The summer camping season at Big Doe was broken down into sessions where campers could attend for two, four, or six weeks at a time. Big Doe often hosted other entities such as sports camps or religious camps during the last two weeks of August in which groups would come in to use the facilities after the regular camping season had concluded.
The Camp was operated for more than merely commercial purposes. Aubrey and Marjorie aimed to break even every summer, though quite often they didn't even do that. It was a family tradition, family run operation about giving something back to the community and watching the boys' grow into young men.
During the prime years of operation, Aubrey and Marjorie Rhamey had a tough time trying to keep a balance between bringing in new younger campers and allowing the older campers to keep returning every year. They just didn't have the space for everyone that wanted to attended and were at times forced to turn boys away. But even with that pressure, they also kept a few spaces for boys from the Children's Aid Society who were allowed to attend camp for free. These boys were never grouped together, singled out, or identified.
Camp Activities included: Swimming, Fishing, Sailing, Canoeing, Campcraft, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Nature Lore, Horseback Riding, Archery, Arts and Crafts, Riflery (Shooting) and numerous sports including: Badminton, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, Football, Baseball, Rugby, Street Hockey, Tennis, and more.
In 1955 the football camp attracted 52 Toronto High School students and a couple of out of towners all trying to get into shape and prepare for the upcoming football season. Camp founder Aubrey Rhamey was himself head grid coach of the Malvern Collegiate football team at the time. There were very few if any football camps operating at the time and this was considered very much needed as the time to get the boys into shape and the start of the football season only a couple of weeks into the start of the school year was very short. The boys attending the camp were not from any one school but came from Lawrence Park, Bloor, UTS, East York, Downsview, Malvern, Scarborough, Vaughn Road and Forest Hill as well as a few out of towners from Brantford, Brampton, and Kirkland Lake.
Common trips for boys with beginner to intermediate skill level included:
Some of the Competitions Included:
Old Camp Memrobilia including photographs and old camp brochures can be found in the Ontario Camping Association Fonds located in the Trent University Archives . A taped interview with Camp founders Aubrey and Marjorie Rhamey talking about the camp can also be found in the Trent University Archives.
The old camp bell used to call campers to Free Swim during the day and down to the waterfront in the morning before breakfast can be seen on display at the Burk's Falls & District Historical Society along with some other memorabilia.