Teachers’ Resource for Camp-X
Author: Nancy Hamer Strahl, for The Robert Stuart Aeronautical Collection and Camp-X Exhibit
Teacher of History and French Immersion at Port Perry High School
Grade level: Secondary (gr. 9-12)
This activity is based on Camp-X and explores its nature and role during World War Two. Camp-X was a secret spy training school located on the Whitby-Oshawa border in Ontario. The camp trained hundreds of allied secret agents for working behind enemy lines.
Based on Howard Gardner’s theories on multiple intelligences, this activity will give teachers a wider range of learning strategies. Multiple intelligences gives students a choice on how they wish to present the information they have researched and also to showcase their talents or particular intelligence. For additional information on multiple intelligences see: www.ed.psu.edu/insys/esd/gardner/menu.html
- Durovecz, Andrew. My Secret Mission. Toronto: Lugus Publications, 1996
- Gardner, Howard. How Kids are Smart: Multiple Intelligences in the Class, 1995
- Hodgson, Lynn Philip. ‘Inside Camp-X’. Port Perry: Blake Books Distribution, 1999, 2002
Unofficially known as Camp-X, the paramilitary training installation was officially known by various names: S 25-1-1 by the RCMP, Project-J by the Canadian military, and STS-103 (Special Training School 103) by the SOE (Special Operations Executive), a branch of the British MI-6.
It was established December 6, 1941, on the border of Whitby/Oshawa, Ontario, Canada though the British Security Co-Ordination (BSC) and the Government of Canada.
The BSC’s chief, Sir William Stephenson, was a Canadian from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a close confidant of the British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, who had instructed him to create the clenched fist that would provide the knockout blow to the Axis powers. One of Stephenson’s successes was Camp-X.
The Camp was first opened for the purpose of training American COI (forerunner to the CIA) agents who would be dropped in behind enemy lines as spies and saboteurs at a time when the U.S. was forbidden by an Act of Congress to be involved in World War Two. One of the unique features of Camp-X was Hydra. Given its name by its operators, Hydra was the most sophisticated telecommunications centre of its time and was instrumental in coding/decoding information vital to the allied war effort. The Camp was an excellent location for the transfer of code due to the topography of the land. Lake Ontario made it an excellent site where signals would arrive distinctly and rapidly from the U.K. Hydra had direct access to Ottawa, New York and Washington.
Camp-X trained over five hundred Allied secret agents. They trained in a variety of special techniques such as silent killing, sabotage, Partisan work and recruitment methods for the resistance movement, demolition, map reading, weaponry, and Morse code. (Excerpt from Inside Camp-X)
- Field Trip:
- Take a trip to Oshawa, Ontario and visit the many sights pertaining to World War Two.
- Oshawa Military Museum. Artefacts from 1812-1945 and the largest collection of working military vehicles in Canada!
Oshawa Airport South Field, 1000 Stevenson Rd. N., Oshawa, ON. L1J 5P5
Tel. 905- 728-6199
- Camp-X monument and the remains of Camp-X at Intrepid Park
- Visit the mural dedicated to Camp-X and Oshawa impressive war memorial on Simcoe Street at Memorial Park.
- Parkwood Estate and Gardens. The home of Colonel Sam McLaughlin.
270 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON. L1G 4T5
- Guest Speaker:
Invite a guest speaker to your school. Lynn Philip Hodgson, author of Inside Camp-X presents a school program which consists of a ten-minute opening statement explaining the origin of Camp-X, followed by a twenty minute documentary about Camp-X and closing with questions and answers from students. E-mail Lynn Philip Hodgson for more information.
- Library Research and Final Product:
Have students go to their school library and do research on Camp-X. This multiple intelligences activity gives students a choice on how to present the information they have researched and lets them showcase their particular talents. Students will be required to collect 4 pages of hand written notes and include at least 4 sources in the bibliography that includes at least two electronic sources. They will take home their information and create a portfolio that includes work from four different areas. They have five intelligence categories to choose from: logical, interpersonal, linguistic, spatial/visual and musical/rhythmic.
Assessment and Evaluation:
The assessment and evaluation conforms to the Ontario Ministry of Education requirements of knowledge/understanding, thinking/inquiry, application and communication using an achievement chart tailored to the activity.
Research Project: Camp-X and the Second World War
This project gives you a choice on how you wish to present the information you have gathered on Camp-X. This is your opportunity to showcase your talents in a creative way and
get to know more about Camp-X, Canada’s premier secret agent school during World War Two.
From the list provided below pick 4 activities that fascinate you. Each activity must come from a different intelligence category. Once you have researched Camp-X, create a portfolio to showcase your work.
- LOGICAL: Draw a plan of Camp-X - Time line of events 1941-1946
Glossary of term
Write a news report
Critique a documentary on Camp-X
Read a novel and write a book review
Research an agent’s career
Write an agent’s letter home or journal entry
Critique a Camp-X web site
Create a board game
Biography of a person associated with Camp-X
Interview an agent
Write an obituary of a fallen agent
Video a scene from a black and white movie
Write a newspaper report
Create a debate on the effectiveness of Camp-X
- SPATIAL / VISUAL:
3 D model of the camp
Model airplane (Lysander)
Story board for a movie or documentary
Song or poem
Create a rap song
Listen to music from the era and write a critique
Create a game based on a ‘Name That Tune’
In your final product be sure to:
- Include at least four sources, including at least two electronic sources.
- Include a bibliography using proper format.
- Include at least four pages of notes taken from at least four sources. Make sure you indicate the sources and pages taken. Always put your notes in point form and in your own words.
- Explain the role and nature of Camp-X in bringing about the knockout blow to the axis powers during the war.
- Design an effective layout that makes use of space, colour and images to present the information.
- Use proper sentence and paragraph structure, spelling and grammar.
On March 7th 2005, Lynn Philip Hodgson won the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for 2004. This award is issued by the Ontario Heritage Foundation and reads as follows:
“Presented to: Lynn Philip Hodgson
In appreciation of a lifetime of volunteer work to identify, preserve, protect and promote our province’s rich heritage.”
Signed: The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman
Ontario Hertitage Foundation - 2004
Speaking to thousands of Public and High School students in the GTA over the past five years, a lot of students are very interested in the James Bond gadgets that were made for secret agents. One such gadget that always intrigues them is the button compass. Many students have asked me if I could show them one... well here it is.