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/
Tom Selman is the Director of Camp Elkanah. Tom met his wife, Vanessa, while working with Youth for Christ in La Grande and got married in 2007. He previously served with his family in the assistant director role at Camp Elkanah from 2013-2016 and was promoted to camp director in 2016. Tom and Vanessa have two sons named Emerson and Oliver.
As the Camp Director, Tom oversees rentals and booking, personnel, summer camp, the camp budget, church connections, and the overall development of camp.
Landen Reddington is the Assistant Director of Camp Elkanah. Landen was married August of 2016 to Josephine, a long time camper and summer staff member at Camp Elkanah. The two met while working on summer staff together the summer of 2014. Since then Landen and his wife have been involved in camp and youth group ministries. Landen has a passion for evangelism and watching the Gospel transform people’s lives, as it did with his.
As the Assistant Camp Director, Landen oversees grounds maintenance, volunteer coordinating and recruiting, and camp hosting. Landen provides assistance to the director in booking summer staff, planning summer camp, and the overall development of camp.
Camp Elkanah is proud to belong to CB Northwest. Below is a short description of the organization. You can also click on their logo to visit their website.
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.
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.
NOTE: We are always interested in collecting photos and memories of Camp Elkanah’s past. If you have a photo from the past or a story to share. Please email us: email@example.com