Mission, Vision, Values:
Mission Statement: To use the camp setting to foster spiritual growth in the lives of individuals and the local church.
Vision Statement: We want to see the gospel transform lives, churches and communities as a result of time spent at Camp Elkanah.
Core Values: For a list of our core values that define who we are and how we make decisions, please click here.
For more about our identity and mission see: http://cbnw.org/about/identity/
Tyler Walsh serves as the Camp Director. Tyler is a graduate of Multnomah University in Portland, OR. He and his wife, Olivia, have two children: Isaac and Selah. Tyler has been to Europe and appeared on national television for two seconds as an audience member (not a contestant – unfortunately) of “The Price Is Right!”
As the Camp Director, Tyler oversees rentals and booking, personnel, summer camp, the camp budget, church connections, and the overall development of camp. Tyler started working at Camp Elkanah in the fall of 2012.
Tom Selman is the Assistant Director of Camp Elkanah. Tom grew up in La Grande. He met his wife, Vanessa, while working with Youth for Christ. Tom and Vanessa have two sons named Emerson and Oliver.
Tom oversees camp grounds and maintenance, guest services, volunteer coordination, hosting, and summer staff. Tom has been working at Camp Elkanah since the spring of 2013.
Camp Elkanah is proud to belong to two excellent organizations: CB Northwest and the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA). Below is a short description of each organization. You can also click on the logos to visit their websites.
CB Northwest is a covenant community of more than 240 Conservative Baptist Churches and Church Plants in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Camp Elkanah is owned and operated by 18 of these churches that comprise the area association within CB Northwest known as the Blue Mountain Association.
One of the hallmarks of CCCA has been its ability to provide quality education and training opportunities for the Christian camp and conference professional. Whether in management, food services, programming, guest services, grounds keeping or marketing, CCCA offers resources and education that have long-lasting impact for its members.
A Short History of Camp Elkanah
Camp Elkanah has its roots in the Mt Emily Lumber Company which was established back in 1924. August J. Stange, a lumberman from Wisconsin, began and built the Mt. Emily Lumber Co. in La Grande on the present site of the Boise Cascade Mill. The first log was cut in the mill on November 30, 1925.
As the Mt. Emily Lumber Company began logging, they would set up camps for their employees. The first camp was set up at 5 Points Creek (near Hilgard) in 1925. The camp was later moved up river in 1927 near Starkey and was named the Grande Ronde River Camp. One year later (1928) the company camp was moved to McCoy Creek and then in 1930 it was moved to the present site on Meadow Creek.
According to Mr. Bruce Moorehead (the Mt. Emily Logging superintendent), the main consideration in locating the Company Camp at the present site was the availability of water. There are many natural springs in the area with a good flow of water year round. When the Mt. Emily Lumber Company began putting the railroad through this area, there was only a small trail up the creek and no roads. There was an abundance of brush, small trees and old timber that was cleared to make way for the company camp. By September of 1930 there were about 150 people who were living at this camp. This camp served as Headquarters Camp for the Mt. Emily Lumber Company’s base of operations. It was the final camp ever built by this company and it continued to operate until the Company was sold in 1955. Most of the buildings including the houses were owned by the Mt. Emily Lumber Company, however a few families were able to own their own homes. The houses started out as whitewashed box cars and the families fixed them up. Additions were added as the families grew and even yards and gardens were planted. Cellars or caves were dug into the sides of the hillside to serve as low tech refrigerators. (Some of these caves can still be seen. ) Electricity was generated at the camp and the only thing lacking was bathroom facilities. Each house had a privy but showers were taken in the community shower house. Approximately 24-30 children attended a two room school which was actually two railroad cars. Those cars now serve as camper cabins and are named Samaria and Joppa.
The Mt. Emily Lumber Company closed down their camp and removed the railroad lines in the mid-fifties. In 1955, the Mt. Emily Lumber Co. was sold to Valsetz Lumber Company of Portland, Oregon and in 1960 Valsetz sold out to Boise Cascade Company.
On November 13, 1956, The Mt. Emily Division of the Valsetz Lumber Company donated 12 acres of land plus existing buildings to the Blue Mountain Conservative Baptist Association of Eastern Oregon (BMCBA). The camp was given to the Association with the purpose in mind that the site and facilities be used to benefit the young people of Eastern Oregon. Since 1956 the camp has served various schools, civic organizations and religious groups of Eastern Oregon. Shortly after the association acquired the camp, a contest was sponsored to name the camp. The winning name chosen was Elkanah. Elkanah is a Hebrew name meaning “God has acquired for Himself” or “God has redeemed.”
On April 28, 1986, Camp Elkanah acquired 170 additional acres from Boise Cascade Company to further expand camping programming for young people of Eastern Oregon. Oregon Highway 244 evenly divides the camp into 90 acres of land on both sides of the highway. Camp Elkanah operates as a year-round facility offering summer camps, hosting events, and renting our facilities to others.