The Story of Camp Huronda

In the 1960s, a group of parents from the Toronto branch of the Ontario division of the Canadian Diabetes Association (now Diabetes Canada), was active in pursuing summer camp opportunities for their children with type 1. Most camps at the time were reluctant to accept responsibility for caring for children with diabetes. The common sentiment was that they could not guarantee their safety. One exception was Camp Illahee, near Cobourg, operated by the Family Services Association, which accepted children with a variety of medical conditions, including children with diabetes. Before Don Anderson began his fifteen-year tenure as Camp Huronda’s first camp director, he was director at Camp Illahee for ten years!
Camp Huronda was founded in 1964. For seven years, the Ontario Division of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) rented space at Camp Beausoleil near Penetanguishene, and Camp Couchiching near Orillia. This model is similar to the majority of D-Camps and independent diabetes camps that operate across Canada today.

A number of parents approached Dr.Chute to advocate for a summer camp in Ontario that was devoted completely to children with type 1. It didn’t take long for Dr. Chute to find a champion for their cause. He said, “Bob (Erhlich), you’re it!”
Remarkably, this dynamic and determined group of parents led by Harry Hunter (Hunter Hilton), Isabelle Lockerbie (Lockerbie Lodge), Guy De Zorzi, and Joan Mills, organized a provincial lottery that raised close to $200,000. With these funds (and additional donations) they purchased Camp Waseosa, a girl’s camp northwest of Huntsville on Lake Waseosa.

In the summer of 1971, a permanent home for Camp Huronda was established. Camp Huronda is currently the only camp facility owned by Diabetes Canada.