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About IAWAH

History

In 1955, Charlie Leach and a group of devout Christian men contemplated building a summer camp for Southeastern Ontario. They came across the Derbyshire farm on Wolfe Lake and although the road was impassable, they walked in on foot. The men prayed, asking God for guidance and wisdom. With resounding clarity, they knew in their hearts that the farm was the perfect location for a retreat centre and children’s camp.

Charlie and two other men felt powerfully compelled by God to make an offer of $5,000 and 25 years to pay Mrs. Derbyshire who lived in Westport. En route to the meeting, they stopped in a Westport restaurant and were informed that another organization was offering $30,000 cash for the farm — far more than what they had available. Concerned but undeterred, Charlie and the committee proceeded with the meeting and by God’s grace, came face-to-face with a wonderful Christian woman.

Mrs. Derbyshire was receptive to their plan, noting that their proposal and vision for the property was exactly what her late husband would have wanted for the future of the farm. From this humble beginning, IAWAH has since grown into a year-round centre for learning, adventure and growth. Thousands of people, both young and old, have met the Lord at IAWAH, while others have grown deeper roots of faith. Today, we continue to journey with youth as they grow in leadership and intimacy with God.

Overview

The Christian life is one of growth and we acknowledge Him in each step of the journey.

IAWAH. “In All Ways Acknowledge Him.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6

IAWAH is centrally located to serve the communities of Eastern Ontario. IAWAH sits tucked against a backdrop of pristine wilderness made visually stunning by over 200 acres of forests, ponds, trails and 2.5 kilometres of private shoreline on Wolfe Lake.

We offer summer camps, youth leadership and development programs, family retreats, retreat facilities and school programs with emphasis on personal holistic development and growth in faith. Our dedicated staff are committed to providing children, youth, young adults and families a place to connect with one another, with God and with the natural world.

Organization

IAWAH was founded in 1956 as a non-denominational summer camp. The not-for-profit organization is governed by the Corporation of IAWAH Christian Ministries — a dedicated group of people who voluntarily serve as stewards of the ministry. A Board of Directors is selected to provide leadership to the Executive Director, within the framework of policy governance. Additionally, there is a year-round staff team supported by over 150 seasonal staff and volunteers, all of who are carefully vetted and chosen to help facilitate the growth of each participant and guest.

Membership

IAWAH Christian Ministries seeks people who know and love the ministry and are committed to seeing the organization grow in its effectiveness to achieve its vision. Members serve and stay connected to the organization – contributing to its overall health by:

  • praying for the ministry
  • financially supporting the ministry
  • volunteering time, energy and skills
  • promoting the ministry, programs, events
  • attending Corporation meetings (especially the Annual General Meeting each November)

Anyone 18 years or older who is a deeply-rooted follow of Jesus Christ and agrees with the Foundational Documents is welcome to apply to become a member of the Corporation. Applicants will be interviewed informally and appointed by the Board of Directors. A one-time fee of $10 legally formalizes the membership.

Faithfully growing the talent, gifts and confidence of our youth.

Foundations

IAWAH plants seeds of faith, nurtures disciples and cultivates Godly character and leadership in each participant. Our vision is to grow deeply-rooted followers of Jesus who are equipped for God’s harvest — wherever they are planted.

Guided by God’s Spirit and shaped by His Word we have a vision to  grow deeply-rooted followers of Jesus Christ.  

IAWAH facilitates the growth of deeply rooted followers through an environment  that leverages adventure, experiential learning and Christian community.  

The purpose of IAWAH is to plant seeds of faith, nurture disciples, and to cultivate Godly character and leadership. We create an environment where guests are welcomed, inspired and meet Christ.  

Core Values  

Christ, Scripture, Creation, Relationships  

Challenge & Experience, Service & Work, Play & Rest  

“In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” IAWAH’s meaning from Proverbs 3:6 

Proverbs 3:5,6; John 15:1-17; Psalm 1:1-3; Isaiah 61:1-4; Ephesians 3:14-21; Galatians  5:7-6:10; Colossians 2:6-7; Hebrews 12:1-11

Reality ​-​ ​We​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​there​ ​is​ ​one​ ​God,​ ​the​ ​Creator​ ​of​ ​all,​ ​who​ ​exists​ ​as​ ​plurality-in-unity​ ​Father, Son,​ ​ and​ ​Holy​ ​Spirit.​ ​ ​God​ ​is​ ​the​ ​personification​ ​of​ ​pure​ ​love​ ​and​ ​complete​ ​power​ ​and​ ​deeply​ ​desires a​ ​loving​ ​ relationship​ ​with​ ​his​ ​people.​ ​We​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​God​ ​created​ ​man​ ​and​ ​woman​ ​in​ ​his​ ​own​ ​image. Each​ ​person​ ​is​ ​a​ ​ precious​ ​image​ ​bearer​ ​with​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​capacity​ ​for​ ​a​ ​relationship​ ​with​ ​God.​ ​ ​Because God​ ​is​ ​love​ ​and​ ​as​ ​such​ ​is​ ​ an​ ​inherently​ ​relational​ ​being,​ ​this​ ​means​ ​that​ ​relationship​ ​itself​ ​is​ ​at​ ​the core​ ​of​ ​reality. Revelation​ ​ We believe the Bible is God’s message to humanity. Written through people with the  perspective of their own era and culture, the Old and New Testaments were inspired by the Holy Spirit and thus the Bible is our timeless and final authority in all that we believe and do. We believe as we seek after God by praying and studying the Bible, guided by the Holy Spirit, God speaks to us revealing his purposes.   Rebellion​ ​​ We believe that God created all humanity in his image, regardless of differences, and thus all people are precious image bearers. Being made in God’s image, we were designed for an eternal relationship with him. However due to our own sinful choices and inherent self-centredness we have all fallen short of God’s ideal and become separated from him, in need of forgiveness.   Reconciliation –​ We believe that Jesus, the Son, provides the one way for us to become reunited with God. Through Jesus, God fully revealed his extreme love for humanity and unveiled his plan and purpose to reconcile the world to himself. Through Christ’s death on the cross he made forgiveness possible for us in a way that does not compromise the integrity of God’s justice. Because Jesus was miraculously conceived by God as a human being born of Mary, and lived a perfect life, he died as a pure, sinless sacrifice for our sins. And because he rose from the dead he forever lives as our ascended Lord, our advocate and friend.  Community –​ We believe that anyone who chooses to be reconciled to God by accepting forgiveness through Jesus Christ becomes part of the Church – the living, active body of Jesus carrying on his mission today. This person becomes a new creation with a new identity and purpose. God calls his people to come together, transforms and empowers them by his Holy Spirit, and through them reaches out to a hurting humanity.   Relationships – ​ We were created to live in community, brought into a family by God’s design, within a network of relationships. Jesus affirmed a marriage covenant between one man and one woman. Marriage is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. We believe the gift of sex is to be expressed within this loving boundary that God has set in place.   Kingdom – ​ We believe that there is a battle going on between the spiritual forces of good and evil that affect all people in a very real way. It is the main goal of the rebel angel, Satan, and the forces of darkness, to promote the separation of man from God and seek ultimate control of this world. The good news is that through Christ, God has already won the definitive battle and is in the process of establishing his rule throughout creation.   Restored​ ​Creation – ​ We believe that Jesus will return to earth to bring his victory to final completion, establishing a new heaven and earth, and thus bringing his kingdom to its fullness, together with his Church. This is the inheritance of those who have believed, turned from sin and chosen to be reconciled to God through Christ. 

Annual Ministry Report

To find out more about this past year of ministry at IAWAH please view the 2020- 2021 Annual Ministry Report.

Accreditation

IAWAH seeks to develop safe practices that anticipate and respond to needs of those it serves and maintains membership with the following organizations:

  • Christian Camping International (Canada)
  • Ontario Camping Association
  • Lifesaving Society of Canada
  • Association for Challenge Course Technology

IAWAH is dedicated to thoroughly screening, orienting and training staff and volunteers. If you would like to discuss our safety and current standards, please contact our Director. Camp IAWAH is an accredited member of the Ontario Camps Association.