How Camp Began
In 1980, Robin and Karen Wood, the founders of Camp Alandale, were approached with the idea of starting a Christian camp for underprivileged children. Although they were young in their faith, they were discipled by many gifted people at Coast Bible Church. The idea of a Christian camp for underprivileged children seemed crazy! Robin and Karen's only experience with camp programs was Robin's attendance to a youth camp as a child and Karen's involvement with youth programs at her church. There were many questions and unknowns that made the whole idea of a camp seem impossible. However, God provided all that was needed for their family and for the camp to be established.
Everything came together for the first summer camps of 1980. Miraculously, the needed volunteers, supplies, donations, and a place to run camp were all provided. The sources for underprivileged children to attend camp came together amazingly. Robin and Karen knew that God's hand was making way for Camp Alandale to be established. The camp program was designed without much expertise, experience, or guidance, but it made an astonishing impact on the campers. The camp property near Idyllwild, CA was quite primitive. The campers slept in tents, made their own food over open fires, and learned many other camping skills. It was soon discovered that this kind of wilderness program assisted the campers in detaching from their modern lifestyle and aided them in building trust, teamwork, and a family spirit among the camp group. Although the camp has been somewhat modernized through the years, which is mainly due to regulations, the goal is to keep the positive qualities of the original program.
It was not until after the first summer that the doors opened for abused children from social services to come to camp. This came as a result of what God did for a camper named Steve at the very first camp. Read Steve's Story here.