Youth Camp Ministry in British Columbia began in 1938 on Gabriola Island. The Camp Director was Jim Ackerman. In 1940, the camp was located at Orlohma Beach on Indian Arm, North Vancouver. The next location was Wood Lake near Winfield. In 1945 campers attended at Camp Hope in the Village of Hope, BC until 1970 when Ray H. Anderson relocated the summer camp to Harmon Lake, near Merritt. In 1971, Bob Tetz moved the camp to Adams Lake and the Fintry property near Vernon on the Okanagan Lake.
After some negotiations Bob Tetz, in 1975, moved the camp to the current property owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, known as Camp Hope. The camp would continue to be operated by the youth department. It was agreed that there would be three items for the summer camp.
1. A permanent horse program
2. A swimming pool
3. The property east of the second creek to be the home of the youth camp.
The name of the Summer Camp would become Camp Chawuthen. With twenty acres of crown land to the north side of the camp permission was granted to provide nature and hiking trails.
In 1976, Pastor Don Melashenko continued the process of establishing Camp Chawuthen permanently at Camp Hope.
In 1985, Pastor Jim Gaull became the Camp Director. PJ as Pastor Jim was called improved and updated the facilities and equipment. A youth pavilion was built as well as a cabin for the Youth Director
In 1996, Doug Brown was camp director for two seasons. He increased the appreciation of living in the outdoors and learning about nature.
Mrs. Brown took over the responsibility of runner the camp in 1998 only to be confronted with a fire in the fall.
Thankfully, Dean Kettner a previous staff at camp and Pathfinder Director accepted the invitation to be the youth director beginning in the fall of 1998. Dean was a volunteer fireman in Nanaimo and helped investigate fires on the island. Dean’s passion for the camp and understanding of construction and management was able to build the camp back up again in time for the 1999 season. Many consider this a miracle. From there Dean sought to improve the facilities of the camp. A new pathfinder bowl for worships can be enjoyed by many at the base of Half Ledge. Two new boats to the camp were acquired, the “GAP” was modified to meet broader needs, the horse corral now has suitable stables, and four paddocks were constructed. Dean increased the expectation of having a well run camp by acquiring accreditation from the British Columbia Camping Association. He was able to obtain the highest accreditation which is recognize for four years. He started a process for developing a master plan for all of Camp Hope. A process that is still in the beginning stages to date. Dean also made significant changes to the name of the Camp. The camp was registered as Mountain View Summer Camp. In reality there are two operations on the ground of what is known as Camp Hope. One is the Mountain View Camp and Conference Centre and two, is the Mountain View Summer Camp and Retreat Centre. Both serve the people of British Columbia with a place of restoring ones soul, experiencing the Creator and His creation, and of meeting Jesus, the Saviour who demonstrates every person matters to God.
In 2004, change was in the air and Pastor Troy McQueen stepped in between pastoral assignments and managed a difficult year for the camp.
In 2005, Pastor Brian Wahl became the Summer Camp Director. New to camp administration he counted on young adults who had been at camp for a number of years. Through their expertise Brian become comfortable running the camp with excellence. With sports and outdoor adventures being an interest of Wahl’s a second volley ball court was made and a high and low ropes challenge course was built. A ten year maintenance schedule was developed to keep the camp in great operational order. Accreditation continues with four year terms. The “GAP” now has a full climbing wall with chimney and “cave”. The configuration has changed yet again, complete with lighting, a suitable stage and permanently installed sound. Registration is online and registration was revamped. Currently there is a plan for continued follow up throughout the year of campers making their decision for Christ. The plan includes staff encouraging campers to live like Jesus. Pastors are encouraged to follow up on those who attend camp.
Looking to the future, Pastor Wahl hopes to bring closer to reality the vision for a Master Plan in order that Mountain View Summer Camp will continue another 80+ years should the second coming of Jesus be delayed.
We can get a glimpse of our future as we remember how God has led in the past. This is a brief synopsis of the British Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventist camping ministries. All young people and young at heart are invited to participate in attending this amazing ministry through attendance, sending a child/grandchild to camp, volunteering, and/or donating to the forward progress of camping ministries by Mountain View Summer Camp.