LES & VAL KLASSEN
Les & Val began their position as Executive Directors in September 2009. 2018 will mark their 9th summer as Directors at Camp Bob.
Previously, they spent 4 years in missionary service in Mexico as part of International Discipleship Training (IDT) in Vicente Guerrero, Baja Mexico. During their time there, they directed the house building program that provided housing for impoverished indigenous Mexican people. They coordinated the many groups of adults and youth that would come from Canada and the USA to spend a week at a time investing in these life changing building projects.
Prior to going to Mexico, Les was employed as a professional driver, and Val worked as an Administrative Assistant with the School District in the Comox Valley.
Both Les and Val volunteered in youth ministry much of their married life, and their passion for camp ministry began early on.
In 1976, Les was one of the first, along with several of his peers, to pioneer a “Day Camp” program which began out of the Black Creek Community Church. Day trips and Out-tripping became a way through which kids could experience a low-cost Camp program and have fun while getting to know who God is and how much He loves them. This program lasted for several years.
In 1995, Barry & Sandy Falk, Pastors of the Black Creek Community Church, began a similar Day Camp program called Campfire Ministries. Les & Val assisted them for several summers as once again, out-tripping became the way to experience God in nature. By 2001, Campfire Ministries had grown to the point where it became necessary to look for a base site for the expanding summer program. Les helped form the first Board of Directors, and together Campfire Ministries established Camp Bob on Roberts Lake. Les remained involved with camp until the Fall of 2005 when he and Val felt called to Mexico.
Together Les & Val pioneered the first adult Outbound programs in 2004 & 2005; back country adventures that took adults on 5-day canoe & back-packing trips to different locations on the North Island.
Since their return in 2009, Les & Val have been instrumental in bringing about several changes to the Camp Bob landscape. New infrastructure has been added to accommodate the greater demand on Summer programs, and they have worked with the Provincial government to secure a long term NRT Licence of Occupation for the Camp Bob site which will pave the way for future long term growth and development of Campfire Ministries & Camp Bob.
Les & Val have a passion to see this ministry grow, offering more children and youth a wilderness-style Camp experience, as well as equipping more leaders for positive impact and social and spiritual change within a culture that cries out for hope. The North Island is a mission field … and with Camp Bob already being established on Roberts Lake, it will become the springboard that takes this ministry into exciting new frontiers.
Benj & Lindsay Klassen
Benj & Lindsay joined the Campfire Ministries team as volunteers beginning November 2010 and have worked closely with Les & Val since that time in continuing to develop exciting adventure programs at Camp Bob.
Their history with Camp Bob goes back many years, as they have come up through the ranks of Junior Leader, Counsellor and Program Directors.
Each summer since 2011, they have served in a full-time paid position as Program Directors at Camp Bob for the Summer months of June, July & August. Beginning May 2016, their position with Campfire Ministries increased to a year-round full-time position.
Benj & Lindsay share more than a last name with Les & Val (the two are not related), they share a passion to see young people impacted for God to become world changers in a culture that cries out for honesty, truth and integrity.
A young couple sold out to God, Benj & Lindsay are passionate about camp, campers and youth. They are passionate about each other, their marriage and their four boys, Taelen, Maverick, Desmond and Sawyer. They bring an enthusiasm and excitement to camp that is contagious, providing the life-line of adrenaline that every camp thrives on. They bring new meaning to “Living the Adventure”.
Benj’s passion for the outdoors has been a catalyst to see the Adventure Challenge program, originally designed as a back-country wilderness program for older teens and adults, re-introduced as the new ‘Outbound’ program. ‘Outbound’ will offer teenage campers back country adventures with off-site excursions up to 5 days in length.
CAMP BOB'S STORY
Camp Bob is a unique rustic wilderness-style Camp with few amenities and few distractions from the outside world. Outfitter tent platforms, open frame kitchens and outhouses form the basic infrastructure at Camp Bob.
In a forested lakefront setting that offers much in recreational assets, activities include rock climbing, archery, interactive group games, and an extensive waterfront program.
Throughout the summer, up to 400 campers and staff participate in camp activities, and the benefits of this wilderness site have proven invaluable in the development of campers and staff in relationships with each other and discovering their personal significance to a God who loves and cares about them.
Campfire Ministries began as an outreach program of the Black Creek Community Church on Vancouver Island.
Beginning in 1995 until 2001, Summer Daycamp programs were conducted out of the church parking lot where Day campers would load onto the bus and move to a different location within the Comox Valley, Campbell River and Strathcona Park regions, taking advantage of the many recreational opportunities in the area.
In 2001, due to the growth of the program and the restrictions of taking large groups of children in BC Parks, Campfire Ministries began looking for a location to set up a residential Camp site. Strategy was developed for taking this growing ministry to the next level. A Board of Directors was formed and Vision and Purpose for future growth became a priority.
In 2002, Campfire Ministries began a working relationship with the BC Ministry of Forests. In exchange for clean-up operations and management of an area within a designated Recreation Site on Roberts Lake, the Ministry of Forests extended an offer to Campfire Ministries to use part of the Recreation Site as a location for Summer Camp programs. 2002 marked the first summer of Camp Bob, a rustic ‘limited access’ wilderness camp on the northern shore of Roberts Lake. Camp Bob was initially accessible by boat or hiking trail only.
In November 2003, a 10 year Land Use Agreement was implemented between Campfire Ministries and the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for the site of Camp Bob on Roberts Lake. This partnership Agreement included the maintenance of 3 additional Recreation Sites on several lakes in the surrounding area.
In 2010, Campfire Ministries began negotiations with the Ministry of FLNRO for a long term lease of the Camp Bob site. Future Vision & Goals necessitated an Agreement where Camp could grow and expand into a multi-season ministry. A formal Application and Development Plan was submitted in 2012 to the BC Provincial Government requesting a Nominal Rent Tenure (NRT)Agreement.
In August 2013, Campfire Ministries was awarded a 30 year NRT License of Occupation and given a Grant for 28 hectares (65 acres) of waterfront property on Roberts Lake.
The NRT and acceptance of the Development Plan has paved the way for new and vital infrastructure at Camp. In March 2014 ground broke for the first major Project under the NRT as construction of a new Access Road into Camp Bob began. By mid-June of 2014, the road had been completed to the point where it was completely usable as a Service Road. A Parking Lot was built within the NRT area that eliminated the need for parents and staff to continue parking on the adjacent logging road. A designated Boat Launch, exclusive to our location was constructed allowing for easier access for Camp Bob’s waterfront program.
At every turn in this process over the last 17 years, God’s Hand has been evident and strategic as His favour has been poured out continually over this ministry. Time and time again, we have been amazed at the extravagance of God. He has opened ‘doors’ and we have walked on through. He has blessed us with wisdom and counsel, and inspired many to partner with us through time, finances, equipment and prayer. For more about the Continuing at work at Camp Bob in our current devlopment & Projects, click on SEE OUR VISION FORWARD below.
CAMP BOB BOARD
Executive Directors: Les & Val Klassen - Campfire Ministries / Camp Bob
Board Chair: Curtis Scoville - Financial Advisor
Secretary: Laura Johnston - Physiotherapist
Treasurer: Dr. Terry Blasco - Dentist
Member: Kelly Klassen - General Manager / CEO Klass Enterprises Ltd
Member: Mark Johnson - Pastor, Sayward Christian Fellowship / Bus Driver
Member: James Klassen - Contractor, Klassen Homes
Member: Colin Dyck - Youth Pastor, Neighborhood Church, Nanaimo, BC
Member: Dr. Tyler Falk - Physician
To inspire children’s hearts by encountering God through the testimony of Jesus Christ in us.
To provide each camper with an awesome camp experience.
To provide an atmosphere and environment that is accepting of all individuals, treating each with honour and respect.
To strive for excellence in leadership and programming, building relationships with campers, parents and staff.
To provide a clear biblical gospel presentation, discipleship training and servant leadership equipping passionate followers of Jesus Christ.
To encourage student-leaders to discover their passion in serving others and make a meaningful difference within their culture.
To provide financial assistance to campers who need it.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in God the Father, Creator of Heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin.
We believe man is created in God’s image, but chose to separate himself from God through acts of sin, severing the relationship God had intended between Himself and man.
We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, sent to earth to restore that broken relationship; lived a sinless life, teaching and modelling God’s Kingdom; suffering and dying for the sins of the world; was buried but then raised from the dead, breaking the power of sin and death, making it possible for us to accept and live within a renewed relationship with God the Father.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin, but who also invites all people to be reconciled to God, dwelling within every believer who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, and empowering us to live as followers of Christ and His example, bringing His Kingdom power of transforming love to this world.
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and foundational guide for the believer’s faith, life and service.
REGISTERED MEMBER INFO
- A registered non-profit charity (CRA – 2007)
- Accredited member with the BC Camping Association (BCCA)
- Member of Fellowship of Christian Camps (FCC)
- Member of CampsBC – and BC Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
- In partnership with the Ministry of Forests – Recreation Sites and Trails.
- Recipient of a 30 yr NRT Licence of Occupation with the Province of BC