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, inter-cultural, and wilderness ministries.
Camp Bighorn is a year-round ministry. In the summer we're busy with Adventure Camps, but the rest of the year is geared towards our gap-year program - Journey, and weekends are busy with hosting retreats and Venture expeditions. We desire to transform our culture through the empowering of Christian leaders who are passionate about pursuing God’s calling in their lives.
Camp Bighorn is a 501(c)(3) and is owned by the 99+ churches of Converge NW.
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.
Tom and Terry Collins
Tory and Jennifer Albertson
Luke and Andrea Underhill
Although officially started in 1985, the vision was cast in 1967 with Lloyd Mattson and Cliff Gustafson dreaming about a second Camp in addition to the Columbia Baptist Conference's Lake Retreat camp in Washington state.
"Lloyd, I have been thinking lately about the possibility of a camping ministry somewhere in a mountain area, maybe along a stream, for kids and adults who would prefer a more rustic setting..," Cliff dreamed out loud one summer afternoon.
In the spring of '84, Cliff drove by a ranch in Western MT and exclaimed to his wife, "That's where we ought to have a camp!" The striking setting along the Clark Fork River with mountains rising high on both sides was just what Cliff had imagined.
God provided the funds, the willingness of heart from the owner to sell, and the people required to make the dream a reality. The Columbia Baptist Conference churches bought the ranch for $200,000 and got to work. The first summer camp was held in the summer of 1985 utilizing the 2 ranch houses, tractor shed, and an army tent as hosts. In the coming years, buildings were built, the programing was developed, and staff answered the call to come. Through Camp's history adventure and creation have remained constant tools that God has used to teach us about Himself, those He's put in our lives, and how now we should live.
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
People over Performance
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.
1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
2. The Trinity
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
3. God the Father
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
7. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
8. Christian Conduct
We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
9. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
10. Religious Liberty
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
11. Church Cooperation
We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization. Such an organization, whether it is the Conference or a district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. Churches may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary independent basis.
12. The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.
Adopted by the Baptist General Conference in 1951, reaffirmed in 1990 and amended shared.
Take Exit 33 (St. Regis, MT) and travel north on Hwy 135 for 18.5 miles. Camp Bighorn is on your right.
The town of Paradise is 6 miles from Camp (no services). Plains has all services and is 12 miles from Camp on Hwy 200. Nearest large city is Missoula - a little over an hour away.