In 1965, Garland and Reba Cofield and their four small children, Jim, John, Jean, and Judy, packed their belongings into a converted trailer and left their Tennessee home and evangelistic ministry and headed to the wilderness of Canada. They located in a semi-remote area in Northern Ontario, 1100 miles northwest of Toronto. This part of Canada is a vast land of lakes, forests, and long cold winters where the temperature plunges far below zero.
With a strong desire to impact youth in the region, Garland and Reba chose a site on a remote lake some 32 miles away from the town of Dryden, accessible only by a pontoon/ski plane or by the remains of an old logging trail.
Beginning with an ax, a small tent, and a borrowed horse, the Cofields diligently commenced work to make their dream take shape. The family was united to share the burden and excitement. What was once bush and swamp was transformed into a complex known as Camp Of The Woods and consists of beautiful rustic buildings: chapel, lodge, office, gym, modern wash houses, shop, and generator buildings- plus fifteen cabins and five staff residences.
Camp Of The Woods is strategically located between the Trans-Canada Highway and the growing northern service community of Sioux Lookout. Camp Of The Woods is a legally chartered non-profit organization supported by the free-will gifts of churches and individuals.
In addition to these beautiful facilities, God has added our most valued resource--people. They are committed to serving Him and pursuing opportunities to share His gospel here in Northern Ontario. Permanent staff are Johnnie and Becky Bates and their children: Kayleigh, Luke, Aubrey, and Emma. Our leadership team for this summer includes: John and Fawnda Cofield, Adam and Billie Kane, Phil and Pam Kiper, Jon and Sara Duban, and Val Battleson.
Year-round ministries include summer and winter Bible camps, weekend retreats, and youth day camps. The purpose of all endeavors is to lead people to Christ and establish them in the fellowship of other believers in local churches. Hundreds of souls have come to know the Lord through the Gospel message presented faithfully at Camp of the Woods. Many have gone into Christian work in Canada and throughout the world.
Adventure can become old, but "vision" endures. That vision, begun so many years ago, endures to day through each volunteer who comes and serves so that souls can have the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John Cofield shares how God was instrumental on choosing the placement of the camp on Trout Fly Lake (6 min.)