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Byron Bible Camp celebrates 75th anniversary

Posted: Monday, Nov 19th, 2012

Byron Bible Camp will celebrate its 75th anniversary today with a soup and salad lunch at noon and a banquet celebration at 5:30 p.m. Everything is free and everyone is invited.

Speakers for the banquet who have strong connections to Byron Bible Camp from its beginnings are Dr. Maynard Seaman, lifelong missionary to India, Nepal and Tibet, along with Louis Lomheim, career Navy pilot and recruiter.

To reserve a spot at any or all of these free events, please call the camp at 352-7267 by Monday.

The camp is located 12 miles north of Huron on U.S. Highway 37, turn east on 196th Street for five miles, then north on 405th Avenue about a mile to South Shore Road. The camp is located on the corner.

Byron Bible Camp was started in 1937 as a home mission project of the American Sunday School Union, with Gene and Hazel Harmon as the first directors, followed by three of their sons who served as directors, including Phil and Connie Harmon, Craig and Dorothy Harmon and Joel and Bobbie Harmon.

In 1997 a devastating flood destroyed much of the original Byron Bible Camp’s facilities, and the camp board waited for a financial settlement from the state.

The Rev. Jon and Beth Duba became directors of the camp in April 2000. At that time, it had been closed for three years and the buildings were heavily damaged after the flood. The couple have three children, including one in college.

When the Duba’s came in 2000, their first plan of action was to renovate the Harmon Memorial retreat center so the ministries of the camp could continue.

Since 2000 the camp has been running a year round ministry with retreats, summer camps and winter camps. A wide variety of new things were built like a climbing wall, obstacle course, new water front, frisbee golf course, Mohawk walk, spool pyramid, wild woosey and a spider web wall.

In 2005, Darrel Stahl, Molly Lamont and Shelly Amundson donated 25 acres of lake front property on the southeast end of Lake Byron to the camp.

The camp board then made plans to relocate the camp to this new property.

In the spring of 2008 the camp was moved to its new location on the southeast end of Lake Byron.

All the outdoor equipment, low ropes elements, climbing wall, zipline and obstacle course were moved to the new location.

Leaving the memories experienced on the James River valley property was difficult, but it was a good feeling to leave the threat of flooding behind.

The camp has a year-round ministry of camps, retreats, hunting groups and various volunteer work camps to maintain and improve the facilities.

“We’ve put in lots of work and God has been very faithful,” Duba said. “He’s done way more and beyond what we could have ever imagined.

“It’s wonderful being at the new location at Lake Byron and having the facilities we have to host people,” Duba added. “We’re very thankful for everyone who has given and provided for this.”

Duba said he believes a Christian camp experience helps people get back in touch.

“We believe it is a great opportunity to be in the outdoors or wilderness away from one’s routine and daily environment,” Duba said. “As we are surrounded by God’s creation we seek to have a focused time in God’s Word. This is extremely valuable in order for people to see and listen to God. Our desire is to promote and protect those times.”

For the complete article see the 11-17-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-17-2012 paper.

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