Since 1962, the Rev. C.E. Hamp of the Full Gospel Mission has made it possible for low-income families to send their children to summer camp.
On Oct. 4, many of Hamp’s former campers will gather at 7 p.m. at the East Central Community Center for a reunion to honor Hamp, the camp’s founder.
Hamp is retiring as director of the camp, and his son, James, is taking over the job.
James Hamp said he hopes the reunion will become an annual event at which former campers can contribute to the ongoing success of the program.
“We are hoping to expand the camp and bring in more campers,” said James Hamp, who is a staff sergeant at the Army recruiting station in Lincoln Heights.
He is going to run the summer camp in his off-duty hours.
Between 100 and 200 campers have gone to Hamp’s Camp in each of the 35 seasons it has been offered. Church members and parents serve as counselors.
The total number of children who’ve attended the Christian camp number in the thousands by now, the Hamps said.
In the early years, the Full Gospel Mission Youth Camp was held at Newman Lake and then at Clear Lake. The camp later moved to Zephyr Lodge, a Christian camp on the north shore of Liberty Lake.
The lodge is an old 20-room hotel built out of timber from the area.
The Rev. Hamp said that over the years he has tried to show his campers the value of accepting God into their lives. Some chose the faith. Others didn’t.
“If they don’t want God, we don’t fight them,” Hamp said. “It’s been worth more than we’ve put into it because they are our children,” he said.
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