From 1966 to apparently as late as 1988, you could have gone to the Bobby Orr-Mike Walton Sports Camp on the shores of Lake Couchiching in Orillia, Ontario.
The camp, which featured 180 acres and 2 miles of sandy beach frontage at Owissa Lodge, ran nine weekly sessions of camping for boys between the ages of 7 and 14. I found an old advertisement stating the prices, although I am not sure which year it is from. Prices were $140.00 for a one week session and $270.00 for two weeks. Talk about a bargain!
Obviously hockey played a starring role in this sports camp. Orr and Walton were the lead instructors, while Bill Watters and later Tom Watt served as the camp director and Bob Haggert was the camp administrator. Several NHL players assisted the hockey program over the course of the summer, including Terry O'Reilly, Dale Tallon, Marcel Dionne, Billy Harris, Syl Apps Jr., Dave Burrows, Rick MacLeish, Jim Rutherford and John Garrett. Every camper received at least two hours of on-ice instruction each day.
When Orr and company bought the land there was a 4 sheet curling rink included. The Orr group turned that into a hockey rink.
There were also up to ten other live-in instructors were there all summer for water and land activities not pertaining to hockey. Non hockey activities included boating and water safety, including learning to operate a canoe and going water skiing. Somehow they also found time to teach tennis, golf and basketball too.
Saturday nights were for triple-header movies, while Sunday was campfire night. Busses would take the boys to church, if they so wished. Special outings were also planned, including visiting historical Native Canadian villages, taking scenic boat cruises, going to baseball games and stock car races and even going to Team Canada's practice in 1976.
This whole sports camp, including the property, was purchased by Bobby Orr Enterprises. If I am not mistaken, that was the company Alan Eagleson set up in Bobby's name and abused liberally. Walton, another Eagleson client, was said to own just 5% of the company. Apparently Eagleson sold the property in 1988 to property developers and he probably made an absolute killing on the investment. Whether Orr and Walton ever saw their proper return out the deal remains a mystery to me. Apparently the land remained untouched and was again for sale in 1993.
How cool would a summer camp run by Bobby Orr be? Well, maybe not as great as it sounds. According to Stephen Brunt in the book Searching For Bobby Orr, "Bobby wasn't all that enthusiastic about putting in the hours."