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Camp McGovern exists so that children served by Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Family & Children Services, United Way agencies and other Community Agencies  have the opportunity to attend a summer camp.  Kids need hopes and dreams and a chance to fit in so they know they will be okay.  This is especially true for Little Brothers, Little Sisters, Foster Children and children and youth from families served by the United Way and other Community Agencies.

Camp McGovern delivers all the traditional programs and more.  The programs align with Camp McGovern’s “mission” which (F)osters self-esteem, social skills and respect for others; (U)ncovers potential for personal growth in campers and staff; and (N)urtures teamwork, mentoring and leadership development:

  • Canoeing – basic to intermediate, focused on safety, river ecology and skill development.
  • Arts & Crafts – traditional gimp bracelets to specialized projects.
  • Nature Appreciation – discovering & exploring our forests, river & pond.
  • Biking – safety & maintenance along with touring our 3 kms of trail.
  • Archery – safety and skill development.
  • Off-Site Tripping – canoeing, tubing & biking for senior campers for growth & enrichment..
  • Initiatives Course – team-building, trust, communication & cooperation through a series of fun, problem solving activities.

The programs also include:

Leader in training (LIT):

  • Campers aged 15 develop interpersonal, social & organizational skills.
  • Self-awareness, social responsibility, communication skills & child care form the basis of this 2 week program.

Counselor in Training (CIT):

  • Graduates of the LIT program or campers with previous leadership experience.
  • Group management, discipline strategies & programming are key components of our in-depth 4 week program.
  • Many of our staff are former campers & graduates of our CIT program. They know what our campers deal with at home.

The quality programs & services have led to increased camper registrations and improved facilities, including:

  • High ropes course
  • Low ropes course
  • Bouldering wall
  • Canoes & kayaks
  • Baseball diamond


Camp McGovern was started in 1970 when Thomas McGovern donated 100 acres of land in Mono Cliffs on the Niagara Escarpment for a youth camp for less fortunate children.  In 1971, 80 Little Brothers attended Camp McGovern in its first year of operation.  In 1999, Camp McGoven moved to a 120 acre site on the Saugeen River and became co-ed to serve both Little Brothers and Little Sisters.  In 2006, K-W & Area United Way provided a grant for Camp McGovern to serve United Way and Family & Children Services youth.  In 2008, Camp McGovern became its own charity.  For over 45 years now, children and youth who endure the uncertainty of an unstable home life find a unique summer program at Camp McGovern.