Camp Lorraine Bursting at the Seams
What do you do when you plan for about 25 campers and 74 show up? Panic? No way! At least not if you are part of the staff of Alaska Camps under the direction of Laurie Hosey. For three years, Laurie Hosey has assembled a group of trained young people to run the three rustic summer camps in Alaska, known collectively as Alaska Camps. Usually, the average camper count at Camp Lorraine, a nine-mile tidewater boat ride from Wrangell, has been about 25. When the campers started arriving it was obvious the rumored increase in campers was a reality. The count was triple the usual!
Rather than panic, the mood was one of rejoicing. The Camp Lorraine operating board took a giant leap of faith and decided to charge only $65 for a week of camp. "Community support has been strong," commented Jim Eilertsen, camp caretaker. "The camp has received donations of fuel, food and boat transportation services from Wrangell businesses."
As the campers arrived at Camp Lorraine, a volunteer mission group from White Salmon, Wash., was just finishing a new A-frame cabin for one of the girls' units. Over the past several years this group has provided material and labor to construct three cabins for the camp. They would come every year except that it usually takes about two years to raise the $8,000 to $10,000 to purchase and ship the materials for each cabin.
Camp Lorraine and Camp Polaris, also a nine-mile boat ride from Aleknagik in western Alaska, are attended predominately by non-Adventist kids from their respective communities. In fact, of the 74 campers at Camp Lorraine this summer, fewer than 10 were Adventist. What a ministry! What a thrill for the camp staff to have nearly every camper respond to a call to commit to a life with Jesus at the center.