FORTY YEARS OF EXCELLENT IMPACT
This year we celebrate God walking amongst Camp Staff and Campers at Mountain View Summer Camp (MVSC).Camp is where Campers have experienced God's touch since 1975.
When the Adventist church began Camp Ministries in 1926 there were 18 boys who braved the outdoors of Michigan. Today, there are 67 church owned camps and conference centers in Canada and the United States, with an estimated property value of over a billion dollars. Up to 35,000 campers attend SDA Camps across North America to enjoy a week of summer with Jesus.
While the Camp Ministry began among Seventh-day Adventists 89 years ago, the British Columbia/Yukon Conference has its own story: Jim Ackerman held the first camp in 1938 on Gabriola Island. In 1940, the Camp was located at Orlohma Beach, North Vancouver. Wood Lake, near Winfield, was the next location. In 1945 campers attended Camp Hope in the village of Hope, BC. Ray H. Anderson relocated the summer camp to Harmon Lake, near Merritt, in 1970. In 1971, Bob Tetz moved the Camp to Adams Lake, and later to Vernon on the Okanagan Lake.
Campers from the days of Orlohma Beach to the first Campers at our present site all remember the wilderness experience, the fun times, and the spirituality gained from a week of camp.
As the price increased from $10.00, for 10 days at camp in 1926, to over $400.00 for a week at camp today, few who experienced camp would question its viability. When Staff and Camper come face to face with their Creator in this unique and beautiful setting, many consider this a life-changing experience, and the cost can only be counted as priceless.
In 1975 Bob Tetz moved the Camp to its current location. The property is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is most fondly known as Camp Hope.
It was agreed that there would be three areas assigned especially for Summer Camp.
1. A permanent horse program with a corral.
2. A swimming pool.
3. The property East of the second creek would be home for the Youth Camp.
The name chosen for the Summer Camp was Camp Chawuthen. Permission was granted to provide nature and hiking trails on twenty acres of crown land to the North side of the Camp.
The Camp Directors
1976 - 1985 Pastor Don Melashenko.
Pastor Don continued the process of establishing Camp Chawuthen permanently at Camp Hope.
1986 - 1995: Pastor Jim Gaull
Pastor Jim, along with Todd Miller as his assistant, ran the Summer Camp that first season. PJ, as Pastor Jim was affectionately called, managed the Camp and was the Conference Youth Director for the next 10 years. PJ improved and updated the facilities and equipment. The Chan Shun Foundation helped provide funding for the Youth Pavilion, Director's cabin and 2 cabins each for the boy's and girl's villages.
1996 - 1997: Doug Brown
Doug Brown was camp director for two seasons. He increased the appreciation of living in the outdoors and learning about nature.
1998-2003: Dean Kettner
Dean Kettner, a previous camp staff and Pathfinder Director accepted the invitation as Conference Youth Director beginning in the Fall of 1998. It was in the Fall of this year that the Youth Lodge burned to the ground. Dean is experienced as a volunteer fireman in Nanaimo and helped investigate fires on the island. His passion for the Camp and understanding of construction and management was invaluable to rebuilding the Camp in time for the 1999 season. Many consider this a miracle.
Dean sought to improve the facilities of the Camp. A new pathfinder bowl, for worship, was built at the base of Half Ledge. Two new boats were purchased, the "GAP" was modified to meet broader needs, the horse corral obtained suitable stables, and four paddocks were constructed. The first accreditation from the British Columbia Camping Association was received. Dean developed a master plan for all of Camp Hope. During this time a significant name change from Camp Chawuthen to Mountain View Summer Camp was registered.
2004:Pastor Troy McQueen
Pastor Troy served as interim Camp Director providing solid leadership and programming.
2005 to Current:Pastor Brian Wahl
In 2005, Pastor Brian Wahl became the summer camp director. Since 2005 we have added a second volleyball court, high and low ropes challenge course and a zip line.
The "GAP" has a full climbing wall with a chimney and "cave". Two pottery wheels complete with a kiln are now available in the Creation Station. A suitable stage with lighting and a permanent sound system was installed. Improvements to the back trails, and a "first peoples" camp on the property was built. The Camp website is current, where Campers may register online, drawing people to learn about MVSC.
With a 10 -year maintenance schedule the Camp continues to be in great operational order. Accreditation from the B.C. Camping Association continues with four-year terms. In the Spring of 2015, due to the ice storm damage, improvements were made to the horse corral. We acknowledge and attribute many decisions for Christ from all the Camp Directors above.
The impact of Camp Ministries, in partnership with the home, school and our churches has resulted in many active young adults in leadership throughout the British Columbia Conference.
As part of the REACH Initiative there is a plan for continued follow up throughout the year, when Campers make their decision for Christ. The plan includes staff training, coaching and continued contact through social media between staff and camper. Pastors are encouraged to follow up with those who attend camp. Research is now providing evidence on how the Camping Ministry impacts the lives of those who experience summer camp, and as an evangelistic tool for the local church. There is a commitment to serve in the church and be a contributor for good in our civil societies.
Research was conducted in 2008 which found 1/3 of campers increase their identity as a Seventh-day Adventist. It is because of a range of spiritual activities, including worships, religious plays, sermons and meaningful cabin devotions that the counselor directs. Further, 49% of campers feel that their understanding of the importance of Adventism was higher as a result of camp attendance.
Some say summer camp is the largest evangelistic event of the year. There is a high correlation between learning about nature and being active in the outdoors, and to the mission of the Adventist church. The camp offers an engaging introduction to God's Word and world.The integration of values, fun and games, and spiritual instruction help bring the camper into a closer walk with Jesus.
Hundreds of fine, young Adventist adults serve as staff. From their experience at camp there is a deeper commitment and a sense of calling to serve the Church.Many become leaders, teachers, pastors and administrators working to forward the movement of the Church. Sixty percent of staff state they plan to be in life-long service in their local church. Looking to the future, Pastor Wahl is working to bring the vision for a Master Plan closer to reality, in order that Mountain View Summer Camp will continue another 40 years, should the second coming of Jesus be delayed.
We can get a glimpse of our future as we remember how God has led in the past. This Sunday there will be a celebration of the blessings received from Adventist Camping Ministries in British Columbia. The time is posted at the GAP. Come and see how God has blessed.
In addition, all young people and young at heart are invited to participate in this amazing ministry through attendance, sending a child/grandchild to camp, or donating to the progress of the Camp Ministries for Mountain View Summer Camp.
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