- East Iowa Bible Camp
company_name = East Iowa Bible Camp
company_type = Corporation
genre = Christian Summer Camp
foundation = 1944
founders = Rev. Darrel Rhodes and Mr. Alfred Wyant
location_city = Deep River, Iowa
location_country = USA
location = Deep River, Iowa
area_served = United States
num_employees = 30+
company_slogan = To Know Christ and Make Him Known
homepage = www.eastiowabiblecamp.org
East Iowa Bible Camp is a
non denominational Christian summer camplocated in Deep River, Iowa. It was established in 1944. It's motto is "To Know Christ and To Make Him Known".
The East Iowa Bible Conference was formed by a group of pastors and laymen who began meeting in the fall of
1943to plan for a camp, came from the communities of Deep River, North English, Marengo, Tama, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Shellsburg, Columbus Junction, Sigourney, and Sully.
The outcome of these meetings was a decision to build the camp on a site four miles west of
Millersburgand nine miles east of Deep Riverwhere land from the Virgil Grimm farm was given for this purpose. In the same area, a good supply of used lumber was obtained by tearing down a large barn. The men worked diligently, giving unsparingly of their time during the winter of 1943-1944, the work progressed particularly well in the record mild winter. It was possible to get the cement and block work done for the basement of the main chapel-dining room building and erect the whole structure before spring. In addition the dormitory building to house guest speakers was built; also, a shallow well was drilled.
A camp schedule was set up and a staff was engaged to open the camp for use July 1, 1944. The war was on and rationing was in force. This meant applying for ration points sufficient to meet the needs of campers. Bunks for the cabins had been purchased from army surplus but there were no mattresses. Shopping for this item had been done but a supply was unavailable. The situation seemed hopeless until the last minute--literally. The mattresses came in on a truck the day camp opened.
July 4thof the same year, a dedication service was held at the camp with about 200 persons in attendance. An appropriate stone, donated by the Anderson Monument Company of Cedar Rapidsand inscribed with the words "The Book, The Blood, The Blessed Hope" was set in place at the base of the flagpole. Mr. John Ballinsky of Sigourneywas the speaker. There were many choked voices and wet eyes as the blessings of God were recounted.
On August 5, 1944 the first annual business meeting was held. The permanent officers elected were as follows: President, Rev. Darrel A. Rhodes; Vice President, Mr. Alfred Wyant; Secretary Mr. E. L. Elam; and Treasurer, Rev. F. P. Pickett. Reports show that 19 souls accepted Christ in that first camp season. The year 1944 ended with a relatively small indebtedness.
Articles of Incorporationwere drawn up and recorded. Bylawswere also written. These were rewritten in 1952 and again in 1969. These include the doctrinal statement, which has remained unchanged [note: since this document was written, a statement was added in 1984 to clarify the position of the Conference on Spiritual Gifts. The original statements remain unchanged.] Camp registrations fluctuated from year to year as time went on but on the whole, there was gain in support and attendance as more churches became acquainted with the work.
During the 1956 and 1957 seasons there was a water shortage in the camp, and Mr. Virgil Grimm hauled water daily during the weeks of camp so it could operate. This was a great chore. A deep well, 712 feet with a 5 ½ inch casing, was completed in 1957 at a cost of about $2,500. This was much more than the expected cost, it was paid for in a year.
In 1956 four acres of land adjoining the camp grounds on the north were given by Mr. Virgil Grimm to the camp for an artificial lake, During the following three years, the land was cleared of trees and stumps; an earthen dam was put up by bulldozer; over 150 tons of sand was hauled in to make a bathing beach; and a boat dock, floating dock, and life guard stand were built.
The campgrounds were extended again in 1966 by acquiring two acres on the east. This area provided more room for recreation and space for campers and trailers to park. Also in 1966, construction of a now bath house began and was finished the next year. In this same period, scores of large elm trees were lost to the elm disease and had to be removed. Electric wires had to be buried. Considerable expense and much work went into this, but a good wiring system resulted. About 50 Young trees have been set out on the grounds, and more are needed to make the grounds attractive in the years ahead.
A new swimming pool, opened in 1969, proved to be a great asset to the camp program. It was badly needed due to the problem of algae in the lake, which made it very unsatisfactory for swimming. Constructed with mostly volunteer labor at a cost of about $18,000, the pool, which was desired from the camp's beginning, is perhaps the greatest single-year improvement in the camp’s physical history and something for which we praise the Lord.
The spiritual life of the Conference gets first priority as the program is planned each year. The doctrinal statement and the motto ("To Know Christ-To Make Him Known") adopted by the founders are upheld. A dedicated staff and counselors who subscribe to the doctrinal statement are recruited, with the end goal of the camp being that children come to know
During the summer months, usually beginning in the 1st or 2nd week of June, the camp begins it's summer youth camp schedule. The schedule breakdown is as follows;High School Week #1;8th Grade Camp;7th Grade;Beginners "Cowboy" Camp ~ 1st and 2nd graders stay for 3 days and 2 nights either at the beginning or end of the week depending on which day of the week Independence day happens to fall.Family Weekend Retreat;6th Grade;5th Grade;4th Grade;3rd Grade;High School Week #2;Family Camp ~ 2nd or 3rd week in August
* [http://www.eastiowabiblecamp.org East Iowa Bible Camp Homepage]
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