Lake Champion

This spring Young Life’s Lake Champion in Glen Spey, N.Y., celebrated its “silver anniversary.” The gift for such an occasion? The sheer joy of knowing thousands of kids have met Jesus here, and a recommitment to even more kids beginning relationships with Him in the decades to come. What follows are pictures and thoughts from some who have served at this great camp through the years ...

"I remember flying to Lake Champion as a new trainee to look at the property in 1986. I felt like I was part of a historic occasion. As we walked the property, I felt I was watching God’s plan unfolding in front of me. When Champion opened, we had no dining hall, gym, landscaping, etc. Without all the “stuff” people still had the greatest week of their lives, the love of Christ was modeled, and the Gospel proclaimed. We learned it’s not buildings, programs and blobs that changes lives. The only one who takes people from death to life is Jesus.” — Randy Nickel, Young Life Scotland Developer

"Lake Champion was where we raised our family and where I learned tremendous life lessons. One of the greatest joys of working here was the myriad of relationships — with suburban staff, urban staff, the Service Center and other camp staff. One of the greatest thrills was watching campers become work crew, work crew become summer staff, summer staff become volunteer leaders and watching volunteer leaders become staff.”
 — Steve Fisher, Lake Champion camp manager, 1987-1998

"Debbie and I were the camp leaders at the first assignment in June of 1986. It was pretty much a veteran team because there weren’t a lot of bells and whistles. I remember we brought in four-wheelers because of that and put together a go-cart-type track. But kids met the Lord — it was sweet at the end of that first week when about 50 stood up at Say-So. I thought to myself — these are the first of many thousands who will stand up for Jesus on these hallowed grounds. What a thrill!”
— Doug Burleigh, Young Life president, 1987-1992