Camp Living Water Is Different
We are a camp for Indigenous children and youth, holding numerous free of charge week-long camps in Alberta and British Columbia. Our main operation to date is a summer camp in July & August for children aged 6 to 16. Our camps are both held in Vanderhoof, B.C. and at Camp Silver Meadows near Barrhead AB.
Camp Living Water has great plans for the future. We are currently raising funds for our new permanent campsite.
Part of our vision is to have year-round facilities which will include dormitories, a gymnasium, and a chapel - as well as a Training School to prepare young adults for outreach and a Learning Center for upgrading education, along with Life Skills training.
We also want to hold eight weeks of summer camps in Alberta (instead of five), as well as hosting family camps and weekend retreats.
Camp Living Water is deeply grateful to all who have been involved thus far and invite everyone to be a part of our dream.
Pictured below is an artists perception of our future camp.
Our purpose as an organisation is:
To provide a facility, accommodation and transportation where First Nations youth and children would, without cost, be able to hear and respond to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To provide an environment where the Holy Spirit can move in hearts, in salvation, in deliverance and in empowering life-changing testimony and ministry.
To provide a ministry that is unique and effective in reaching First Nations youth and children.
To establish a base of support, through communication, with churches and individuals who have a vision for this work.
To be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us, and accountable.
To maintain communication with those on the reserves, to encourage participation in the Camp Living Water setting and to see the work of God strengthened on the reserves as well.
History in Alberta
Ensuring Enjoyable Experiences
Camp Living Water began in the summer of 1979 on the farm of Larry and Jean Stewart. They had purchased a complete work camp with the goal of one day starting a camp. In cooperation with a church from Red Deer and some missionaries from the Rocky Mountain House area, camp began. Youth Pastor Alvin Weins directed the first two years of camp and recruited counsellors and helpers primarily from his youth group. Games were played in a cow pasture and transportation to swimming was in a half-ton with stock racks! Even a porcupine showed up to be chased around the pasture until it found refuge in a pile of wood. Larry Keegstra stepped in as director the third year.
Some years later, the camp moved to the next quarter south with the work camp being broken up into a dining hall, shower rooms and the girl’s dorm. A chapel was built, and a number more cabins were added. Even the outhouses received names including Ivan’s Hotel, the Palatial Biffy and the Crystal Cathedral (the latter having windows for a roof so you could look at the stars while doing your business at night!) This location featured a spring-fed swimming hole (cold!), a beautiful grass playing field, wild hayrides and a wonderful zip line.
Then, the camp was on the move again. For a couple of years, day camps were held on some reserves while a couple of weeks of camp took place at Camp Wright near Athabasca. Then for two years, the camp was held at Miquelon Lake. A mobile kitchen was brought in, and meals and chapel were held in a tent. New cabins were built for the camp. This location featured a public beach (with showers for counsellors), outhouse holes full of water and an ant infestation in the tent as they came to eat the food the kids dropped on the ground.
Leaving there, we were welcomed to Pembina Bible Camp near Dapp for an awesome season of blessing. The facilities worked well for us as did swimming in the river. It was a great blessing to them and to us. This location featured great wiener roasts, a sheepdog named Madison (who brought an infestation of fleas one year) and lots of great wide games.
Finally, we moved to the present location of Silver Meadows which we have enjoyed for about seven years. It has become our home and God has directed us to make that permanent as we are buying the property. The chapel is back in a tent for now and we have a great dining hall and playing field. Two cabins from Miquelon have even made the journey with us.
No matter what the location, God has been so faithful to minister through His Spirit to so many kids and teens. From the first time when the Spirit came down in the small rec room in the old camp buildings and the kids began to weep and receive heart healing, God has been doing amazing things. Why not join us at camp this year and make your history!
History in British Columbia
Ensuring Enjoyable Experiences
Camp Living Water began in 1998 on the property of Harold and Marlene Giesbrecht. The shop was used for a chapel, a small tent was the dining room and a “snack shack” served as a kitchen. The kids slept in tepees. Unfortunately, a big rain and wind knocked down the tepees one evening and got everything wet. It was a great adventure.
The next year, the property next door was purchased and camp moved there, cabins were obtained and fixed up. Dining was in the living room of the house and chapel in the garage. A log sauna was added followed by a log cabin. The dining room was added onto and a log chapel was built. Then came another log cabin. Other improvements have included a 150’ slide, a basketball court and a raft for swimming.
God has blessed year by year and each teen camp has become better and better. We have been so blessed to see the spiritual hunger in the teens and the Spirit of God moving.
Larry has been directing camp for over 35 years with Camp living Water. He has an exceptional amount of love for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, and has been actively involved in year-round ministry throughout western Canada.