First Week of Summer Camp 2017

Two camps were held during the first week of summer camps at Peniel: Pastors’ Conference running from Monday through Wednesday, and Training Camp on Tuesday.

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Memorial Day Celebration: May 29, 2017

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 of over $5000 was received to help with the cost for bringing “city water” to the camp.

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 shower in the late afternoon brought everyone running for cover. The sun came back out and activities continued for those who were still around.

Pictures from the day’s activities can be seen on our Facebook page.

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Join us for a Memorial Day Celebration

Hope to see you at Peniel on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017!

Memorial Day 2017

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Focus: Peniel Bible Camp Newsletter March 2017

Peniel Bible Camp’s January 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

Spring is in the air and our thoughts turn to warmer weather and opportunities to be outdoors.  What better place to enjoy God’s creation than the  360 acres of Peniel Bible Camp! While most of you are not able to be on site this early in the year, here’s what has been going on…

Cabin on Wheels?

On February 2 a 115-year-old cabin, previously located on the circle, was raised and put on skids and chained to our largest “machine.” Slowly and carefully, it was dragged to it’s new home by the lake. Recently gutted, the cabin will be renovated, sided, and become the new Lakefront 4. It should to be ready for use by campers in April.

Winter Work Projects

We are thankful for a team that came up from Community Baptist Church (SC) to help with work projects during the week of March 13-18. The team was assisted by others from our Ohio churches. Much work was done inside and outside getting the new lakefront cabin ready for campers. The kitchen pantry and storage room were reworked, adding a new wall, flooring, and a connecting doorway. The bathroom in the maintenance building was completed, and the walls were painted. The interior doorways in the lower level of the first A-frame were reworked to provide access to the three separate sleeping areas.  Pictures and videos of these projects are on our Facebook page.

More Work Weeks

The week before Memorial Day (May 22-27) we will be hosting a group of workers from Mt. Calvary Baptist Church (SC). With warmer weather, we will be adding soffit to some of our youth cabins and finishing other spring projects. If you desire to be a part of this work week (or are available any other time), please contact Nathan Fry (

In August a group from Grace Bible Church in New Hampshire will be on site to replace the Channel Bridge.

While we carefully manage our finances, these projects do have a cost. We are thankful for several gifts and offerings given towards these projects. Gifts to help fund these projects can be directed to the Ohio Bible Mission through our website or by contacting

Camp Clean-up

Join us with your cleaning supplies on Saturday, April 15 or 22 to help get our camp ready for the 2017 camping season. Many workers are needed to remove the dust and cobwebs that accumulate over winter.

Last Call for Summer Early Registrations

The early deadline for summer camps is April 1st. Youth campers who register by the first of April will receive a free camp theme T-shirt upon arrival at camp.

Campsites are still available for Family Camp (July 3-8). Costs are reduced through April 1.

Camp Scholarships

We are grateful for a generous gift given to our youth camp scholarship fund. Full and half scholarships are available for young people who cannot attend camp without financial assistance. Contact the Registrar for information.

2017 Camp Speakers

Peniel Bible Camp seeks to meet the salvation and spiritual growth needs of all campers by leading them to appropriate spiritual decisions. Speakers are prayerfully selected and invited to minister to each group of campers.

Pray for these men as they seek the Lord’s direction as they prepare for camp. Pray as well for campers to have open hearts to appropriate God’s Word in their own lives.

  • Men & Boys’ Retreat (April 28-29) – Dr. Mark Batory
  • Family Camp (July 3-8) – Pastor James Brabson
  • Junior Camp Week 1 (July 10-15) – Pastor Stephen Spence
  • Teen 1 Camp (July 17-22) – Mr. Sam Brock
  • Teen 2 Camp (July 24-29) – Dr. Greg Stiekes
  • Junior Camp Week 2 (July 31-Aug 5 – Pastor Jon Fry

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Focus: Peniel Bible Camp January 2017

Peniel Bible Camp’s January 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

January 2017

As the snow falls and temperatures plummet in Ohio, you might think that things are quiet and asleep on our campgrounds. However, there are rental groups experiencing God’s creation while enjoying a time away from the world. Behind those scenes, camp staff are preparing for the 2017 camping season.

Schedule Changes

The Ohio Bible Fellowship has made a few changes to the 2017 camp schedule. Most notable is the adjustment of the youth camp schedule. Because some teens need to start school activities on the first of August, we moved both teen camps up a week so they would not have to miss out. The second week of Junior Camp will then follow during the first week in August.

The Ladies & Girls’ Retreat was canceled this year due to a declining participation in past years.

Camp bookmark/schedules are now available from your church or the camp office. Use it as a prayer reminder to pray for this ministry.

Retreat Fees Lowered!

Peniel Bible Camp is not “in business” to make money; we are a ministry of and to our local churches. In reviewing our camp fees, we felt that we could lower the fee for weekend retreats to $50 to allow more to attend. Register early and pay only $40!

Calling all Guys

The Men & Boys’ Retreat (April 28 & 29) is designed for fathers & sons, youth groups, or any man who desires a fun and spiritually profitable weekend. This 24-hour retreat for men and boys of all ages includes 3 meals, 3 chapel services, and plenty of time for activities such as fishing, shooting, or doing a “man-craft.” Dr. Mark Batory (GFA Missions) is the speaker.

Register before March 1st to save with an early discount.

Twenty Acres to Mow

We have over 20 acres of grass at Peniel Bible Camp that needs to be mowed. The mower that had been donated to the camp eight years ago served us well, but died last August. We purchased a new commercial Toro zero-turn mower in September. Over $10,000 in gifts have come in from churches and individuals to cover this important piece equipment, leaving about $1,000 to complete this project.

Spring Work Projects and Teams

Several churches are planning to send teams to help with major facility projects around the camp. Projects include: moving a 6th small cabin to the lakefront, finishing exterior improvements on five lakefront cabins, reworking the showers in the main restroom building, painting and completing the small restroom in the Maintenance Building, reworking the kitchen pantry, repairing the roof on Ashbrook Hall, reconfiguring doorways in the lower level of the first A-frame, installing soffit on youth cabins, and replacing the Channel Bridge.

We welcome skilled individuals and groups to join with these groups or plan a time to come and help with the work. Contact Nathan for more information.

Fast Track 2017

This summer our camp with be transformed into Champion AutoMotive Performance, Inc. sponsoring a series of races in which the two teams will compete in a different type of “race” each day. Crews who perform the best will emerge victorious and raise the CAMP Cup in celebration.

Young people in grades 3 through 12 are encouraged to attend a week of youth camp at Peniel. Those who register by April 1st will receive a free theme-related T-shirt upon arrival at camp.

Needed: Godly Men and Women

Each year approximately 145 staff positions need to be filled by volunteers in order for Peniel Bible Camp to operate. Counselors, kitchen workers, custodians, and nurses are needed for week-long camps and weekend retreats. Staff applications are available from your pastor, Ken Perry, or on our website.

Camp Clean-up

Clean-up days have been scheduled for Saturdays, April 15 & 22. Your help is needed to get our buildings ready for the camping season. Contact Izaac to schedule a time to help.

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January Update from the VanderSchels

As we look ahead to 2017, we can’t help but look back on God’s goodness to us in 2016.  Since our last newsletter this past fall, we’ve transitioned into the “off season” part of our camping year. With a smaller number of rentals during the winter months, we have opportunity to catch up on things that have been put on the back burner over the year and begin working on upcoming plans for the new camping season. The start of a new year brings with it lots of excitement and enthusiasm for a fresh look at our camping program.  We certainly continue to praise the Lord for the opportunity to have a part in the ministry of Peniel Bible Camp.

The kids have just finished their first semester  this school year— Carson in 8th grade and the girls in 11th. It’s so hard to believe that this time next year we’ll be talking about high school graduation for Ashlyn and Brenna! Carson is playing middle school basketball for his school, so Kim spends lots of time running him to and from practices and games. The girls began working at a local bakery this fall and have already made quite a reputation for themselves— not only by being good workers, but also by drawing lots of friends and family in to buy donuts. Aside from camp work, Izaac continues to referee high school basketball and work with the legislative affairs of the state Christian school association. We’re thankful for all these opportunities to interact with our community.

Right before Thanksgiving, Kim and Izaac were able to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary with a Caribbean cruise. They visited Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel, ate too many delicious cruise delicacies, enjoyed the warm sunshine, and loved every minute of their time away together. They arrived home just in time to gear up and hunker down for the holiday whirlwind of Thanksgiving with friends and several Christmas celebrations with family.

As we catch our breath, we know it’s just for a moment. Spring will be here before we know it, and the new camping season  will be in full swing once again.  We love this crazy life and count it a privilege to be able to live it. May the Lord continue to find us faithful in 2017!

-the V’s

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September Update from the VanderSchels

SEPT 2016

14138004_10153705255725684_4530555099178632711_oSummer Summary…

People ask us all the time, “How did camp go this summer?” Oh, what a question! How do you summarize weeks and weeks of busyness, exhaustion, excited campers, activities, amazing staff, life-changing decisions, campfire testimonies, camp meals, renewed friendships, and beautiful, sunny days?

Psalm 126:3 The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.

Ashlyn, Brenna, and Carson always enjoy their week to be “campers”, rather than just “camp staff”. The girls attended Teen 2, and Carson had a great week during his first week of Teen 1 camp.

Izaac assumed the role of “Launch Director” throughout our space-themed program, Mission Control. A giant space shuttle, model rocket building and launching, and nighttime stargazing activities were the highlights of our youth camp weeks. We were so thankful to have godly men preach truth from the chapel pulpit each week, and many eternal decisions for the Lord were made by the juniors, teens, and adults throughout the summer.

13710477_10153614489835684_4011161039915636215_oThe Cage, our newest game building, was certainly given a proper initiation this summer. Men, women, and kids all enjoyed the foxhole/human foosball both during the day and at night under the lights. Cheers, laughter, and grunts from those playing and from spectators lining the perimeter could be heard all across camp. Thank you to all those who donated time and funds to help make the Cage possible.

The Snack Shop introduced another new addition to the camp this summer— frozen, blended drinks. Smoothies, shakes, and chillers were a definite success with campers of all ages. Vanilla bean shakes, mango smoothies, and café mocha chillers were at the top of the “favorites” list! Although many folks still miss the soft serve ice cream machine, these new cool treats are the next best thing!

This summer marked a full year of living in our new house on camp. We still marvel at God’s goodness to our family in providing this beautiful place to live. Lots of house projects were put on the back burner during the busy summer camp months, but we look forward to completing some of those as well as some of the exterior landscaping in the months ahead.

Although we are certainly busy with our own OBF camps during the summer months, we appreciate many other ministries that love Camp Peniel, and consider it “their” camp. We helped facilitate rental groups that held their own teen camps, junior camps, family camps, youth group retreats, a men and boys retreat, a craft retreat, and work weeks from churches in Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Maryland this past spring and summer. We look forward to future years of partnership with many of these ministries. After the new year, our family will begin scheduling meetings for the winter and spring to present the camp ministry to churches across the state.


  • This was our 15th summer serving at Peniel!
  • Ashlyn and Brenna were two years old our first summer in 2002. Now, they’re juniors in high school, are driving, and have jobs.
  • Carson was born the DAY AFTER we got home from our second summer at camp in 2003! He turned 13 this summer.

Looking ahead…

14457562_1237844489590266_7933372947741571497_nAlthough summer is over, and we look forward to fall at Peniel, camp doesn’t stop. Kim and Izaac host Peniel’s outdoor education program called FACE Camp. F.A.C.E. stands for Finding Adventure in Creation Exploration. This interactive program is available for 3rd-12th grade students in Christian school and homeschool groups. The 1-3 day program is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience education in a unique setting. Students will learn about Creation and their place in it from a Biblical perspective, both in classroom and outdoor settings and through hands-on activities. Subjects of study include: stargazing, nature hikes, botany, aquatic studies, geology, survival skills, and wildlife. There are still openings available in our FACE camp schedule for Spring 2016 and Fall 2017. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a school outing at Peniel. (Check out Kim’s Facebook page to see pictures of FACE camp in action.)

14344821_1237074783000570_7158802736971168700_nOpportunities to serve…

365 days in a year. 360 acres of camp property. With only two families living on camp full time, we’re unable to do it all. If you’d like to help with a project around camp, we’d love to hear about it. Bring a group of teens, men, or women from your church, and we’d be thrilled to find suitable projects that can be accomplished in just a few hours, or even up to a couple of days. Overnight accommodations are always available free of charge for willing workers. Maybe you’re unable to come serve, but you’d like to give towards a current project happening at the camp. Please contact us, and we’d be happy to give you more information. God has been so faithful in meeting the financial and physical needs of Peniel Bible Camp over the years, and we are confident He will use church families and  individuals across the state of Ohio and beyond to continue to do so. There are many opportunities. Thank you for your willingness to be of service to the Lord and to us!

dscn8978-enhancedRest, relax, and renew…

Shaded paths, peaceful lakes, rolling hills… make plans now to take advantage
of this beautiful place this fall or winter. Cabins are available for
rent at a very affordable rate for family reunions, youth groups, church
leadership planning teams, and individuals who want a place to relax, unwind,
and reconnect with God and each other in this picturesque setting. Contact us
today with any questions and to check on availability.

“We are so grateful for the financial and prayer support of individuals, families, and churches like you. Thank you for loving our family and the ministry of Peniel Bible
Camp. We’re blessed to have been a part of this camp life for the past 15 years, and we look forward to many more, Lord willing.” CONTACT US:
Peniel Bible Camp
3260 St. Rt. 314
Fredericktown, OH 43019

-Izaac, Kim,
Ashlyn, Brenna, and Carson


  • Sept. 21-23         MCS FACE camp
    Sept. 23-24        BJU’s Rooted & Grounded at Peniel
    Sept. 30-Oct. 1  Couples’ Retreat
    Oct. 7-8              OBF Conference at Orwell Bible Church
    Oct. 20-21         NCS FACE camp
    Oct. 28-29        Young Adult Retreat
    Nov. 2-4           IGES gift show– TN


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Men & Boys’ Retreat 2016

The guys had a great time at the Men & Boys’ Retreat this past weekend.

Attended by men of all ages — grandfathers, single men, fathers, young men in high school, the guys from one church’s youth group, middle school, elementary boys, and a few preschool fellows — these all enjoyed playing in the Cage, shooting at the targets, Face to Face with God time, Smoothies from the Snack Shop, Zipline, fishing, a canoe race, carpet ball, foosball, basketball, Man-Made crafting, delicious meals, 3 messages themed around a heart for God and man, morning class for the boys, late night games in Ashbrook Hall, and more!

2016 M&BMen, mark your calendar and plan to be a part of the 2017 Men & Boys’ Retreat on April 28-29.

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Memorial Day Celebration 2016

Please read the following letter from the president of the Ohio Bible Mission, Pastor Donald Gallion, and view Memorial Day 2016 detailing this annual event. We hope to see you at Peniel Bible Camp on Monday, May 30th!


Dear Members and Friends of the Ohio Bible Fellowship,

“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also“ [Matthew 6:20-21].

One application of this verse is that God’s people should live their lives on this earth for the Lord and not  for this earth that is passing away.  Another application is that what we consider as valuable on this earth determines where our heart is – whether it is focused on the passing things of this earth, or upon the Lord.

We hope that Peniel Bible Camp is part of where your heart is.  Admittedly, Peniel Bible Camp is here on this earth, but we, the Lord’s servants, have dedicated all of the Camp’s grounds and programs to the Lord and his eternal purposes.  We believe that Peniel Bible Camp is worthy of a place in your heart and is a vehicle for you to lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, as you serve at the Camp, attend the Camp, make spiritual decisions at the Camp for the Lord, and support the work of the Camp with your gifts.

A quality camp facility requires constant maintenance and upgrades of existing resources, but also new projects.  We as a board have set a Memorial Day Offering goal of $5,000 to cover expenses for the new Outdoor Game Building, to install a second bathroom in A-Frame 1 cabin, and to add another cabin to our lakefront area – both to enhance and add features to our camping programs.  Please see our website and Facebook page for more details about our camp.  Please see the attached flyer for Memorial Day program details.

We thank you for your service and support for the ministry at Peniel and look forward to how the Lord will bless in the future as we faithfully follow Him.  I will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

For the Lord’s Glory,

Donald L. Gallion

President, Ohio Bible Mission

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2016 Spring Work Week

Thankful for all who came out and helped with several projects around camp!2016 PBC Work Week 2


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