Regional Summer Camps for Faith Communities
Camp Sanders is fully booked during summer
Camp Sanders, which has camp, retreat and conference facilities on 90 acres in southern Benewah County in Idaho, canceled camps and was closed last year, using reserve funds to keep three part-time staff employed mowing the grounds and maintaining the camp.
In 2021, its 86th year, it is open again with a schedule of camps for children, adults and families, offered by related church groups, and camps offered by groups from Washington State University, the University of Idaho and fraternal organizations, as well as family retreats and weddings, said Daniel Willms, executive director since 2016.
Camps, which are primarily Thursdays through Sundays, are fully booked in July and August with more reservations than other years.
Camp Sanders sponsors five camps and programs—a men's winter advance, a women's spring retreat, a family camp, kids camp and senior adult retreat.
The camp began in 1935 as a Free Methodist camp and then it was sold to a group of investors from Free Methodist churches who formed Sanders Christian Camp, Inc., the nonprofit that manages the camp.
Drawing many Free Methodists from Montana, Washington, Idaho and Oregon, the camp has a capacity of 195.
Other groups rent the camp's dorms, cabins, dining hall, chapel, gym and RV spaces year round for meetings, seminars, trainings and retreats, with reduced capacity in the winter because not all facilities are heated.
In Idaho, Daniel, who said he had COVID, said most COVID protocols require mask wearing for food preparation and food services. Idaho recently ended mask mandates.
He is not asking for campers' vaccination status, and said that there has not been a big push for vaccinations in the area of the camp.
Daniel grew up a mile up the road from Camp Sanders, leaving after high school to earn a bachelor's degree in 1984 from Prairie College Bible School in Three Hills, Alberta northeast of Calgary.
He completed graduate studies at Portland Seminary in 1987 and worked at a Christian Supply bookstore until 1994. He then was executive director of emergency social services with the Walla Walla Helpline for six years before moving back to be close to family and work with his brother in construction.
As a child, Daniel, who is pastor of His Church at Sanders and the Community Church on the campground, would swim in the camp's Little Gem Lake, which is created from April to October when a dam on Indian Creek is closed.
"We keep costs low so people can afford to leave the 'rat race' for a time of renewal and recreation," he said.
Daniel said the camp's COVID plans, online at campsanders.net, tell people who are sick to stay home. They ask people to wash hands, distance indoors and outdoors, and wear a mask. Staff sanitize dining hall surfaces and high-touch areas.
For information, call 208-892-4842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree,June, 2021