Camp Gifford has been serving families in the inland Northwest by providing a week of residential summer camp since 1921. The Salvation Army owns and operates Camp Gifford as part of 45 camps all across the United States, with over 185,000 children and adults attending camp each year. Safety, innovative programming, and a focus on mission has kept The Salvation Army as a leader in the ministry of camp for over 100 years.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Jesus is at the center of everything we do. We want everyone who comes to Camp Gifford to seek, experience, and fully understand Jesus. During a camp week, by providing for the basic human needs of food, shelter, and a sense of belonging, we are able to create a safe place where change is possible so that all may be able to embrace Jesus Christ as the hope of the world. Our method is simply creating a safe space where experiencing God's creation through play and adventure can happen. All are welcome as The Salvation Army is committed to making summer camp possible for any child that wants to go, regardless of financial barriers.
The ABC's of Camp Gifford at Deer Lake
For children 7-12 years old.
A is for the A-frame cabins we have here at camp. This is the place where most of our campers start and end the day. They are designed with kids in mind using built in bunk beds that are safe and secure. Each cabin has an attached bathroom with appropriate privacy, and a loft where the Counselor and other staff stay. The loft is open to the bunks below so adult supervision is always able to hear and see what is happening in the cabin.
In addition to the A-frame cabins, we also have a modern dining hall where camper are served three hearty meals each full day of camp. We also give every camper one free item each day from the canteen (AKA:camp store), and an evening snack at their cabins. All of this is included in the price for attending camp.
Boats, yeah we have sail boats, kayaks, and paddle boats at our waterfront. We offer a variety of classes each week, and they are run and supervised by certified lifeguards.
Bows...and arrows too! We offer archery as a class where you learn safety commands, and the basics of how to shoot a bow and arrow from a certified instructor.
Beach, our waterfront is open every day to swim, jump off the diving board, and just have fun with your friends cooling off in Deer Lake.
Basketball, baseball, and a lot of other fun outdoor games that are offered throughout the camp week.
Big hikes, little hikes, mostly medium size hikes where we can explore the outdoors, get some exercise, and have fun.
Beginning to get the idea? We have lots of activities every day at camp.
Camp Cougar - Teen Wilderness Camp
The Beginning: The Wilderness Teen Camp at Camp Gifford began in 1999. The Camp was created to separate the teenagers from the younger children so that both age groups could enjoy a specific variety of age appropriate challenges and fun activities. The Wilderness Program is designed for teenagers ages 13-17 years old.
The Grounds: The Wilderness Camp is located beside a marsh land adjacent to Deer Lake. Its distance from the Main Camp Program areas is about a 15-minute walk, or a 5-minute drive. The scenery is very much secluded and set apart from the average teenager’s normal lifestyle but is still a safe distance from main camp. A wilderness effect was the aim so that the teens could experience God’s creation and have fun. Along with that, they could experience a different style of living and admiration of the outdoors. While our camp has, bathrooms, cabins and a dining hall, it is similar to a primitive camp site in that there is no electricity or running water.
Typical Activities at Wilderness Camp: The Wilderness Camp offers a variety of fun and challenging activities varying from various physical activities, including swimming in the lake to a sit-down campfire discussion. The campers will learn some wilderness and camping skills from our different lessons. These lessons might include the teaching of flora and fauna; variety of knots; survival lessons; lessons on what forests fruits are safe to eat or not; how to build shelters; first aid lessons and other educational topics. They will get to work in groups and actively participate in discussions, team building games, and participate in our high and low ropes course. The week’s activities culminates with a two day, one night backpacking trip.
What might a day a Camp Gifford look like?
(7:00) Wake-up: get ready for the day
(7:40) Flag Raising: start the day with respect
(8:50) Chapel: a teaching time to learn God’s truth from the bible in a fun interactive way.
(9:50) Elective Class: includes campers sign up for instruction in swimming, archery, air rifles, hiking, boating, ropes course, sports and games, arts and crafts, and more
(10:50) Cabin Activity/Clean Up: this includes many of the tribe time activities, but done on a sign up basis as a cabin group.
(1:45) Gifford Games
(2:45) Canteen: campers get 2 items for a snack
(3:05) Free-time: most of the program areas are open and campers are free to choose the activity they participate in, often doing a variety of activities during this time.
(5:05) Get Ready for Dinner
(5:35) Flag Lowering
(6:45) Camp wide: usually a large group game like capture the flag that includes all campers and staff.
(8:00) Campfire & Snack
(9:15) Back to Cabins: get ready for bed and cabin devotions.