This is the first in an irregular series about Camp Three Arrows--a failed socialist experiment in Ontario. My father started to write a history, but never finished it, I'm not sure why. But given that his health is failing rapidly, I thought I'd better take up the story now. Some of this will be a bit sketchy on historical facts and details; I will try to go back and fill them in as I find things out. If anyone out there can correct me on dates, etc., please feel free. But this outline will do for a start. Most of this history I've heard, since I was a kid, from my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and the other founding members of Camp.
In 1932, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the CCF) was started in Alberta. It had an offshoot, the CCYM (Co-operative Commonwealth Youth Movement). My parents were members; in fact, that's where they met. As with any political party's youth branch, it was part political, part social. Lots of singing, baseball games, and drinking interspersed with earnest debates about socialism.
In Toronto, the CCYM branch organized camping trips, the better to have those earnest debates 'round the campfire. These outings were usually to provincial parks. After a while, the membership decided it might be good to have a permanent site to hold these get-togethers, the better to organize and plan the new socialist Canada. So they started to scout out southern Ontario to find a suitable piece of land.
To be continued...