The roots of Gull Lake Baptist Camp originate with the founder, Dr. C.C. McLaurin. His vision was to provide a place historical picture of cabins where Baptist families could “play and pray.” With land at Gull Lake donated by Dr. McLaurin, Gull Lake Baptist Camp was established in 1920. In those early years, campers slept on loose straw in simply constructed cabins and buildings, some of which still exist at the camp.
The years following World War II saw the camp change from an Assembly to a family camp with a vacation Bible school also developing. The camp continued to attract large numbers of young people through the 1950’s and 1960’s, causing continuous changes in facility and design to accommodate youth-oriented programs.
As each new generation brought changing expectations to Gull Lake, the growing ministry required continual changes to its facilities. New winterized cabins, washrooms and a large dining hall were constructed in the historical view of camp 1970’s and 1980’s. Additional property was purchased to become a 37-site trailer park. In October of 1993 a government building was sold to the camp and transformed into a 40-bed Retreat Centre. In 2007 we built a new main lodge transforming us from a summer camp that does a few other things on the side to a year-round ministry centre. We are still a summer camp and we offer exceptional Christ-centered camps just like we have for the past 95 years, but now we do so much more in the other nine months of the year as well.
Since the 1980s our Leadership Training & Discipleship (LTD) Program has been developing as an intensive 3-year program that continues to challenge young people to grow in their faith and gifts. LTD’s are taught what it means to be disciples of Christ and to share their faith in their world. In 2007 we adopted the Encountering God Framework as our standard curriculum. The vision for the LTD program is to disciple students to encounter God as life-long, transformed participants in the Kingdom.
Through it all, Gull Lake has sought to teach vital principles of life which are rooted in scripture. It has grown over the past few years to focus even more on leadership development while maintaining a high standard on camper experience. More campers continue to come to the camp, usually returning year after year for the relationships that they established.
We are expecting about 1000 campers this summer giving us an opportunity to create space for them to connect with Christ and each other. 94 years later we are still a great place to come “play and pray”.