Who We Are
New Day. New Start. New Life in Christ!
Above all else, we see the use of this camp property as a ministry. That is, our summer and snow camps along with the retreats are opportunities for us to share the Bible’s life-changing truths with children, teenagers and families. The good news of the gospel is that there is a God who created each person uniquely and loves them dearly. All of the pain and brokenness that we see in the world around us is the result of sin, a humanity that has rejected God’s perfect plan and tried to do things its own way. We believe that God shows us the way to live in the Bible and that this book has the power to give meaning and purpose to our lives, no matter what age we might be. Through Jesus Christ, we are saved from the power of sin and given a new life and a new hope for living in this crazy world.
We are here to form disciple-making disciples of Christ who love God and others through the Holy Spirit.
To provide a safe place for people to be known by Jesus and to know Jesus through worship, and the Word, and the fellowship of believers!
In the 1960s, our camp property was the site of a minimum security prison known as Camp Oliver. When the facility was shut down in the early 70s, the property was purchased by a group of Baptist churches who had a vision for a summer Bible Camp in West Grey.
New Life Camp was incorporated in 1973 as a non-profit registered charitable organization and is a ministry of the Bluewater Association of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.
New Life Camp is governed by a board of directors who are individually members of the Bluewater Association churches. Our board members meet monthly with the camp director and other staff to encourage one another, discuss the logistics of managing a camp facility, and discern God’s leading and direction for the future.
Serving a full-time position on the property.
Bill & Cindy Freeland
Bill Freeland grew up on a farm in the Ottawa valley and met Cindy, a city girl from Ancaster, while they were both students at McMaster University. They married in 1990 and have four children.
Bill served as an associate pastor in several Baptist churches before becoming the managing director at New Life Camp in 2006. Their children grew up immersed in the camp ministry and can still be found serving at camp throughout the year.
Our senior leadership staff move out to camp in the first week of June to begin planning and preparing for the summer. Our senior staff positions are offered to students who have completed at least one year of postsecondary education and have demonstrated mature Christian character and ability to lead others. Many of our senior staff have grown up in our camp program, serving first on service team and later as cabin counsellors. Our senior staff serve with us for twelve weeks and are responsible for the spiritual enrichment of our younger staff and service team.
The majority of our camp staff arrive on site in the last week of June, just a week before the first of our summer camps begin. During this staff training week, these students are oriented to our summer program and preparation for their time caring for campers. Our average counsellor-to-camper ratio is two counsellors for every eight campers in a cabin. The minimum age for camp staff is sixteen and new staff are always paired with more experienced or mature co-counsellors. During each week of camp, our staff remain with their assigned campers throughout the day, guiding and facilitating the daily activities of camp. They are also responsible for leading devotional and prayer time each night with their campers.
Service team is a discipleship and training program for fourteen- to sixteen-year-old highschool students who have an interest in serving at camp but who are not yet old enough to serve as counselling staff. The girls service team ministers in the kitchen, preparing and serving meals for the campers and staff, and keeping the buildings and bathrooms clean. The boys service team works mainly in property maintenance, although they have been known to be drafted into kitchen service when there are dishes to be done.
Although experience on Service Team is not a prerequisite for serving as a camp counsellor, it is invaluable preparation for the responsibilities of a camp staff member. Although we do not charge Service Team students the normal camper registration fees, the cost for this discipleship program is $50 per week, to a maximum total of $250 for the entire summer. We usually suggest that participants in our Service Team program also register to attend our Leadership Development Camp.