A History of Shiloh Bible Conference
A History of Shiloh
This Christian Camp was first started by an American Sunday School Union missionary, Ray Chandler, in 1937. The camp was located along the Payette River at the Swinging Bridge Forestry Camp, north of Boise, Idaho. This camp was established as a way to gather area children together and teach them the good news about Jesus Christ, while providing them wholesome fun at the same time. (In case you do not know, the American Sunday School Union (ASSU) changed its name to the American Missionary Fellowship (AMF) in 1974, and then to InFaith in recent years.) Back in those days, they just gathered kids together to camp out along the Payette River. Over the years much has changed, including the acquiring of our own property through a generous donation in 1981. We now have 14 cabins, a main building with a chapel and dining hall, a bath house and a caretaker's home, which have all been built debt free, as that is our policy. We have also added many activities including canoeing, archery, riflery, horsemanship, sports activities, self-defense, forestry, etc. However, even though many things have changed, one thing has not, and that is the desire to teach kids the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We seek to be faithful to our purpose of reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope that every camper has fun and grows in their relationship with Jesus.
In 1981, Shiloh Bible Camp received 9.22 acres of donated land from the Gestrin Family which is now the permanent location for the camp. The land is situated near Cascade Lake a few miles from Donnelly, Idaho. After 1981, the Gestrin Family donated three more acres, and two other acres were purchased (with donations) adjacent to the camp, which has increased the camp size to 14.22 acres.
In 2020, there are 3 full-time dedicated missionaries and over 100 volunteers who carry out the year round camp operations. There are winter and summer camp programs, which are provided for 3rd through 12th grade campers. There is also a very popular family camp in September. During non-camp times of the year the camp, is rented for church retreats and Christian groups at just enough to cover expenses to run the camp.
The purpose of this camping ministry is to create and maintain a Christian Conference Center for the furtherance of the Gospel, and to facilitate ministry outreaches that are evangelical, with a major emphasis on nurture in the Word of God, growth and service.
Many camps these days seem to be distracted by all the activities. The activities become their primary focus, and even their very identity. Although we have many activities at Shiloh and strive to do our best to insure the campers have a blast, our primary focus is still the Word of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We give first priority to chapels, cabin devotions, personal devotions, Bible Quizzing, and our Ultimate Challenge (an extended, theme based team competition) geared to teach spiritual principles.
We are also committed to keeping the price of our camps as low as possible, so that as many kids as possible can come and hear about Jesus. We accomplish this through a variety of means. Our full time staff are missionaries who raise their own support. All our support staff are volunteer, and we rely heavily on donations. Our operating costs are not met in full by the funds we receive from camper fees. This means we rely on monthly donations, and other gifts that gracious donors give to our ministry. One of the neatest blessings we have been experiencing is the large number of children who are attending camp because their parents came to Shiloh when they were kids. In 2020, over 500 attended Shiloh Bible Camp.
Shiloh is a non-profit organization and non-denominational. The camp/conference center is guided by 11 dedicated board members from eastern Oregon and western Idaho.