History

History

HISTORY OF
CENTER LAKE BIBLE CAMP
In 1956 Center Lake Bible Camp first opened its grounds to summer camping.  Through God's grace and guidance His people have worked to see His ministry grow and prosper. 
 

Most visible to the casual observer has been the increase of facilities.  The original piece of land, purchased in 1954, is nestled along the edge of the beautiful spring fed Center Lake.  The land was heavy with forest, as well as some cleared meadow.  Within two years of the purchase, a dining hall, eight cabins, a bathhouse and canteen had been added to the grounds.  Outdoor activity areas were also constructed such as softball fields, volleyball courts and a beach area.
By the time campers showed up for the first time in the summer of 1956, all but two cabins had been finished.  A large tent was used to house the overflow of campers.
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1971

Development has continued at Center Lake since then.  Due to a constant increase in campers and staff, three staff cabins were build between 1960 and 1965.  A beautiful chapel was built in 1964 allowing for chapel services and Bible classes to move from the basement of the dinning hall.  In 1969-70 a duplex cabin and a service garage were also added to the grounds.

The grounds have also expanded in size from the first 40 acres to a total of 120.  The additional 80 acres was purchased  in 1969 .  Heavily wooded, this property is well suited to both wilderness and nature programming.

In the fall of 1972, Center Lake began a new facet of its ministry.   The dining hall and staff cabins were winterized and year-around camping operations began.  It wasn't too long, however, before our program received a smashing blow.  On May 31, 1973 a fire, started by lightning, destroyed the dining hall. 
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1976 Staff
This was solved by converting the chapel to the multipurpose use of dining hall and meeting area.

After the chapel had been redone there was the long term problem to be solved.  A permanent dining hall was needed to continue a growing ministry.  The solution came in the form of a new dining lodge which was completed for use in 1976.  This new building included a complete modern kitchen, large dining hall and lounge on the main floor, and recreation area, restrooms, and two large dorms in the lower level.

Between 1976 and 1985, a number of other buildings have been added.  In 1981 a home was build for the director.  In 1983 the old nurses' quarters were expanded and turned into the camp office.  And in 1988 a new home was built for the assistant director.

An A-Frame was built on the athletic field, a storage mini barn on the waterfront, and an old storage shed was remodeled into a nurses' cabin.  The camp store was relocated to the main floor of the dining lodge.  In 1989 the camp completely upgraded and improved the sewer system to correct deficiencies and provide for future development.
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1981 Jr Boy

In 1990 the "Adopt -a -Cabin" program began.  Various churches in the MBGC adopted a camper cabin and completely remodeled and winterized it.   To date 10 cabins are now being used year around.  This also necessitated winterizing the bathhouse the same year.  The program continues with all camper cabins targeted for future completion.  Also in 1990, a small tack barn and a riding arena were built to start a horsemanship program.

1991 also saw the beginning of the renovation of the guest cabins located on the east side of the chapel.  Three units were  converted into two bedroom cabins suitable for the growing need of adult housing.

A new 110 ' waterslide was built in 1992.  This is on the waterfront and goes directly into Center Lake.

1994 a Horse Village for campers was established.  This consisted of two wooden floor tent cabins, plus a permanent bathhouse with toilets and showers.  Also 4 mobile homes were purchased for summer staff housing.

1995 we were blessed with a new dispensary building built by donations in the memory of one of our beloved volunteers as a living memorial to her service to our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1996, another large donation helped to build a 50' x 100' horse barn.  The hopes of this new building are that someday the horses will be available for use year-round.  Also in 1996, construction of a separate craft building was begun, with hopes of using this new facility for the 1997 summer programs.

In 1997, a complete chapel renovation project began.  Also, that same year the kitchen received a larger walk-in cooler and freezer.  In October, 1997 a house fire did severe damage to the assistant program director/staff house. The completed chapel project was dedicated on May 1, 1999.

In 2000-2005, two decks were added off the lodge, one overlooking Center Lake and the other off the main entrance.  The the lodge was expanded to house a campstore, reception area and bathroom.  Also, a BMX bike course, a bouldering wall, an initiative course, a 20’ and 40’ high ropes course were added into the adventure program aspect of camp and  the Noah’s Ark Playground was dedicated.
 
Center Lake continues to expand its facilities and program year after year as the Lord blesses.
History Booklet
Never too Late to Remember Booklet

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