It’s a place where they have connected with nature and made fond memories while learning valuable life skills.
“In this day and age, kids are bombarded with electronics and it is a safe place for kids to experience outdoors and nature,” said Shawn Davison, a Beaver leader with Third Truro, just one of the six Scouts groups in Colchester County that have been using the camp for more than 60 years. “It’s a place that builds excitement in the youth in the days leading up to a trip to Camp Malagash. The kids look forward to going to Camp Malagash because the name equates to fun.”
For more than six decades, the camp has been used frequently by the Colchester Area Scout Association and its groups: Lower Truro, Bible Hill, Second Truro, Third Truro, Valley and Tatamagouche. Now, it’s in need of some dire repairs to bring it up to code.
“It’s important because the infrastructure is already in place for a Scouting event, not only the physical buildings, but the forest chapel for Scouts Own, the campfire circles,” Davison explained. “It’s a place with pre-existing hiking trails that pass through the forest and ends up along the shore. After the first visit to the camp, the youth are familiar with the area and the safety considerations inherent to the location, for example to stay away from the banks over looking the Northumberland Strait.
“It’s important because a tradition of Scouting has been started (there) and it is a worthwhile tradition. It’s a place where lifetime memories are made.”
During their stay at Camp Malagash, the Scouting groups participate in various activities, such as campfires, building shelters in the woods with branches, building and walking on a rope bridge and even learning to wash dishes.
Before Davison attended the camp as a leader, his father, Jon, also used it as a camp leader.
“Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting, once said, ‘Teach them, train them and then let them lead,’” said Jon, current chairperson of the Third Truro committee.
“A lot of this teaching and training is taking place in the meeting hall, which for Third Truro is at St. Andrew’s United Church. Camp Malagash is an extension of the meeting hall where the leadership and physical skills can be put into practice.”
But the family connection doesn’t stop there for the Davison family. Jon’s other son, Jim, attended camp once as a Cub; and three grandsons – Connor, Liam and Parker – continue to attend.
“I like the wide open spaces where games can be played, the hiking trails and the scenery over the water,” said 11-year-old Connor, now in his seventh year of Scouting – three years in Beavers, three years in Cubs and now in his first year of Scouts.
Twin brothers Liam and Parker, 6, attended back in June, with Liam saying his likes included using slingshots to hit targets and decorating construction paper ducks. For Park, he enjoyed sleeping in the tent and having a water gun fight.
“Camp Malagash is not immune to wear and tear on the property and upkeep,” said Jon. “This, along with new fire regulations and improvements in the building code, puts a strain on the financial budgets of the camp committee.”
He said the camp is available to rent to other youth organizations, and it’s a great spot for family reunions.