Camp is not just for Kids!
Adults, Families, Youth & Children, let us care for you in Christian hospitality on over 60 beautiful sacred acres at the base of the Eagle Cap Mountains. We will provide you delicious, plentiful meals in our lodge or outside on our covered patio. The lodge is always open and has a 24-hour beverage bar, board games, puzzles and a children’s play corner. Stay in cheerful, cozy cabins with log beds and private bathrooms. Or stay in our charming rustic rooms or River Cabin which has a fully stocked kitchen for your own cooking.
Plan your family, friends or church reunion or time by yourself. Schedule a quilting, hiking, crafting, Bible study, yoga, youth or music group for a retreat. Or register for one of our program events.
Relax or meditate at the outdoor mountain or river chapel, & prayer flag garden. Play at camp (basket, volley, & gaga ball, horseshoes, ladder ball, corn hole, ping pong, swings, babbling creek….) or, walk to the mountain tram, horseback riding, go-carts, hikes, miniature golf, ice cream, gift shops and of course the beautiful glacial Wallowa Lake which includes boating, swimming and fishing.
After s’mores over a campfire, under a star-filled sky, curl up in a comfy bed under a handmade quilt for a of peaceful night’s sleep.
It’s time to escape to Wallowa Lake Camp!
Short History of Wallowa Lake Camp
Wallowa Lake United Methodist Camp sits off the south end of Wallowa Lake in NE Oregon near the town of Joseph, Oregon. This lake was formed by a huge glacial moraine during the Pleistocene era when huge glaciers formed, advanced and retreated over a span of 2 million to 10,000 years. The Wallowa Valley is the ancestral home of Chief Joseph and the Wallowa band of Nimiipoo (Nez Perce) people.
In the early 1920’s, a group of Methodist ministers leased the land in the area of the current camp in order to hold the first Wallowa Lake Epworth League Institute. The accommodations were very primitive but the Institute was considered a great success. Within the next two years the Epworth League organizers raised $1800 and negotiated the purchase of the 110 acres for a permanent camp site.
Over the next few years, 10 acres of the land on the east side of the river were sold. Lots on the west side of the river were leased to individuals and churches which financed the installation of a water system and the building of a bridge across the river. A circus tent with benches served for program space. Outdoor cooking, and sleeping under the stars were the norm. In 1928 , the camp holdings were turned over to the Western District and it officially became the Methodist Camp Association. By 1932 the first Assembly Hall was built and various Methodist churches in western Idaho and Eastern Oregon built cabins for cooking and dining and some included bunks.
The camp was managed for many years by local United Methodist pastors. Help with improvement projects was recruited from local churches, as well as, help with programming. In 1952, the camp was transferred to the Idaho Conference. In 1957, a new survey of the property was done to clear up some legal concerns and timber from the property was harvested and sold to raise funds for the construction of the Lesley Bailey Lodge which was dedicated in 1959. It boasted a commercial style kitchen and dining/ program space. Many other improvement projects (shower houses, bunk houses, water and septic) were undertaken and the camp flourished.
Eventually, the management of the camp was no longer the responsibility of local pastors. The Conference Camp and Retreat Board oversaw programming and worked with the volunteer Camp Site Team which monitored the property needs and maintenance. Summer managers were hired to oversee the day to day camp needs for the summer camping season. The future of the camp came into question in the early 1990’s as the facilities aged and income lagged. A substantial effort to “re-imagine” the future of Wallowa Lake Camp took place. A “master plan” was developed. A successful major fundraising drive took place. The vision and dedication of professional staff along with the energy and labor of a great number of volunteers and supporters has transformed this camp over the past 20 + years and will continue the ministry of Wallowa Lake Camp into the future.
Video by Oregon-Idaho Camping and Retreat Ministries