Camp Bighorn is a Christian adventure camp that began in 1985. Founded by the Columbia Baptist Conference (now Converge NW), Bighorn serves churches, groups, and individuals both inside and out of our conference. Since the beginning, we have seen the Lord use the outdoor environment to change the lives of young and old and equip many for leadership and service in Church, intercultural, and wilderness ministries.
Initially started as just a summer camp, Camp Bighorn has now expanded its ministry to accommodate year-round retreats, college ministry, at-risk youth programming. We offer industry standard wilderness training while teaching individuals to use the outdoors as a platform and environment for ministry. We desire to transform our culture through the empowering of Christian leaders who are passionate about pursuing God’s calling in their lives.
Nestled in the mountains of western Montana, we have an amazing location tucked between the Clark Fork River and the Coeur d’Alene mountain range.
HistoryThe idea of a camp in western Montana that could serve the needs of the Northwest region came into fruition in 1985 through the efforts of Cliff Gustafson and the Columbia Baptist Conference (now Converge NW). The goal of Bighorn is to be a unique Christian camp that proclaims the salvation of God and emphasizes God’s discipleship principles through the use of His creation, whether that be through rock climbing, white-water rafting or kayaking, team initiatives, or sitting around the fireplace in community.
Tom and Terry Collins stepped in as Directors of Camp Bighorn in 1986 and served in that role until 2005 when Tory and Jennifer Albertson took their place. Tom Collins then moved into his present position of CEO of Bighorn Ministries. In 2009 the Albertsons felt called to leave camp ministry and Luke and Andrea Underhill have stepped into the position of Executive Director after having served at Bighorn for several years working with the Program Team.
Is the individual’s Biblical response and responsibility to God and others.
Our vision is the development of godly character resulting in participants and staff who become leaders for serving churches and reaching communities.
The mission of Camp Bighorn is to steward environments that are conducive to the work of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and developing Kingdom leaders.
Camp Bighorn continues to be a non-profit Christian camp that seeks to use adventure in the outdoors to lead people closer to Christ and closer to the community around them.
In accomplishing the purpose, mission and vision, it is the philosophy of Camp Bighorn to emphasize relationships. Knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ speaks to people and not to facilities or programs, three main strengths within the camping program will be used: Discipleship, Small Groups, and Changed Environments. The programs will be designed and staffed in such a way as to emphasize:
- Grace over Law
- Discretion over Rules
- Education over Entertainment
- Involvement over Observation
- Practical over Theoretical
- Process over Product
- Hospitality over Efficiency
- Challenge over Complacency
- Excellence over Adequate
The strategy is summed in the Scripture verse of 1 Peter 3:15, “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…” It is our understanding that environments with unknown outcomes surface questions in which to share hope. Bighorn will steward environments where questions surface and hope is shared.