WHO WE ARE
Elijah's servant said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. (1 Kings 18:44)
Many times God's work starts with a small beginning. Graphite Bible Camp is no exception. Nestled among the hills in Hastings County, Ontario, 13 miles north from the village of Bancroft, this very unique camp has been a blessing to hundreds of lives and homes.
The camp came into existence because of a burden upon the founders' hearts for the boys and girls throughout the Bancroft and Graphite district. The camp founders, Doug and Marion Robinson, and the Board of Directors, named it Graphite Bible Camp for two reasons. It was associated with the area, and it was mainly designed for the children in that locale.
In the late 1800's an open pit mine had operated in the local area. Ore containing graphite was taken from an open pit mine, loaded into wagons, and then drawn by horse to the railroad station. From there it was loaded on railroad cars for shipment to its destination.
The district where the mine was located soon became known as Graphite, the name coming from the ore itself. The small lake nearby which had been called Horseshoe Lake, because of its shape, and Moxam Lake, because of a farmer who lived on its shore, was eventually officially named Graphite Lake by the province of Ontario. The road leading past the lake is called Graphite Road.
Doug and Marion Robinson's concern for the area arose because of the nature of Doug's business. He drove his Texaco truck through the small towns and farming area six days a week. Everywhere he went there seemed to be boys and girls with nothing to do. At this time there was nothing in the area for children to get involved in and many of the families would not be able to afford the luxury. Doug and Marion prayed daily about the need and as the days went by. God gave this man a vision for a day camp that would reach these children. By faith God would be trusted to meet the daily needs of this camp. They shared their burden with others. They asked God for the right property. Finally the Lord showed them the present land, a nine-acre field.
One day while driving his truck past the lake, Doug stopped and went over to the shoreline, dreaming about the possibility of a camp at this location. Dropping to his knees he prayed, "Lord, if this is really your will, and if you want this camp to materialize, then keep this property for a camp."
In the months that followed building lots were sold off by owners on other parts of the lake, and yet the Lord kept the best shoreline available. The owners of the land, Mrs. Lebow and her son Lornie, were in sympathy with the camp prospect but nearly two more years were to pass before Doug's prayer would be answered. Little did Doug and Marion realize that God would ask them to give up their business and give their lives to the Lord's service. Doug had been active in open-air work and pulpit ministry in the area. Now the conviction grew that God would have him go into full-time ministry. As Doug and Marion wrestled with this great decision, God eventually gave them peace to start a life of service, living completely by faith. Thus in 1960 Graphite Camp was born. To this day our day camp program is still strictly run on free will donations and our low overnight fee is set to allow youth to be able to enjoy a camping experience that they might not otherwise be able to.