We are building  a new Timber Frame Cabin April 3-5!

27 years ago, the shanties were constructed to replace the tents that our summer campers first slept in. Almost 3 decades later, it's time to  replace them!

We need your help! We are currently looking for volunteers to help get the first cabin built. We especially need help on Tuesday, April 3. This is the day that all the timber frames will be constructed and installed, and it's heavy work. Strong backs are needed on April 3, but volunteers of all strengths and sizes are welcome throughout the week to help with constructing walls and other tasks.

We will be gathering at 9am every morning and working until 5pm. Lunch and coffee breaks are provided for all volunteers. Overnight lodging with supper/breakfast is available for $15/night/person.

If you have any of the following, please bring bring them: hard hat, steel-toed boots (at minimum, good work shoes), hammer, sledge hammer, belt/pouch, cordless screw guns, power cords (100 ft or more), belt sander. The list is not a requirement, but would be helpful.

To volunteer, please fill out the online form or email or call Shekinah. You will find this information at the bottom of the page.

This event will be like an old fashioned barn raising. Come out and see what a community can accomplish when we all help! Thank you.

You are also invited to our Spring Fundraising Banquet. If you can't make it out for the build, you might want to come early and have a quick tour of the cabin. Please see our Upcoming Events page for more information.

Wondering what the cabin will look like? Here is the new design:

These new cabins will serve the following programs:

Summer Camp

  • Our summer camp program is theheart of our ministry
  • Improved accommodations will bless our campers, staff and volunteers
  • With new cabins comes new energy and excitement
  • Our goal is to surpass 300 camper weeks per season by the end 2022

School Programming

  • Improved accommodations mean that school groups will require fewer parent chaperones than before
  • Winterized accommodation means that school groups will be comfortable earlier in the spring and later in the fall
  • Winter programming means students can now sleep in beds, rather than on mattresses on the floor in the chalet
  • Schools will be able to utilize Shekinah's activities and programs more effectively throughout the school year

Rental Groups

  • Currently the needs of rental groups are not met by the shanties
  • Many groups refuse to come to Shekinah overnight because they have to sleep on the floor
  • To have comfortable sleeping accommodations for all of our facilities allows us to provide the best experience possible for every group


Many of the features of these cabins were inspired by elements of our existing facilities. There are also some new features that we are sure everyone will love:

  • Timber-frame cabin (Timber Lodge)
  • Half-log siding (Chalet and Cabins)
  • Green tin roof (Timber Lodge, Chalet, Office)
  • Zero-clearance fireplace (Chalet and Cabins)
  • Loft sleeping area (Timber Lodge)
  • Solar Panel and LED lighting 
  • Queen over queen bunk beds

Cabin 9

Cabin 8

Cabin 7

The most significant design feature is inspired by the two major floods Shekinah has experienced since 1979, when Shekinah began operations. The cabins will be built in the area where the shanties currently are and so these buildings need to be floodable.

  • Walls will be constructed from removable wall panels
  • Each panel is constructed from plywood, expanded-polystyrene insulation and wood half-log siding
  • All the wall panel materials can be submerged with minimal water absorption
  • Each panel will be lagged to the heavy timbers
  • Windows will fit in a panel and can be removed with the wall panel they are inserted in
  • During a flood event our focus will be on protecting the chalet
  • After a flood event the wall panels that get wet can be removed, allowed to dry and then replaced

The intention is for these cabins to be here for many, many years to come. We expect that at some point in the future they will be flooded. With this unique and innovative design, that inevitability will not cause us any significant stress or cost as a result of these removable wall panels.


  • Timber frames, wallpanels and foundations will all be prepared in the buildup to the main event
  • From raising the frame to completing the construction it will take 3-5 days with up to 20 volunteers needed
  • Our goal is volunteer labour for the construction of all the new cabins


  • Each cabin will cost $30 000 for materials, foundations and finishing touches
  • 6 identical cabins will be built
  • Cabins will all be paid for out of donations made to Shekinah Retreat Centre

Fundraising Strategy

  • Cabin 4The Shekinah Retreat Centre board has develop a fiscally responsible strategy
  • The board's first responsibility is to ensure that we maintain a financially secure position and we require the support of our donors to ensure that
  • From all the donations that are made to our "Operations Fund" 25% will be designated towards this cabin project until we meet our 2017 budgeted target
  • Our budgeted target for 2017 is $80 000 which is required to ensure that we can meet all our financial obligations
  • Operational donations go towards subsidizing our summer camp program, paying our spring and summer staff and ensuring the long term maintenance of our existing facilities
  • Once our 2017 budgeted target has been met 100% of the operational donations will go towards this capital project during this calendar year

Please support Shekinah Retreat Centre as we look to develop facilities that will not only complete our mission as a Retreat Centre as well as allow us to provide better services and better facilities to all who to come here to experience the presence and glory of God!

We would love to be able to complete the first cabin before summer camp 2018! Please donate now to make this happen!