about beaver camp
Beaver Camp is owned and operated by Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association, a group of approximately 220 member families, governed by a Board of Directors.
History of Beaver Camp
In the late 1950s, it became apparent to the Mennonite churches in Northern New York that there was a need for a church camp, especially for children. The First Mennonite Church of New Bremen provided a camping program immediately following summer Bible School and, because of such a large attendance, moved into tents at Whetstone Gulf State Park near Martinsburg. Meanwhile, Abner Zehr opened his own Lake Ontario camp to the Woodville Mennonite congregation for a day camp. They too began to run out of room.
Together with those concerned from Lewis County, a committee was formed in 1964 to investigate a land purchase suitable for a camp. Five years later, in April of 1969, the Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association purchased Beaver Camp. The AMCA has sponsored successive Christian summer children's camps here since the summer of 1969. Initially the summer was staffed with volunteers who would come in for a week at a time, meaning a new staff team was formed for each week. In 1979 the first year-round director was hired and year-round programming began.
The mid 80s saw the camp increasingly being used throughout the year. A challenge course was installed in 1986, which is expanded on an ongoing basis, for use in our children's camp programs as well as with other groups. In 1987, 36 weekends were used throughout the year which included camp-sponsored adult retreats, youth winter camps, and weekend adult and youth rental groups. In addition, seven weeks of summer resident camps, one week of day camp, and several weeks of wilderness camps are held at Beaver Camp each year. In 1992 the summer camp program was split into 2 camps that would run simultaneously. A program for older age groups and one for younger age groups was implemented, allowing for more campers than ever. Creation Investigation, a nature study program for Christian schools, was also first offered in 1992.
Originally, Mary Fisher owned the Beaver Camp property, then sold it to Dorothy Jackson in 1914. Oran Fenton built the main lodge, and Dorothy Jackson and her husband owned the furniture still existing in the lodge. Beaver Camp for Boys began in 1946 when Rev. O.T. Anderson purchased the camp. He named the cabins, and the original names are still in use. James Shapland purchased the camp in 1959 and continued Beaver Camp for Boys. He was the last owner before the AMCA bought the property in 1969.
We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the Word of God become flesh. He is the savior of the world, who has delivered us from the domination of sin and reconciled us to God by his death on the cross.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal spirit of God who dwelled in Jesus Christ and who empowers the church.
We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness.
We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made.
We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image.
We confess that, beginning with Adam and Eve, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the tempter, and chosen to sin.
We believe that, through Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life. We receive God's salvation when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
We believe that the mission of the church is to proclaim and to be a sign of the kingdom of God.
The mission of Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association is to provide facilities and programs, infused by God's love, in which individuals of every age are invited to establish and grow in their relationships with Jesus Christ and others by:
- Providing inviting natural settings that honor God's creation and are conducive to being drawn closer to nature's creator, Jesus Christ.
- Providing sound Christian teaching and role models who introduce individuals to Jesus Christ, challenging and encouraging deeper relationships with Him.
- Helping to develop an understanding of Christianity that can inform and be lived out in all areas of our lives.
- Encouraging individuals to realize that one's Christian life is meant to be lived out in community with other believers, and to actively participate in a church in their local area.
- Partnering with supporting churches and the local community to be in tune with how we can serve their needs.
So that God will continue to unfold His plan and His power through these prepared individuals.
That we would see God work through us in ways beyond our expectations to invite people to Christ and help them become mature Christians who have an enduring and expanding impact for God's kingdom.
- To develop and provide varied programs which attract the interests of children, parents, and adults in camp programs, and where a hosting ministry meets the needs of others.
- To deliver quality food, lodging, and guest services in a timely and friendly manner.
- To employ and develop qualified staff that provides leadership for camp administration and programs, demonstrate Christian values and promote positive personal relationships while seeking to meet the needs of individual.
- To preserve the ecological balance as we provide clean, safe, attractive, and efficient facilities and equipment in an inviting natural setting.
- To build a dynamic community which will assure stable resources and advocacy for the camp, from a broad base of churches, expanding association members, civic groups and school groups.
- To maintain secure financial operations.
The underlying purpose of the Children's Camp Program is to help children and youth grow in their relationship with God. The following goals will help us fulfill that purpose.
GOAL 1: Personal Bible study and Bible teaching
l. Recruiting Camp Pastors who are "gifted" in ministering to children and youth.
2. Programming personal quiet times for campers who are mature enough to benefit from them.
3. Providing Bible study and prayer materials for devotional times that will encourage campers in devotions. The materials should carry the camper on after leaving camp to further instill the practice.
4. Insure that all counselors have adequate materials for evening cabin devotions. Having these materials coordinated with the summer theme and with the quiet time material can enhance understanding.
1. Campers will demonstrate a basic understanding of the devotional material.
2. Campers will be able to look up and find verses in the Bible.
3. Pastors will receive high ratings from staff on summer end evaluations.
GOAL 2: Living in community with Christian life role models
l. Recruit staff who are clearly living a holy Christian life.
2. Stress the value of role modeling during staff orientation.
3. Program activities throughout the summer such as staff personal devotional times, rest periods, and staff devotions that will encourage all staff to grow in their own Christian experience and heighten overall inspiration.
4. Instill the truth that "personal spiritual growth is what makes a Christian role model authentic."
5. Provide programming that will allow campers to see their counselors (and other staff members) in a wide variety of life situations.
6. Provide programming such as cabin group camp outs, hikes, challenge course activities, etc. that will give counselors adequate time with their campers to develop deep personal relationships.
1. Campers will build beneficial relationships with other campers and staff.
2. Campers will receive at least one follow up letter reaffirming their relationship with Christ and highlighting their experiences at camp.
3. Staff will express at least one area of personal growth while serving at camp on their summer end evaluation.
GOAL 3: Provide staff and programming that will foster spiritual, emotional, social and physical growth in each camper.
1. All programming should be designed to create a proper balance between these four growth areas and to contribute to the basic goal.
2. Priority must always be given to physical and emotional safety.
3. All activities should in some way contribute to growth in one or more of these areas.
4. Concepts of Adventure Based Counseling such as creating and building trust, setting realistic goals, and group sharing should be evident in all activities.
1. Campers will eagerly participate in our programs activities; verbally expressing their pleasure about a camp activity; recommending it to others and rating the program highly on week's end evaluation forms.
2. Campers will learn one new skill during their camp experience.
3. Campers will feel comfortable and know the words well enough to sing along with camp fire songs.
4. Campers will express their faith in Jesus Christ in both word and action; participating at least once per day in cabin devotions or fireside via comment, question, answer or voluntary prayer.
GOAL 4: Exposing campers to nature in a manner that will promote respect, appreciation and love for both the Creator and His creation.
l. Programming will utilize camp area resources (trails, campsites, and nature teaching areas) to increase nature awareness and appreciation.
2. Provide materials, teaching and experience to staff during orientation in the areas of camp crafts, local trails, campsites, and the ecology of the camp area.
3. Time will be programmed for "out of camp" activities such as nature hikes, trail hikes, cabin group cookouts and overnighters, astronomy study, etc. to stimulate interest and learning. "Knowledge is a prerequisite for love."
1. Campers will show an increased knowledge and recognition of the great out-of-doors; acknowledging his/her dependence on and responsibility to care for the natural environment.