MiVoden Improvements Approved

A decade ago, Upper Columbia Conference formed a master plan committee to update the Camp MiVoden facilities, especially since it had been in the 1970s since any major work had been done. They were also hoping to increase the capacity of the camp by adding some new buildings.

Within a few years, the committee submitted an application for a conditional use permit (CUP) as a private, nonprofit resort (the best definition for the camp under available county codes).

The words "resort" and "increased capacity" concerned many of the neighbors, and the CUP application met significant opposition from the surrounding community. It was denied in 2004.

In the years following, the MiVoden team built up support in the community, and decided to submit the application again.

Some alterations in the application were made. New toilets cut the estimated water usage need in half. Traffic studies showed increased capacity would not cause undue stress on the road and neighbors. Informational meetings and community newsletters improved neighbor relationships.

In 2008, MiVoden received preliminary approval for its waste water infrastructure, as well as final approval of traffic studies from the Lakes Highway District.

In June, MiVoden submitted a new CUP application. Following initial hearings, the county commissioners voted to approve MiVoden's CUP application in February 2009.

With this paper in hand, work can now begin on a new waste water treatment plant, a re-located shop building, and a RV park away from the beach. Construction on eight new children's cabins will begin during the spring and summer of 2010.

With this green light in place, raising funds for the MiVoden expansion projects moves into high gear. The MiVoden expansion is part of the Upper Columbia Conference $6 million Streams of Light capital campaign. Monies must be in hand for construction to take place. Donations can be made through tithe and offering envelopes or online at www.thestreamscampaign.com.

As a former MiVoden staffer says, "The camp's purpose is to help all who attend deal with the pressures of life and gain a clearer picture of what it means to love God and love other people."