Another Walk Down Memory Lane… Back to 1979

Today we have another camp group photo shared with us by Mary Rupert. This is the camp photo for Junior 1 Camp in 1979. This is the first year I’ve seen a picture taken indoors — I wonder if it was raining that day…

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2018 Prayer Card / Schedule for OBF Camps at Peniel Bible Camp

We have printed 3000 double-sided 4×6″ prayer card/schedules to distribute to those who are interested in the ministry of Peniel Bible Camp. We will be distributing bundles of these cards to our partner churches this month. If you want one for yourself, contact and ask.

Download a 2-page copy here.

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New Promotional Poster for Peniel Bible Camp

An 11×17″ one-sided glossy poster will be distributed to each of our churches this month to post and promote the 2018 OBF camps at Peniel Bible Camp.

For a downloadable copy, click here.

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November Update from the VanderSchels

The VanderSchels: November 2017

Update on our family…

In our hallway at home, we have a wood sign hanging on the wall that says, “There’s ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS something to be thankful for.” Not just this time of year, when Thanksgiving is the holiday focus, but we have much to be thankful for ALL the time.

Izaac officiated soccer this fall again for the state association in central Ohio, but was able to block quite a few dates that coincided with Ashlyn and Brenna playing volleyball matches at home. It was special to have him be able to watch some of their games their senior season. He’ll switch out his soccer official’s uniform for a basketball one in just a couple weeks. After wrapping up our fall retreats, Izaac is already working on next summer’s camping theme. He continues to spend much of his time communicating with pastors and potential rental groups, getting all the camp program activity venues closed up for winter, and trying to get reorganized after a busy summer camping season. Izaac and Kim had the opportunity to take a short working vacation to Gatlinburg earlier this month to attend a gift show for the camp store.

Kim coached her final season of volleyball this fall and was so thankful for all the years she had to be a part of Ashlyn’s and Brenna’s volleyball teams throughout their high school years. On camp, she has spent time putting the craft cabin and camp store into hibernation for winter, shopping and preparing meals for rental groups this fall, and trying to keep all five of our busy schedules coordinated.

Ashlyn and Brenna began their senior year this fall and will turn 18 this winter. Although bittersweet for Mom and Dad, the girls are looking forward to what God has for them in the future. They had a great senior volleyball season and juggled schoolwork and their job at the bakery very  well. We’re so proud of them and thankful to the Lord for the evidence of His grace we see in their lives. Lord willing, they will continue to work at the bakery for the remainder of the school year and save up money for college next fall. They were both a huge help during the camping season whenever they were on camp.

Carson is a freshman this year. Can’t believe all our kids are in high school now! He’s a great student and especially loves the extra-curriculars– sports, music, and drama. He played soccer this fall on the high school team and also got to participate at the BJU Fine Arts Festival for the first time. He competed in an acting scene as well as several musical groups. Carson is also a big help in the summers at  camp, especially for Izaac. He’s looking forward to being an “only child” soon.

Because we realize that our days on camp as a family of five are dwindling quickly, we cherish every moment we get to spend with our kids. We rejoice in the abilities God has given them, and we seek Him for daily strength and wisdom as we continue to guide them. We are truly THANKFUL!

Update on our camping season…

This camping season seemed to fly by as quickly as usual. We’re thankful for the good number of campers we had each week, the profitable preaching from the chapel platform, and the volunteer staff that helped make the weeks run smoothly.

Our Family Camp maxed out, and so we’re looking forward to offering an extra Family Camp weekend next season. Check out the camp website for those dates.

The theme for our Youth Camps this past summer was “Fast Track”, a racing theme. The kids especially enjoyed racing on the new pedal kart track that was added to the camp to help enhance this theme.

After the summer camping season ended, we moved right into fall. One of the highlights of our Fall Retreats was having Mac and Beth Lynch at our Couples’ Retreat. Listening to their piano and vocal music was such a special blessing to all the couples who attended.

Kim and Izaac hosted a couple weeks of FACE (Finding Adventure in Creation Exploration) Camp for two different Christian schools. The students learned about really unique school subjects in an outdoor classroom setting.

In the coming weeks we look forward to hosting some individual rental groups. Families will be renting the A-frame cabins to spend the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with each other, a Young Adult Retreat will be held over Christmas break, and a couple of youth groups will be enjoying Winter Teen Retreats. To find out more about rental availability, please contact us.

Looking ahead…

As we continue to seek to meet the needs of local churches, our goal is to make improvements around the camp that will be beneficial for our churches. Before next summer’s season begins, we’ll be hosting a couple of work teams to help us with those improvements. These teams will be working on winterizing Martha’s Manor, finishing up the exteriors of the lake front cabins, finishing the basement in A-frame 1, and several other projects, weather permitting. Some of these improvements will allow us to host more campers in the off-season during the colder months.

We’re so thankful for the many servants that faithfully volunteer to help us accomplish projects like this year after year. To find out how to be a part of one of these work weeks, or to make arrangements to bring a group from your church for your own work week, please contact us.

Contact information: Peniel Bible Camp, 3260 State Route 314, Fredericktown, OH 43019

Izaac VanderSchel, Program Director: 740.505.5621

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Couples’ Retreat 2017

It was a beautiful weekend at Peniel Bible Camp. Sunny, warm days and pleasant overnight. Thirty-six couples from six states and from all walks of life gathered to spend a restful couple of days away from the busyness of life. They spent time walking and talking together, boating, playing life-size Sorry, enjoying camp food, and shopping at the Camp Store. The highlight of the weekend was sitting under the teaching of the Word. Music Pastor Mac Lynch and his wife, Beth sang, played duets, and ministered to the campers in various ways throughout the weekend. Truly it was a retreat to remember!

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Men’s Weekend 2017

It was a great first-weekend-of-autumn retreat — although it certainly felt like summer weather. Though few in number, the men enjoyed the fellowship, the preaching (lessons from Elijah), the food, and the activities (i.e. bowling with a foot ball Friday night and a Biathalon: Modern and Ancient on Saturday). Men, mark your calendars for next year’s Men’s Weekend: September 21-22, 2018. You won’t want to miss it!

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Ladies’ Weekend 2017

One hundred seven ladies enjoyed 24 hours together at Peniel Bible Camp on September 15-16 at the Ladies’ Weekend Retreat. Beautiful weather, an enthusiastic speaker, three delicious meals, and plenty of encouraging fellowship… it truly was a retreat worth attending!

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Four Weeks = Four Youth Camps

We had the privilege of ministering to 315 young people over the past four weeks in our youth camps. We thank the Lord for His working in these young lives as they sat under the teaching of the Word of God each day. There were 26 recorded decisions – twelve making profession of salvation!


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Family Camp 2017

It was a great week of Family Camp with 121 campers filling all our cabins and several campsites. A few came for a partial week but most were with us the entire week.

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Focus: Peniel Bible Camp Newsletter July 2017

Peniel Bible Camp’s July newsletter (Focus) was sent out electronically to churches and interested individuals on the mailing list. Read the newsletter below; download a copy by clicking here.

If you would like Peniel’s FOCUS newsletter sent directly to you, sign up here.


An update on the ministry of Peniel Bible Camp   /   July 6, 2017

We are into the second week of our six-week summer camping season. This week, Family Camp, we have 121 campers from 31 families ranging in ages from 5 months to senior saints. The campers are enjoying the many activities and are making lots of new friends. Pastor James Brabson from northern Michigan is our  guest speaker. He is preaching from 1 Thessalonians in the morning services and preaching about the God-centered home in the evenings.

Two brothers decided last year that they were going to work hard to earn money to attend camp this year. They worked, sold some toys, and saved their money throughout the year. They were all smiles when they presented their envelope of savings to the Registrar when their family checked in for Family Camp!

First Week of Summer Camps

Two camps ran concurrently the first week of our summer camping season at Peniel. Twenty-one pastors gathered for a refreshing time of fellowship and teaching at our annual Pastors’ Conference on Monday-Wednesday, June 26-28. Dr. Gerald Priest shared lessons learned from the great Reformers. Several of the pastors shared other messages. The men enjoyed being out on the lake, the rifle range, or sitting on the porch. It was an encouraging time for these men.On Tuesday Training Camp was held for those new to camp or working in new positions this summer. The day was filled with sessions on camp history, philosophy, and practical instruction for serving as camp counselors, kitchen workers, and custodians. Ten of our upcoming staff members participated . Now we are all looking forward to the four weeks youth camp that begin July 10th and run through August 5th. 

Register Early for the Fall Retreats!

While prices everywhere seem to be on the rise, the cost of the adult retreats at Peniel has been reduced for 2017! To get the best price, register by August 1st and save 30%!

The Ladies’ Weekend is the first of our fall retreats scheduled for September 15-16. Mrs. Miriam Marriott from Maranatha Baptist University in Wisconsin will be the speaker. The Men’s Weekend will be held the following weekend, September 22-23, with Pastor Joe McKnight as speaker. The Couples’ Weekend Retreat is the first weekend in October, the 6th and 7th, and Pastor Mac Lynch and his wife, Beth, will be speaking at that retreat.

Perfect Day for our Memorial Day Celebration

It was a beautiful day! Over 200 people congregated at Peniel Bible Camp to celebrate Memorial Day. The day began with a service in the chapel with patriotic music, honoring of our servicemen and their families, and a message from Pastor Dave Smith. An offering was received to help with the cost for bringing “city water” to the camp.  (Since then over $10,000 has been given towards the total cost of $15,000.)

Following the service, lunch was served in Ashbrook Hall. The camp kitchen staff grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and everyone brought salads, side dishes, and desserts, filling the tables with plenty of food to choose from.

After lunch families sat and visited, children rode the tractor train, teens played in The Cage, men fished, and folks went out in boats to enjoy the lake. A quick rain shower in the late afternoon brought everyone running for cover. The sun came back out and activities continued for those who were still around.

Men & Boys’ Spring Retreat

The 26th annual Men & Boys’ Retreat was held at Peniel on April 28-29. Sixty-eight men enjoyed a relaxing time away from the world enjoying the activities at camp. Dr. Mark Batory brought 3 messages about raising our young men to serve the Lord.

Saturday was a bit rainy and some activities were moved indoors. Some of the boys enjoyed making their own Sling Bows with their dads. Tiny Golf was moved indoors so the men could enjoy the tournament. There were prizes for that as well as for the one who caught the longest fish and the family that caught the most combined inches of fish in the annual fishing contest.

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