ghost town of the village that had started back in the late 1800's still remains in the foundations scattered around the property. Camp Sylvan was 240 acres of wooded rolling hills, a great example of Carolinian forest. Trails crisscross the property, providing lots of activity for participants.

In 1961, the first covered wagons rolled into Frontierland and a new Cub Camp facility was born. The ghost town of Sylvan returned, with the creation of the blacksmith's shop, a store and a sleeping area, all on the historic lines of an 1800's village.

Scouting in London continues to provide many exciting opportunities and adventures for youth. The many changes to the program keep it alive and important. But the central theme remains: developing today's youth to be tomorrow's leaders.[2]

The Sylvan Conservation Program outdoor education experience was created in 1964 and is now Ontario’s longest continually running overnight program of its kind. More than 20,000 students, teachers, parents and visitors have taken part in the Camp Sylvan residential conservation education opportunity, which is delivered by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).[3]

Facilities

Buildings

  • Frontierland - Frontierland's Bunkhouse, Dining Hall and Craft Barn are Camp Sylvan's most luxurious site. The bunkhouse has 8 rooms with two sets of bunks each to sleep a total of 32, with three activity rooms in the basement. Flush toilets and showers, too! The Dining Hall includes a stocked commercial kitchen. (Two ovens; griddle; six stovetop burners; refrigerator PLUS dishwashing machines!) Campers do not require mess kits but Quartermasters should ensure they bring any specialty equipment.
  • Hidden Springs is situated in a picturesque ravine next to a small creek. The bunkhouse will sleep up to twenty-six. There are two rooms accommodating twelve campers each, plus a small Leader’s Room for two. A small kitchen and dining area is included, with hot and cold running water, fridge, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee perk and very basic cooking supplies. Municipal water and firewood are supplied, the building is heated by a forced-air furnace. Vault toilets. This site gives campers the feeling of complete isolation from the outside world. Where else do you cross a bridge to get to the Campfire Circle?
  • Cabooses - Three cabooses, kitchen/dining hall. There are no Pots/Pans/Dishes / Silverware/Dishtowels/cloths or Dishsoap - please come self contained. Limited to 34 persons, hot and cold water in kitchen, vault toilets.

Tenting

  • Covered Wagon Circle - (May 24-Thanksgiving - includes Wagons, Barn, Washrooms, and Circle Kitchen) - sleep 4 each - 8 recently built wagons available (Thanksgiving - May 24 (NO WAGONS, Winter Tenting, Barn Washrooms and Circle Kitchen). Note: Users will share washrooms with Frontierland users.
  • Settlers Flats - Water, and a shelter, vault toilet facilities close by.
  • Pinewoods - Pine Woods is the main tenting site for larger events like Cuboree or Camporee. Divided into A, B and C sections, there is a pavilion at the West end. Potable water on site, greywater pits, and vault toilet.
  • Pine Junction - Vault toilets and water available onsite or at nearby locations or at Hidden Springs.
  • Pine Ridge - Vault toilets and water available onsite or at nearby locations or at Hidden Springs.
  • Happy Trails is an excellent site for hammock camping as well as tent camping. Potable water on site; vault toilets.

Adventurous Activities

  • Traverse Wall - A low risk climbing activity consisting of a horizontal wall running approximately 70 feet long and 8 feet high with adjustable hand and foot holds on each side of the wall.
  • Mountain Bikes - 30 Mountain bikes available. Bikes are mainly for Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and leaders. A few older Cubs may be large enough to use the few smaller bikes.
  • Snow Shoes - There are 40 pair of different size snowshoes. They are suitable to all sections and leaders. They can be strapped to most boots.

Other

  • Pavilion has picnic tables and two small barbecues...no propane. Potable water and a port-a-potty are on site. Campfire Circle at the far end of the Meadow.

External Links

References

  1. https://www.girlguides.ca/web/ON/Our_History/The_History_of_our_Camps.aspx
  2. http://wiki.scouts.ca/en/London_Area#Camp_Sylvan_Opens
  3. https://www.abca.ca/downloads/Camp_Sylvan_Experience.pdf