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The urgent need to rebuild the Lodge Big Lake Youth Camp

"People will experience a love so compelling that they will spend the rest of their lives pursuing its source."

-Vision of Big Lake Youth Camp

"We build leaders that change the world"

-Mission of Big Lake Youth Camp

The Urgent Need to Rebuild the Lodge

The iconic lodge at Big Lake Youth Camp is in a state of emergency. We have been advised that we should cease using the building. To begin with, the roof has major leakage issues. In attempting to deal with repairing the roof, multiple engineering reports have informed us that we should not conduct the repair without bringing the entire building up to current building code for our heavy snow loads. Unfortunately, reinforcing the existing building has been eliminated as a feasible option. So, after three years of assessments and proposals, the final conclusion is that we are unable to repair the roof without rebuilding the entire lodge.

1,000 meals per day are served in the lodge each summer

The Role of the Lodge

The lodge is the most essential building in the camp operations of Big Lake. In a typical summer, 1,000 meals per day are served from this building. Classes, worships, Bible studies, and activities also happen in the lodge. When we have a rainy day, the lodge houses the bulk of our campers, providing a space to play 4-way volleyball and other activities. Simply put, it would be logistically prohibitive to operate summer camp without the lodge. It would also be potentially catastrophic for Big Lake to be closed another year to accomplish this project of rebuilding the lodge.

"Simply put, it would be logistically prohibitive to operate summer camp without the lodge."
The new Pacific Crest Trail Center and new girls village cabins

Responsibility

We believe that it is paramount to take care of the assets that have been entrusted to Big Lake Youth Camp. That is why, over the past five years, thanks to the heroes of our community, we have rebuilt ten girl's village cabins, a clinic, and built the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Welcome Center. This June we will also be reopening a renovated headquarters building. We have worked diligently to build strong relationships with the Forest Service and the community at large. We partner with 20-30 corporate partners that subsidize the operations of the PCT center. Therefore, be assured that when you donate, we are doing our utmost to be as efficient as possible and be excellent stewards of what is entrusted to us.

Cost and Logistics

The estimated cost of rebuilding the lodge is $2.5 Million. The Forest Service is deeply supportive of this project happening this summer and has cleared the way for us to move ahead pending the results of one final archeological study that is underway. We have a path forward with a construction company and the county has expressed support in helping with permits as needed.

2019 staff, pictured in the lodge

Big Lake Strong

The strength of Big Lake is the community. All of us who have sent our kids to Big Lake, attended ourselves, worked as a staff member, or volunteered as a medical professional, boat driver, RAD camps pro, winter host or Maranatha volunteer believe in and fight for this special place. Big Lake is our camp. It has been a haven to PCT hikers, lost snowmobilers, and thousands of campers that have found safety and support in the uplifting message of love lived out on these sacred grounds. A project of this magnitude, especially in this climate, will only happen because God lays a burden on the hearts of this community to preserve and protect this special place.

The Urgency of this Moment

So, this is the urgency of the moment. We have a small window of opportunity to accomplish the most urgent building project we have had at Big Lake in decades during a summer when camp is forced to close. For the first time in decades, camp is closed due to COVID-19. So, this is our opportunity to make lemonade from lemons. To wait for another year would be incredibly challenging and potentially catastrophic for camp operations and ministry. The timeline for the rebuilding begins almost immediately. Any delay, will impact camp operations for next year and beyond. Please be a hero of Big Lake. We can do this. Please donate!

Credits:

Created with images by Sergei Akulich - "Smoky morning in Cascades" • Jesús Terrés - "Chef in Xavier Pellicer Restaurant"