I had the great pleasure of speaking with Randy Adlerfer, Director of the Echo Ranch Bible Camp, last week to catch up on what’s been happening with the Camp and the construction of their new chapel. Founded in 1964, in Berner’s Bay, Echo Ranch Bible Camps’ mission is to Echo God’s Glory by building the body of Christ through Christian camping and partnership with the church. Thanks to all who generously gave of their time, talent and treasure, the summer camp season of 2019 in Juneau, Alaska will be filled with a joyful noise unto the Lord from a brand-new worship space.
The new chapel was lovingly built with 100% volunteer labor and approximately $300,000 of materials and was completed in the fall of 2018. There are seats for up to 250 people to sing praise and give thanks to our God both morning and evening each day they are at camp. The facilities include a stage fully equipped with lighting, audio visual equipment, and a built-in puppet stage to draw even the youngest camper into the light of Jesus.
The camp season is 9-10 weeks each summer and serves approximately 840 children who live primarily in southeastern Alaska. The children are largely unchurched so for 60%-70% of the campers, Echo Ranch Bible Camp provides their first worship services and a wonderful opportunity to experience the love of Christ through each of the 30 volunteer counselors. The camp has gained such a great reputation, there is a waiting list for most sessions each summer. The camp serves children in four age groups: (7-9), (10-11), junior high and high school students to 18 years of age each summer on 160 acres of land donated by Allen and Catherine McMurchies. Check out their website for more information or how to become a volunteer camp counselor! www.echoranch.org
Randy shared that the camp also provides scholarships for children whose parents cannot afford to pay the fees for a week at camp. No child is turned away due to financial hardship. He also shared that the next capital project will be the new construction of two staff houses to accommodate the growing staff and house two of the families serving full time. Currently, the staff cabins use wood stoves for heat and have no electricity, so they are looking to raise $340,000.00 to complete this project.
Echo Bible Ranch is clearly a sign of God’s loving presence in this world, bringing hope to the hopeless and serving as a beacon of the light of Christ to all who have the pleasure to attend or to serve. Randy and his team of dedicated volunteers truly appreciate the generous contributions that made the building of their new chapel possible.
Thanks to Randy Alderfer for sharing his passion for this camp and his vision for the future of spreading the gospel in southeastern Alaska!
Respectfully submitted by Catherine Fitzgerald, board member