Fig Tree Logo

Camps and Retreat Centers 2024

Camp Spalding fills camps, plans to expand facilities

Screened dining deck seats 50 more people. Photo courtesy of the camp


Andy Sonneland, executive director of Camp Spalding for 34 years, reported that more campers were registered for this summer than ever before. Within the first 24 hours of camp registration opening on March 11, 850 registered.

"We have sold out camps and waiting lists without advertising," he said.

As a result, Camp Spalding on Davis Lake near Newport is expanding its facilities to accommodate more campers. Last year they covered and screened a dining deck to seat 50 more people, adding to the existing seating of 250 in the dining hall.

"We are working on our waterfront area to expand usable space with 5,000 square feet of tiered patios, restrooms, a snack bar and new boat house," Andy said.

In addition, Camp Spalding is planning to raise money from donors and camper families to build two more cabins next year.

"The Gospel is still good news, and it's what we continue to share," he said. "We continue to pursue the mission of this camp established long before I came.

"Young people still want to know and follow Jesus," Andy continued. "Yes, camp is a blast. It's a super fun week, but kids come back because they experience the presence of Christ and community with others who follow Jesus.

"It's not the facilities or toys, but it's coming to know Jesus more deeply and follow him more closely," he affirmed.

Brief messages shared at campfires and follow-up cabin discussions look at life's questions and "how the words and life of Jesus are relevant to the campers' world."

Andy said 83 percent of campers last summer came from other than the historical constituency of the camp, the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest. Twenty years ago, most came from Presbyterian churches in the region.

Most are from communities in the Inland Northwest.

Camp Spalding offers two sessions for every age group. There are half-week sessions for second- to fourth-graders, and full-week sessions for grades five and six, seven and eight, and nine to 12. Other camps include a leadership camp and a family camp.

"We have nine weeks of program camps for children, youth and families led by summer staff of 40 college and post-college individuals who serve as role models and mentors.

For information, call 731-4244 or visit
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, June 2024