SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Youth Camp At Orton Ranch Provides Christian Camping Experience


July 17, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - Forty-four children and twenty-three adult leaders, representing three different churches, recently participated in a children's youth camp for five days at Orton Ranch. The South Tongass Alliance Church hosted the camp on Naha River, which was their first such experience.

jpg Orton Ranch Children's Camp Group

Orton Ranch Children's Camp Group
Photograph courtesy Leslie Randall

According to Leslie Randall, who has been involved in Christian camping since 1974, Westview Christian Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and First Christian Church, Titusville, Florida, both sent a mission team to teach the local church volunteers the ins and outs of running a Christian youth camp. The mission teams, comprised of volunteers with Christian camping experience and who are all active with the youth in their home congregations, planned and organized a structured camp program for the youth of Ketchikan. They worked closely with the South Tongass Alliance volunteers, teaching them as the week progressed, and sharing helpful advice. Randall said, "This is nothing new to the folks from the Florida church, as they have been helping local congregations here in Ketchikan with camp since 2001.

jpg swimming in the Naha

Campers enjoyed swimming in the Naha River daily
Photograph courtesy Leslie Randall

"Christian camping is really popular in Florida," states Robyn McDole, head of the Puppet Ministry at the Titusville Church, "and we are thrilled to be able to share what we know with this church family in Ketchikan."

Cheryl Hoggard, Director of Children's Ministries, at the South Tongass Alliance Church said that several local businesses and individuals also contributed to help the program go so smoothly and is very grateful to the following:

  • Southeast Stevedoring provided water transportation to and from camp.
  • Miles Enright transported gear and supplies in and out of camp via helicopter.
  • Guardian Flight provided the medical supplies for the emergency kit as well as water transportation out of camp. They also were available for medevac transport, which fortunately was not needed.
  • The First Baptist Church of Ketchikan provided ground transportation and water transportation for the mission teams.

jpg awards ceremony

On the final night of camp, there was an awards ceremony
to recognize special achievements
Photograph courtesy Leslie Randall

Cade King, pastor of the South Tongass Alliance Church, which temporarily meets in the high school auditorium, said he is so thrilled with the outcome of the camp that he hopes to expand the age group next summer and add some specialty camps as well.



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Ketchikan, Alaska