History of hidden Bay Leadership Camp

Located on the quiet northern bay of Lake Shebeshekong, Hidden Bay Leadership Camp sits on 24 acres of beautiful Canadian Shield terrain, with wetlands, exposed rocky outcrops and deep forest in the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.

From the 1940s to the 1980s, the property served as a family-style resort with many housekeeping cottages nestled around the property.  Knowing for its community atmosphere and great fishing, Hidden Bay Resort was a popular destination.  Many of the original cottages still remain on the property, and have been adapted into staff housing and program spaces.

In 1999, the property was purchased by York Professional Care & Education and Hidden Bay Leadership Camp (HBLC) by the agency.  Darren Henry, founding Camp Director, had developed a model for a leadership camp where all children would have the opportunity to attend camp regardless of circumstance as part of his post-secondary studies. Darren partnered with Keith “Java” Higgins, fellow founding Camp Director and YPCE Executive Director, Pat Henry to bring this vision to life.

Hidden Bay opened for its first summer in 2000, with little time to get ready the budget was tight and the existing buildings on site were repainted and shingled just in time for the gates to reopen for an entire month, allowing children to come to camp for little or no fee.

Since that time Hidden Bay has continued to expand, adding eight platform tents, three washrooms facilities, an amazing low ropes course and a dining hall. In November 2006, the three-year old dining hall was destroyed in devastating fire.  It was a huge loss, yet we were able to rebuild a new and improved dining hall just in time to reopen for Summer 2007.

Hidden Bay continues with our founding vision of ensuring that camp is for all campers, and today partners with York Region, the Sudbury-Manitoulin Children’s Foundation, Kids in Camp and the Parry Sound District Social Services Administration Board to provide subsidized camp spaces and with Reach for the Rainbow to provide camp inclusion for youth and young adults with exceptionalities.