This Bible camp is the ministry of Copper Center Community Chapel. Every summer it is used for ministry to young people in the Copper River Valley. Since 1997, many people have been blessed by the ministry of this camp because of the many volunteer short term missionaries that have served here. Thank you so much for your help in sending teams for all these years!
The History of Strelna Lake Wilderness Bible Camp
In January 1996, Tom Denlinger met Pastor Mike and Adeline Potts and their two children (Sonny & Jody). Mike and Tom hit it off and started talking vision for building a camp for the youth of Copper River Valley specifically around the Copper Center area. Mike went to Ahtna Inc. and secured a permit and lease for land at the far end of Strelna Lake.
1997 – Mike & Adeline brought a group of young people (above) to the lake and started clearing brush and built the first cabin that was used as a cook shack.
1998 – Tom Denlinger led the first LightShine team of four men to build (4) 12’x13′ cabins in two weeks during teen boys camp. All the cabins were built five logs high with a log structure and covered with pre-made canvas tarps. Everyone slept in “hooches” on the ground (pictured above) and the mosquitoes were relentless. It was hard work cutting trees down and carrying them back to camp. The floor boards were cut on Mike’s sawmill in Kenny Lake and carried down the fishing access trail at the other end of the lake. One of our team members joked that the next year we should tell potential team members to physically prepare themselves for the work by “carrying their picnic table on their back around their house several times every day”. They had a lot of fun and relationships were established that are still strong today.
1999 – Our second team built the chapel and main cook shack this year during teen boys camp.
2000 – This was the first year that we started to build more permanent roofs on the cabins. We also built a swim platform and dug two outhouses that year.
2002 – The first team from Hope Community Church in Mount Joy, PA rebuilt Cabin 2 that year.
2004 – The second team from Hope Community Church rebuilt Cabin 1 and installed a metal roof on Cabin 2 and the Chapel and built a shower!
2005 – This team made general repairs on the camp, chinked Cabin 1 and painted log sealer on all the cabins. They also started installing ceiling boards inside the cabins.
2006 – present
We continue to send teams of people to help maintain the camp.