A Place to Belong Sunset Lake Camp Celebrates 50 Years of Camping Excellence

A horse with its young rider wandered off the path. When the accompanying wrangler saw the problem, she calmed the girl down, guided the horse back and said, "Just like horses drift off the path, we also drift off God's path. Jesus leads us back."

In a "Eureka!" moment, the girl said, "Oh, I get it!"

Moments like this illustrate what camp is all about, and what has driven Sunset Lake Camp for the last 50 years.

Driving through Wilkeson, Wash., is a step back in time. At the top of the hill beyond the stone quarry is a little oasis: Sunset Lake Camp. Purchased in 1957 and expanded over the years, it is a modern-day adventure where campers can experience new friends, new challenges, and a new perspective on God.

What makes this place so special? "It is a place where people feel they belong," said David Yeagley, camp director. "They won't get tired of a place where they really feel accepted."

Beyond the motto—a place where you belong—is another goal. "We're trying to create a place where people come to find something deeper," Yeagley said. Yes, there are the typical camp activities—the water blob, challenge course, archery, crafts and more—but the activities are focused on bringing young people closer to Jesus.

"The atmosphere and staff at Sunset Lake reflect Jesus," said Erin Garner, head wrangler. "The staff pushes each other to show Jesus."

Sunset Lake administration is exploring ways to improve and broaden the ministry of year-round camp facilities. The three-phase improvement plan, estimated at $12 million, would provide better housing accommodations, expanded activity areas and additional meeting locations.

The face of campers and staff change over the years, but the purpose still remains: Sunset Lake Camp is a place to learn more about Jesus.

September 01, 2007 / Washington Conference