So often a week of camp is a highlight in a child’s year and for many children from Fort St. James and surrounding areas, what better way to take in the full experience than at the ever popular Echo lake Bible Camp.
The camp, which is located 33 km north of Vanderhoof and 27 km south of Fort St. James just off of Highway 27, offers a variety of camps for kids of all ages.
And this summer, the camp proves to be more popular than ever.
Laura Campbell, program director at Echo Lake is thrilled with the turnout this year.
“It’s been going really well so far. It’s been very busy but lots of fun,” Campbell said.
“The kids are able to experience unconditional love and all of the fun activities that these camps have to offer.”
The waterfront area and climbing wall seem to be very popular activities and a variety of camps are available throughout the summer including: rookie, junior, teen, action camps and even intermediate wilderness camps for those ready to take on new adventures.
Christian camping began at Echo Lake in 1967. It was developed for young boys and girls to experience adventure and discovery and to explore and learn about God in a unique camping environment.
“Camp is often something kids really look forward two during the summer. It takes them away from the day to day and they get to experience new things,” Campbell said.
Since 1983, Echo Lake has been running camps as part of a Canadian missionary organization, One Hope Canada which is a non-denominational Christian ministry that seeks to bring the message of Jesus to children and youth in a camp environment.
For Camp Director, Steve Duncan, it’s all about providing children and youth with opportunities they wouldn’t normally have.
“Our camps offer a wide range of activities from kayaking to rock climbing and even wilderness survival,” Duncan says.
But it’s also more than that for Duncan.
“There’s also the faith aspect of it. It gives kids the opportunity to explore and discover, to build deeper connections and develop friendships. It’s very caring and supportive environment and our camp leaders are so dedicated and have a desire to provide safe and purposeful activities for the kids,” Duncan said.
“I want to provide a place where kids can experience joy and see a connection with God.”
Duncan moved from Ireland to Fort St. James in 1996. He met his wife Jen in Fort St. James and the couple now have four children.
Since 2001, Duncan has served as the camp director full-time and for him, it’s very much about sharing Jesus, training leaders and serving the community.
The camp has 10 staff from Northern Ireland and about 10-15 Canadians helping bring the full experience to young campers.
“It can be challenging and requires strength but with God and with each other, it’s a united goal. In the end, it’s so special and gives us all such joy,” Campbell said.
For more information about Echo Lake Bible Camp visit: http://elbc.ca/