Our Story

75 years ago, members of the Presbyterian Synod of Alberta saw the need and recognized the rewards of camping for families. In 1941, The Women’s Missionary Society assisted the Synod in purchasing the initial site at Sylvan Lake, Alberta for $300.  Additional land was acquired in 1943 and it was in that year that the first camp was held on the existing property with campers staying in large canvas tents, a kitchen in a small half building and a couple of makeshift toilets in the bush.

The Chapel area

The original name was “Presbyterian Camp, Sylvan Lake” and was changed in 1947 to Camp Kannawin after Dr. W. N. Kannawin who had provided a great deal of assistance to the camp. Throughout the years he provided not only money but also time and elbow grease to help the camp progress.

In the 1980s, Camp Kannawin moved into a new phase with a large building program that included the Ruby Walker Centre – a main building housing a dining hall and an activities level. All camp structures were upgraded and a caretaker’s residence and staff accommodations added.  The Camp’s goal is to provide a year-round resource and retreat centre for children, families and adults.

The lakeside campfire area
The lakeside campfire area

In our fast-paced society, church camping is more important than ever. It gives people the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ in natural surroundings, to develop a sense of worth and to know they are important. The committee and staff of Camp Kannawin strive to carry out the camp’s mission and to ensure that all who attend the camp have a joyful and rewarding experience.

Programs at Camp Kannawin have changed over the years but the basis for them has remained that campers have fun, learn to live and grow in a Christian community and experience the outdoors in all types of weather!