A Christian camp outside Silverton is trying to make it possible for 100 Woodburn youths to attend a week of day camp this June, but it needs support from the community.
Canyonview Camp has been in operation for more than 50 years, offering family work camps, horseback riding camps, overnight camps and day camps with a non-denominational Christian foundation. When volunteer Lance Kamstra started to promote the camp in Woodburn, he learned that many young people face barriers to attending camp, like money.
"We get all kinds (of customers) from Salem, and nothing from Woodburn," Kamstra said. "We're finding there are a lot of kids who have never gone to camp before."
So the first week of summer vacation, June 19-23, has been designated Woodburn Week, with kids ages 6-11 able to attend at a reduced cost of $45 ($100 off the regular price). This price includes round-trip transportation from either Mid Valley Community Church or Hope Lutheran Church, both in Woodburn, as well as activities, which include horseback rides, canoeing, swimming and Bible class. Campers are asked to bring their own sack lunches.
Campers will catch the buses at 8 a.m. and return by 3:30 p.m. every day, except for the last day of camp. On that day, students are picked up at 11:30 a.m. and parents are invited and bring a dish that evening for a potluck dinner, during which the students share a program illustrating what they learned and did that week.
"It's like a VBS (vacation Bible school) but it's outdoors and it's a little longer," Kamstra said.
Between camp workers and a dozen volunteers from Mid Valley, supervision won't be an issue, with three counselors (college-age and teenage) for every eight campers.
So far, fundraising efforts have raised about half of the needed $10,000 to send the kids to the camp. Money has been donated by local service organizations, and camp volunteers themselves are raising money at local events, like Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and the Bauman's Farm and Garden Easter Egg Hunt.
"The hope is to have this as an annual event," Kamstra said. "We hope the kids and families of Woodburn can depend on us to get their kids to camp every year, that it becomes a desired place each and every year."
Families interested in learning more about the camp, located at 13000 Finlay Road, Silverton, can visit between 1 and 3 p.m. this Saturday for an open house, or by attending a family work camp at Canyonview over Memorial Day weekend. Find out more at canyonviewministries.org.
To register your child for Woodburn Week by June 12, call Jessica with Mid Valley Community Church at 503-981-1911 or Pam with Hope Lutheran Church at 503-981-0400.
Anyone interested in donating can contact Kamstra at 503-871-4434 or visit the website.