Camp Aush-Bik-Koong is widely known as Camp ABK, and, to some, ‘my favorite place on earth’, but to anyone who has passed through the gates, it doesn’t take long to recognize Camp is a special place. A place of fun and adventures, where lessons are learned and friendships forged for a lifetime. A place where lives are impacted for the Kingdom of God. How is all this possible in this rustic camp located on the shores of Sugar Lake in Northern Ontario? Because, as our name proclaims, we are founded on the Rock of Jesus Christ. He is our sure foundation, our guide and our faithful provider.
The 2019 camping season was another great year of presenting the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the lives of children and adults through the camping experience.
Elementary students got away from the routine of school to experience and enjoy God’s creation through a creative program that graciously exposed them to the love of Jesus through our dedicated staff. We are thankful that many of them returned to experience a week of summer camp. New and returning campers enjoyed all that our summer programs have to offer over 6 days of fun activities, great food and creative Bible teaching. Our staff and volunteers benefited from the comradery of working side by side with others to provide a unique camping experience focused on sharing the love of Jesus with our campers while being strengthened and encouraged in their faith. Retreat attendees appreciated the great outdoors, fellowship, exceptional food and spiritual growth through our shoulder season events. As a board, we are thankful for all who made Camp ABK their Christian camp of choice to attend, work or support.
Work continued on upgrading and maintaining our existing facilities and we are grateful for the many volunteers who used their talents to assist us in these projects. We are always thankful for the faithful financial support of churches, individuals and businesses that kept our capital projects progressing so that our buildings and grounds are sustainable into the future. God has provided for all our needs since 1960 and we look forward to celebrating 60 years of His faithfulness in 2020!
Our enduring legacy is not only sustained by enthusiastic staff, volunteers and donations, but on the consistent support of many prayer warriors who bring the work and mission of camp before the throne of grace throughout the year. Thank you! Your prayers make a difference!
We celebrate the exponential Kingdom impact that Camp ABK has had on so many lives over the past 59 years and we covet your prayers for protection and freedom to continue to obey the mission of Jesus Christ to make disciples of all nations through the Christian camp experience. As you review our annual report, please commit to partnering with us through prayer, finances, volunteering and/or promoting Camp ABK in the coming year.
Managing Director's Report
"One Generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty - and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works - and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness." - Psalm 145:4-7
As I reflect on another successful summer of presenting the claims of Christ through the camping experience, I reflect on so many who faithfully served before to make ABK what it is today. I also am humbled by the fact that the good news of the gospel has been passed from generation to generation for 59 years - God uses Camp ABK, and we are grateful we get to be a part of His plan.
We saw a total of 1,182 guests in our 2019 season. This includes 308 students in June, 695 campers in the summer, and 179 guests for our Fall Retreats.
Camp ABK has always depended greatly on the willingness of people to serve Jesus in a variety of volunteer positions for a week or more during the summer. Once again we had many answer the call to volunteer. Overall we had 175 different people volunteer to fill 322 positions that ranged from counseling to cleaning dishes. Psalm 145 talks about passing faith on through the generations. The heart behind volunteering at ABK was passed on to me by the generations before me, and I am encouraged that the generation that follows me is continuing to serve with that same heart.
Our staff make ABK what it is to the hundreds of campers that visit us each summer. Our staff give of their time and talents because they love God, and they see the importance of the work that goes on at ABK.
As you will see from the reports that follow - 2019 was a busy year! Take the opportunity to read through this report and praise God with us for all the good He has done, and will continue to do on the shores of Sugar Lake.
- 39 leadership
- 112 counsellors
- 10 nurses
- 44 cooks
- 52 servers
- 26 chore people
- 64 others
Where our Staff are coming from?
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Local Area
- North Bay
- Other (12%)
- Summer Staff (9%)
This year we had 308 students from 10 different schools enjoy a class trip like no other! It was a smaller June (in terms of numbers) than years past, but we still ran a very busy program including four 3-day trips which involves running activities for classes from 8 am to 11:30 pm.
Teachers and students loved our very energetic program which includes: archery, canoeing, swimming, challenge games, escape rooms, awesome food, cooking lessons, astronomy talks, hikes, campfires, and so much more. They were also full of compliments for our staff. One chaperone worked as a head chef and offered our cook (Caleb Steinke) a job - yes, our food is THAT good!
Ultimately we strive to provide classes with an awesome school trip in hopes they will return for a week of our summer camp where the gospel is clearly presented. We had 77 students return for a week of summer camp. This is fewer than in years past, but still represents about a 20% return rate. More importantly that is 64 young people who we were able to proclaim the gospel to - we see God working through our School Trips in awesome ways.
June is also a very active month on the maintenance front. We got two new camper cabin decks finished, a new staff cabin built, and a lot of necessary preventative maintenance done through the help of numerous volunteers. We look forward to what June 2020 holds for ABK and our School Trips ministry.
Camp ABK is my favorite place on earth!
We hear that a lot! Many young people look forward every summer to their week at ABK. One thing that our summer program has that keeps it fresh every year is an awesome group of volunteer program directors - each of them bring their own creativity and ideas to camp and it results in memories that last a life time.
This summer we had 695 campers. They enjoyed some classic Northern Ontario fun like archery, canoeing, swimming, bush craft, and more while making new friends and learning about the God who loves them.
Many of our camps were full including Jr. Girls, Jr. Boys, Kiddies, Jr. High Girls, and Family Camp.
Our Outpost program is something we would like to see expand during our summer months. We currently run three outpost camps, and are hoping to find some skilled and knowledgeable volunteers to expand this program.
Jessie Kahtava from Sault Ste. Marie took over the kitchen this summer and did a phenomenal job, along with her assistant, Jena Ethier. ABK has a reputation for delicious food...and lots of it. The kitchen did not disappoint this year. Each year we release a "camper satisfaction survey" and each aspect of our summer program received rave reviews and 4 or 5 star ratings.
Over the course of the summer we had nearly 200 volunteers filling counseling positions, cooking, serving, speaking, managing, etc. We appreciate the tremendous effort and dedication our staff put towards the mission of ABK – to present the claims of Christ.
Camp is a fun place, it is a place where people, young and old, get to enjoy the beauty and excitement of God’s creation. Beyond the fun though, we also see God working in many lives, we saw one young man at teen coed make a decision to follow Jesus and 12 young people choose to be baptized. We are looking forward to another full summer in 2020 where the gospel is proclaimed!
Where our Campers are coming from?
- Sault Ste. Marie
- St. Joseph Island
- Manitoulin Island
- Local Area
- North Bay
- Southern Ontario
Camp ABK has a packed Fall Schedule as well including: The Marriage Enrichment Retreat, Men's Retreat, Forever Young and Fall Blitz. This year we had 179 guests to our fall retreats. Here are the highlights:
Marriage Retreat: The Saturday night feast of steak and chicken Parmesan (with all the fixings). 11 couples enjoyed spending some quality time together on Sugar Lake
Forever Young - This year we saw more 'forever youngers' than we ever have before in camp's recent history. 46 folks joined us for an incredibly exciting week. The auction (proceeds raised went towards camper sponsorship) was a hit, and over $2,000 was raised.
Men's Retreat - We continued our axe-throwing tradition this year, and enjoyed being challenged by Dave Lawrence's teaching.
Fall Blitz - We love ending our Fall Retreats with Fall Blitz - 82 young people came out and enjoyed some really good weather, and some rekindling of friendships made in the summer.
As we wrapped up another 2019 season we found ourselves looking forward to a much-needed rest, but also looking ahead to what God has in store for us in 2020.
2019 was a busy year on the maintenance front. Camp always has a growing list of maintenance projects, and this year was no different.
In June we were able to build the new summer staff girls cabin - Blackfeet - with all volunteers. We were also able to get the decks of cabin 7 and 8 built, as you can see from the photos it makes a huge difference.
On top of our bigger maintenance projects we were kept busy on a day-to-day basis with the little things that always need fixing around camp (small leaks, minor construction repairs, grass mowing). It always makes for a much more productive summer when we are able to recruit weekly maintenance people and maintenance helpers. This year I was grateful for some good help throughout July and August.
God has given us an amazing property to take care of, and through the hands of many excellent volunteers we are able to steward what has been given to us well.
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Camp Aush-Bik-Koong is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of individuals and assemblies supporting it – by volunteering, praying and, of course, financially. There are many moments where we have seen the Lord provide amazing things through the saints within northern Ontario to continue the work at ABK.
Donations received in 2019 totalled over $179,000. Our monthly Pre-Authorized Debit donations ended the fiscal year just over $5,000 / month. Thank you to our very generous supporters.
The financial records for the fiscal year October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019 have been reviewed by Priddle-Luck Thibeault LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants. The accountant has concluded that,
“Based on our review, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the financial statements do not present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Aush-Bik-Koong Bible Camp as at September 30, 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with ASNPO.”
The financial statements follow this report.
Where are our donations coming from?
2019 donations total: $174,693
Where are our sponsorships coming from?
2019 sponsorships total: $32,748