Beaver Camp (Lowville, New York, USA)
Beaver Camp is owned and operated by Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association (AMCA), a group of over 200 member families, and is governed by a board of directors.
In the late 1950s the Mennonite churches in Northern New York discerned a need for a church camp 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, New York. Meanwhile, Abner Zehr opened his own Lake Ontario camp to the Woodville Mennonite congregation for a day camp.
Together with other Mennonites from Lewis County, a committee formed in 1964 to investigate a land purchase suitable for a camp. In April 1969, the Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association, then composed of 22 members, purchased Beaver Camp. Beaver Camp for Boys had begun in 1946 when Rev. O. T. Anderson purchased the camp property that had formerly been a German-style lodge. Anderson named the cabins, and the original names have remained 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.
The AMCA has sponsored successive Christian summer children's camps since the summer of 1969. In 1970 there were 155 campers over two weeks. 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 used throughout the year. A challenge course was installed in 1986. 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 ran simultaneously. A program for older age groups and one for younger age groups was implemented, allowing for more campers. Creation Investigation, a nature study program for Christian schools, was also first offered in 1992.
An average of 8,000 persons per year make use of Beaver Camp. Summertime capacity is 140; in the winter it is 100. Facilities in 2006 included an historic Adirondack lodge (dining, meeting and dorm rooms), a large pavilion with fireplace, rustic cabins and modern motel rooms.
In 2016 the Executive Director was Keith Zehr.
Eby, Larry and Mary Jane Brenneman, eds. In harmony with creation: seeking God's face in Mennonite camping. Elkhart, Indiana : Mennonite Camping Association, 2006: 55.
"History of Beaver Camp." Beaver Camp. 2016. Web. 17 November 2016. http://www.beavercamp.org/16-site/static/85-who-we-are.
Address: 8884 Buck Point Road, Lowville, NY 13367
|Date Published||November 2016|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Sam. "Beaver Camp (Lowville, New York, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2016. Web. 22 Feb 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Beaver_Camp_(Lowville,_New_York,_USA)&oldid=140998.
Steiner, Sam. (November 2016). Beaver Camp (Lowville, New York, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 February 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Beaver_Camp_(Lowville,_New_York,_USA)&oldid=140998.
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