The Cove Christian Camp bathhouse, in the midst of its seven-year, pay-as-you-go construction, commands an impressive view of the valley perched atop a hill on the campís property about two miles southeast of Cove. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Cove Christian Camp paying for facility as funds become available
Taking care of a small yard can be a big challenge.
Imagine, then, taking care of 14-1/2 acres. Randy Warner handles it all with equanimity at Cove Christian Camp, 68405 Mill Creek Lane, Cove.
Even when he’s in the middle of a seven-year, pay-as-you-go project to add a new $275,000 bathhouse to the property.
Even with the help of his chocolate Lab-Rottweiler cross, Hap, who wandered onto the property 1-1/2 years ago skin and bones and has been revived to energetic sidekick.
The camp has been paying for the bathhouse project, which broke ground in 2006, as money becomes available through fundraising efforts. It won’t be finished in time for this summer’s 1,000-plus campers; the season started with outdoor school for Imbler second-graders Thursday.
The camp now has four showers and will have 13 — six on the boys side, six on the girls side and one that meets American Disabilities Act handicapped standards — when the new 1,600-square-foot bathhouse is finished. Warner hopes that is by this fall. About $25,000 more needs to be raised to complete the project.
“It’s important when we have bigger groups come through,” Warner said.
The project will include radiant heat in the floor, a laundry room and a mechanical room among many other features.
Cove Christian Camp, which opened its doors in 1946, is a ministry of the Northwest Association of Christian Churches. The camp is owned by the 19 participating churches from Oregon and Washington, with campers coming from as far away as Eagle Christian Church in Eagle, Idaho, and from Eugene.
The camp is open to the public year-round. It accommodates events ranging from church summer camps to men’s and women’s retreats, family reunions, alcohol-free weddings, scrapbooking and quilters groups, business retreats, school field trips, company picnics and youth group teen camps.
The camp has many features. They include a commercial kitchen, eight cabins, tent sites and a few RV hookups as well as a miniature golf course, baseball diamond, basketball court and sand volleyball court.
Since Randy and his wife, Robin, became manager-caretakers in 2004, they’ve planted crimson maples, poplars and arctic blue willows. That added to the substantial forest of wild plums, ponderosa pines, spruce, apples and cherries already on the property.
He’s seen bear scarfing down plums in the fall. Herds of elk roam the hill in the cherry orchards. A few coyotes have wandered through, as have flocks of wild turkeys, and of course the deer like to nibble on the willows. A couple of Chinese pheasants like to call the camp their home.
“The kids from Portland really get a kick out of seeing them,” Warner said.