For decades, Scouts from all over Alberta and other parts of Canada have swum along the shores of Sylvan Lake while participating in outdoor adventure skills such as padding, sailing, orienteering, and rope climbing. The fun continues when Camp Woods hosts new and exciting activities at its outdoor summer camp in 2019.
Camps for Kids
Our overnight summer camps in Alberta are open to children ages 8 to 14 and run weekly over six weeks starting July. Due to interest from young campers, this year we’ve added another week of camp and made a CANSail 1 sailing adventure camp available to 11-14-year-olds in weeks 2 and 3!
What is CANSail?
CANSail is the Canadian Sailing Association’s certification program for sailing skills! The instructors for this adventure camp focus on getting the participants familiar with the skills they are required to demonstrate to be able to earn their CANSail 1.
New Flying Junior Sailboats
With 1.3 kilometres of waterfront, our campers can enjoy all sorts of water activities—including sailing. Which is why we’re proud to announce that Camp Woods has new boats! We have invested in five Flying Junior Sailboats. Each boat has room for three people, which gives the instructors the ability to teach more youth as they take turns doing different tasks in the boats. It gives everyone a chance to practice the skills they will need to demonstrate later. Leadership and teamwork are a big part of sailing. The campers’ success will depend on how well they work together to perform all the tasks required to sail the boat.
You might be wondering—what’s the difference between the new sailboats at our Lasers (our five one-person sailboats)? While the Lasers are faster, there are marked differences in the amount of space for sailors, the weight of the boat, and how easy they are to capsize.
For ages 14-18, this is a new program at Camp Woods. We ran a primarily volunteer-based pilot program last year with success. This program is fantastic for any scouts campers who want to learn how to become a camp counselor! It starts during the first week of our summer camp season.
A History of Scouts Activity
Established in 1938 as a Scouts Canada camp, the property is named after the former publisher of the Calgary Herald, Col. James Hawsack Woods. In the early 1930s, Woods acquired a 105-acre parcel of land on the south shore of Sylvan Lake west of Red Deer and soon after became the provincial Scout commissioner, hosting one of the first Alberta Scouts jamborees on the property. When Woods passed away, he willed the property to the Scouts and it has been named Camp Woods ever since.
In 2013, the camp hosted 7,000 Scouts and Scout Leaders for the Canadian Jamboree. Dave Hnatiuk, who replaced the camp ranger in November 2016, continues to serve as camp director. He and volunteers help to maintain the property and develop programs.
Camp Woods Today
Now operated by the Scouts’ Northern Lights Council, Camp Woods has remained a popular summer camp for kids. It continues to be the host venue for the Family Training Centre, where Scouters from all over Western Canada descend on the property in August! We're also open in winter with access to seasonal program activities.
Not only does the camp serve Scouts groups from all over Alberta and beyond, but it is open to non-Scouting groups. Schools, youth organizations, and church groups have all rented the property, which offers three halls with sleeping accommodations (bunkhouses) and another, Paly Hall, which features potable water with flush toilets and showers.
Climbing to the Top
Scouts can also accomplish their outdoor adventure skills on the bouldering wall, low ropes course, obstacle and challenge course, and the newest feature, the Aspire Challenge Tower, which was erected in 2017 and can also be rented by non-Scouting groups. The 35-foot climbing structure is designed as a teamwork element and must be booked, along with the low-ropes course, at least two weeks in advance so that trained volunteers with Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) certification can operate it.
For more information or how to register for overnight camp at Camp Woods, call 1-403-283-4993 ext. 1 or book online. For large groups of 100 people, please contact Dave Hnatiuk at dave.hnatiuk[@]scouts.ca. Please note that Camp Woods is not a public campground. No dogs are allowed on the property.