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2018in review

Jennifer Sarlo

President's Message

Jennifer Sarlo
Board President

Our vision to be a parent trusted, community valued, completely church/believer supported organization, where the gospel is clearly proclaimed and the children, adults, staff and volunteers enjoy a unique Northern Ontario Christian camp experience, is a rather audacious statement if you fully grasp what the board is envisioning for Camp ABK. It is a faith-based vision, where we look to God in his Sovereign grace and mighty power to work through the church and individuals to continue the good work that was started over 58 years ago.

The camping season of 2018 was another great year with waiting lists for our school trips and many of our summer camps.

With minimal investment in advertising, we are thankful to see school trip kids returning to our summer camps and campers from across our area choosing ABK as their preferred choice of summer camp.

This positive growth and sustained registrations increased the need for volunteers throughout June and the summer months, which lead to some challenges finding strong, committed volunteers to run safe, fun programs and maintain our facilities. Each year, we faithfully look to God to provide the workers. Matthew 9 reminds us that Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them. He reminded his disciples that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers few. We pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers. We are grateful for the many volunteers who use their precious vacation time and for the many young people who sacrifice higher wages to invest in the work of Camp ABK.

After deciding to focus on upgrading our existing facilities in 2018, rather than building an additional new staff cabin, we are committing to a large faith-based capital budget of $75,000 in the summer of 2019 and we look forward to the Lord providing, through His people, the needed funds and the skilled workers to see these plans come to fruition.

We are humbled once again by the consistent financial support of our supporting churches and the many individuals who sacrificially give to camp. We recognize that this year, in particular, through tragic loss, families generously raised funds for camp in honour of their loved ones and we are eternally grateful that we became their beneficiary in this time of great sorrow.

This work has Kingdom building impact and we ask that you pray for protection and freedom so we can continue to present the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the lives of children and adults through the camping experience. As you review our annual report, won’t you partner with us by praying, donating, volunteering and promoting Camp ABK?

Together, in His Service,
Jennifer Sarlo


Managing Director's Report

Ryan Lidstone
Managing Director

God is so good to us at ABK! We had another very successful camping season in 2019. It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve our Saviour in this ministry.

My grandfather was able to attend the Forever Young Retreat this year - he was very involved with Camp for many years, especially in the early years. As he was looking over Camp, and discussing all that has changed I realized that so much of what we enjoy today at ABK is because of the faithfulness in how so many served before us. I am thankful for him, and so many like him, who trust God and were faithful to His calling.

I am also thankful for God's provision of safety during this season, the great weather we enjoyed, the full camps, and of course, the staff that served so diligently.

We are especially thankful to our Leadership Staff: Our Kitchen Coordinators - Trevor and Jess Childs; Our Maintenance Family - Alex and Cheryl Schmitz; Our June Program Coordinators - Jared and Jenn Ayton, and our awesome Summer Staff.

We look forward to another awesome season in 2019!

In Him

Ryan Lidstone

staff positions
staff members
  • 41 leadership
  • 118 counsellors
  • 9 nurses
  • 45 cooks
  • 46 servers
  • 15 chore people
  • 61 others

Where our Staff are coming from?

  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Local Area
  • Sudbury
  • North Bay
  • Other (10%)
  • Summer Staff (12%)

School Trips

June is a busy place at Camp – there is always a lot going on. We had 481 Students come to camp on a school trip from 16 different schools. We were busy enough that we needed to book into the last week of May. Our June Staff did an excellent job, as always, running a fun, educational, and entertaining program which resulted in 95 students returning for a week of Summer Camp (42 first-time campers). Our Staff do an excellent job at connecting with students, and showing them their faith in how they willingly and diligently serve. One school from Sault Ste. Marie even invited us to come back for their Grade 8 graduation. We are very grateful for the opportunity School Trips is for the overall ministry of ABK.

returned for a week
first-time campers

We also completed a lot on the maintenance front in June. Don and Elaine Robert completed many ‘preventative maintenance’ projects which prepares us better for the summer months. It is amazing how much maintenance is involved with ABK, and how true the adage is that, “many hands make light work”. We are always appreciative of volunteers willing to give of their time at ABK. We also completed new bathrooms in cabin 7 & 8, and began renovations to their exteriors. We look forward to completing this work in 2019.

We look forward to what will be accomplished for His Kingdom in June 2019 with another busy school trip schedule.

Summer Programs

This was one of our busiest Summers in camp’s history. We had a total of 742 campers enjoy all that Sugar Lake had to offer this Summer – and with the heat, we were certainly grateful for the lake! Many of our camps were full with waiting lists including, Jr. Girls, Jr. Boys, Kiddies, Jr. High Girls, and Boy’s Outpost. As always campers of all ages enjoyed some great Northern Ontario fun – canoeing, swimming, archery, tubing, sports, crazy games, crafts, etc. We also ran a brand new Bush Craft elective at Kiddies Camp, and would like to see this program expand to all camps in the coming years. Of course another highlight for most anyone who spends a week at camp is the food, our cooks – Trevor and Jess Childs and all those who volunteered delivered a fantastic menu all summer long —

One mom called camp and said, 'my child told me that I need to learn how to cook like ABK'

Wakeboarding is just one of the many waterfront activities we run for our campers.
Wakeboarding is just one of the many waterfront activities we run for our campers.

Over the course of the summer we had over 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.

campers in total

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 at least 5 young people make decisions to follow Jesus and 12 young people choose to be baptized. We are looking forward to another full summer in 2019!

Where our Campers are coming from?

  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • St. Joseph Island
  • Manitoulin Island
  • Local Area
  • Sudbury
  • North Bay
  • Southern Ontario

Fall Retreats

This year we saw growth in almost all our Fall Retreats, we had a total of 180 guests in September between our Marriage Retreat, Forever Young, Men’s Retreat, and Fall Blitz. Caleb Steinke, our new off-season cook did a great job in the kitchen. One of the highlights of the entire month had to be the Marriage Retreat Saturday night date dinner which included prime rib, lobster, freshly baked bread, potato, veggies, and your choice of crème brule or cocoa mocha cake for dessert. We also introduced axe-throwing at our Men’s Retreat which was a hit. We enjoyed Freedom’s Voice again at our Forever Young Retreat, and had a nearly packed house for Fall Blitz. The weather was also outstanding in September so we were able to open the waterfront for most of our retreats as well.


Treasurer's Report

David Bugo
Treasurer, Board of Directors

Camp ABK had another successful year of presenting the gospel to children and adults through the camping experience.  Though this work occurs along the shores of Sugar Lake, I would be remiss not to give thanks to the many volunteers and off-site financial donors that help make the work possible.

ABK is able to keep camper fees to a minimum and avoid large increases thanks to the generosity of saints throughout the province of Ontario (as well as some international).

The camp’s expenditures for the 2017/2018 fiscal year were $352,248. To help meet those expenditures, $160,649 was donated to camp during the year – What a huge blessing!

Thank you to everyone that continues to pray for the work being done at ABK and to those that are able to contribute financially.  It is the generosity of ABK’s supporters that help our sponsorship initiatives thrive and ensure that no child is turned away from ABK due to financial restraints.

The financial records for Camp Aush-Bik-Koong for the fiscal year October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018 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 these financial statements do not present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Aush-Bik-Koong Bible Camp as at September 30, 2018, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.”

The financial statements follow this report.

Where are our donations coming from?

2018 donations total: $160,649


Where are our sponsorships coming from?

2018 sponsorships total: $34,550

first time campers
sponsored by ABK
sponsored in some way


Thank you!for a great 2018