Aubrey Jackel was the prime mover behind the establishment of this camp

King River Camp was first established as a Christian Youth camp over Christmas 1947.  Principally used for Easter and Christmas holiday camps for many years the camp was “home” to 100’s of young people.  Aubrey Jackel, Church of Christ member, Real Estate Agent, and later Mayor of Wangaratta was a prime mover behind the establishment of the camp and supported it until his early death in 1970, aged 49.

The camp was located on land in Cheshunt South and was eventually donated for Youth Camping in 1964 by Harold Izard, his wife Beatrice and her mother Mrs L. Murton (nee Burrowes).  The Izard family farmed a considerable amount of land in the area and Harold together with his brother Clive, who lived in Cheshunt, were also supporters of the local Church of England in Whitfield.

The campsite was slowly developed by voluntary labour as camps were held regularly and campers expectations grew.  Initially camps were under canvas and ablutions were taken in the nearby King River West Branch , which flowed through the camp prior to being shifted North in the late 1960’s when Lake William Hovell was built.

Tents progressed to a rough camp kitchen, an army Nissen hut for the girls, and a rudimentary dormitory (Winch) for the boys.  The annual “cleanup” ready for camps was a feature of camp life with mowing, cutting, stacking and building preparing the site for the onslaught of young people.

The North East Conference of the Churches of Christ, (Yarrawonga, Wodonga, Albury, Wagga, Wangaratta, Bright and Shepparton) and Melbourne based  Christian Endeavour utilised camp facilities regularly, and in 1983 Campaigners For Christ took over the title and management of the camp.

The first camp caretakers were Ian and Betty Crowe from Swan Hill who arrived in 1985 to assist in the proper maintenance of the land and facilities.  Their accommodation in freezing temperatures was initially in the camp kitchen, then a caravan, and then a tobacco pickers hut relocated to site in 1988.  They invested their time and energy until 1992 seeing a new girls lodge (Peipers) built by Mobile Mission Maintenance in 1989 and a new residence relocated in 1989 and completed in 1990

Andrew and Julie Tyler, and then Les and Judy Smith from Castlemaine continued camp management from 1993 until 2001. During this time a new dining hall and kitchen complex was built and opened in 1993. The residence was also extended by two bedrooms in 1994 to accommodate the larger Smith clan. During these years regular use of the camp by secular groups became commonplace in order that the camp remain financially viable. In 1996 Campaigners For Christ returned management and title of the camp to a local management committee called Friends of Cheshunt Christian Camp.  This now operates as an incorporated body called Cheshunt Christian Camp Inc. 

King River Camp

Geoff and Glenda Laing

953 Upper King River Road

Cheshunt South  3678


To contact us:

phone: 03 5729 8258

email: contact us


Text Box: see our historical photos for a snapshot of times past
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Camp Origins


Camp History Photos


School Visit - 2000


Harry Power - his story


Harry Power - the book


Council Visit Valley - 1944

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