Wilderness Discovery

Our Story

Vision & Values

Wilderness Discovery encourages and maintains the principles of independence, dignity, integration, and equal opportunity for all individuals. We strive to create a unique camping experience that affords all of our guests a “Life Without Barriers”.

To provide a fully accessible family resort. To promote a safe, barrier free, and fun camping experience that everyone can enjoy. To engage the community in a way that fosters these values.

Jeff Jones, President

A Message From Our President

You enter a place designed for building lifelong memories when you arrive on the grounds of Wilderness Discovery Centre. Here, our main objective is for people of all ages and capabilities to be fully emersed in the summer traditions of Northwestern Ontario; pontoon boat rides, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and more – all available with safety and inclusivity front of mind. At WDC, we are committed to evolving our space to incorporate new inclusive technology, devices, and practices to ensure families, friends, and caregivers have a special place to retreat to for years to come.

The History of Wilderness Discovery


Land was deeded by the Carson and Cross families to the YM-YWCA to be used as a summer camp for youth.

Early 1980s

Handicapped Action Group Inc. (HAGI) had a dream of expanding this camp into a facility that would allow disabled persons with disabilities and their families to enjoy life at the lake.

August 1st, 1983

HAGI entered into a 20-year lease to develop the current HAGI camp.


Lease amended, expired in 2013 and continued with yearly extensions until the fall of 2015.

July 2015

Bob Hookham of the Fort William Rotary & Jeff Jones of the Hill City Kinsmen meet with Minister Bill Mauro to discuss the possibility of assisting HAGI to maintain the operation of this facility at Lake Shebandowan.

April 2015

HAGI announced that they would be forced to stop operating the facility unless there was a significant change in the financial picture with respect to the facility.

February 10, 2017

Negotiations culminated in a Press Release where Minister Bill Mauro announced a deal in principle with this new management group.

April 7th, 2017

Wilderness Discovery received its Letters Patent as a Non-Profit Corporation with representatives on its Board of Directors from the Thunder Bay Rotary Clubs, Hill City Kinsmen, HAGI, Westfort Kiwanis and the Shebandowan Lake Campers’ Association.

July 2017

The Corporation and the Ministries signed an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the Lake Shebandowan Property.

August 11th, 2017

Wilderness Discovery Centre officialy took possession of the Lake Shebandowan facility that was previously operated by HAGI.