In September of 1996, the late Mr. Don Williams, then Honorary President of the National AOTS, was asked by his colleagues at the National Convention to propose a 'tangible' national project to commemorate the organization's 75 years of serving the church community. Having experienced Christian camp as a young man, and having been the Director of a United Church boy's camp for many summers, Mr. Williams strongly believes that the Christian camp experience fosters spiritual growth and moral development. Indeed he recommended that youth camping be the focus of the project.
In May of 1997, at the AOTS Ontario Round-up in Geneva Park, Orillia, Ontario, the National project leaders presented the pilot project outline to Round-up participants and received overwhelming support. In fact, two clubs from outside the Bay of Quinte area decided to join the project, resulting in eight additional young people being sent to camp.
The overall outcome of the pilot was extremely positive. Fourteen of 16 clubs in the Bay of Quinte area fully supported the project sending anywhere from two to 26 children to camp. A total of 85 Bay of Quinte area youth attended one week of Christian camp in the summer of 1997.
In the Fall of 1997, the National Association of the AOTS Clubs formally adopted the National Youth to Camp Project at the National Convention in Gander, Newfoundland.
There are now over 30 clubs involver in the project across Canada and we are sending more and more "Youth To Camp" each year.