About BLC

Our mission:

Bear Lake Camp exists to be a Christian Ministry Center which challenges individuals toward maturity in Christ and to provide a positive environment through services and facilities.

The "bear" Facts

  • Located 30 Mi NW of Fort Wayne, IN
  • A resident camp for grades 3-12
  • An evangelical youth camp committed to challenging youth toward maturity in Christ.
  • A clean, safe camp with high standards in food, safety, health, and staffing.
  • A place where memories are made and lives are changed.
  • Open to all children of any race, color, sex, or national origin.
  • A member of Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA)
  • Established in 1948.

Core Values

God's Word

We value the authority and truth of God’s word and its usefulness through God’s Spirit to teach and train, to rebuke and correct, and to equip men and women to live godly lives. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Christian Community

We value a Christian Community that embraces one another with the love of Christ – a safe community that offers love, respect, forgiveness, accountability, and hope. We treat each individual as one who is loved and valued by God. (Romans 12:9-21)

Awayness

We value the power of stepping out of our busy routines to take a deep breath and be refreshed in our relationship with God. Camp is a place where we turn off the T.V. and the phone; clear the calendar and block out the distractions and noise of everyday life. In this intentionally simple setting, we can more easily refocus on the One who truly matters. (Mark 1:35)

Servant Leadership

We value servant leadership that reflects the character of Christ. We value serving others in a way utilizes and strengthens each person’s God given gifts and abilities. We want to be and equip servant leaders who will influence the world for Christ. (Mark 10:45)

The Gospel

The GOOD NEWS and living it out. We value the Gospel as a treasure to be shared! The Truth that Jesus is who He said He is and that He has made a Way to have a full life. A life that is changed by knowing and belonging to Him. We desire to want to make the gospel clear from salvation to sanctification to glorification. (Acts 13:32, Luke 8:1, Luke 4:18)

Worship

We value a lifestyle of worship. We desire to promote grateful praise, transformed living, obedient service, and responsible stewardship in both actions and attitudes. (Romans 12:1-2)

Doctrinal Statement

We believe in the Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy, and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son, is fully God and fully human. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. His sinless life, voluntary substitutionary death, shed blood, and bodily resurrection were necessary and sufficient for the redemption of man. He will visibly return to earth in glory to consummate His Kingdom.

We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born in sin and this sinful nature is the origin of all sinful acts in thought, word, and deed.

We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit and his work of conviction, regeneration, and sanctification. He indwells every believer, equipping them with gifts for service and witness.

We believe that the Gospel should be proclaimed to every person on earth, and that the responsibility of all who hear the Gospel is to repent of their sins and rebellion against God, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive justification and the forgiveness of sins.

We believe that the only way of salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ.

We believe the redeemed will be resurrected bodily to the everlasting presence and enjoyment of God, and the unredeemed will be resurrected to judgment and everlasting punishment.

We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who have trusted in Jesus Christ for the salvation and that their involvement in a local church is normative for a growing believer.

Meet the Staff

Our resident staff team is made up of 4 full-time employees, but in the ministry of camp our work and personal lives often overlap. You will often find spouses or children working in and around the camp at all times of the year. It is a joy to have such a committed staff who have all been called to Bear Lake Camp for this season to serve as a team.

Monty Harlan - Camp director

monty@bearlakecamp.com 

Monty has been Director at Bear Lake Camp since 1992, when he was hired as BLC’s first full-time employee.  During his tenure of leadership at BLC, Monty has seen God strengthening the impact of this ministry by expanding our summer camping program from 4 weeks to the present 8 weeks, implementing the Summer Staff and Service Crew program, the expansion of the Dining Hall, cabin renovations and other construction and renovations to the facilities, the birth of a vibrant community ministry, and the addition of two additional full-time staff positions – Camp Manager in 2000 and Program Director in 2013— and various part-time positions over the years.  He can’t wait to see what God is going to do next and see more lives impacted for the Kingdom through BLC’s ministries.

Monty, an ordained minister, holds a B.A. from Taylor University and an M.Div. from Winebrenner Theological Seminary.  Monty and his wife, Janette, have four children; Ben (Karli), Abbey (Jake), Rebekah (Connor), and Caleb.  Janette is also very active in the camping, retreat, and community ministries at BLC.

Tim Tomcik - camp Manager

tim@bearlakecamp.com

Tim came to BLC in 2000 and has guided the efforts to improve the camp’s facilities.  Tim’s leadership and craftsmanship were instrumental in the expansion of the dining hall and renovation of BLC’s four rustic cabins.  He is also responsible for the care of the grounds and other physical features of the camp.  During the summer, Tim directs and mentors the young people working on the BLC Service Crew. Tim and his wife, Sally, are also vital to the spiritual leadership of Bear Lake Ministries, BLC’s community ministry outreach. In addition to being active in the leadership of this ministry, Tim teaches often and can be found leading worship on Sunday mornings. Tim and Sally have three sons; Brad, Matt, and Nathan. Tim received his B.S. in Business Administration from Geneva College in PA.

Ben Harlan - Program Director

ben@bearlakecamp.com

Ben has grown up around camp and has been a part of the summer staff in a variety of ways over the years. Ben’s gifts in programming and leadership, as well as his in depth knowledge of a camp’s inner workings make him a great asset for our team.

He coordinates a large portion of the summer program in conjunction with our other resident staff. The addition of his position came at a time when camper numbers were at record highs and will allow for the growth to be accommodated effectively. Ben and his wife, Karli, also partner with us in our community ministry, utilizing the gifts that God has given both of them. Ben and Karli have two boys; Cooper and Owen.

Ben received his B.S. from Taylor University in 2013..

Jennifer SHerbahn- Assistant Program Director

jennifer@bearlakecamp.com

Jennifer is one those people whose job title does not encompass all that she does or means to BLC. From managing registrations to training and mentoring summer staff, Jennifer does it all. More importantly, she does it all with excellence! While she never camped here, Jennifer served on our Summer Staff for 4 years and fell in love with what God is doing at BLC. After graduating from college in 2014 and being hired to primarily work with our community ministry, Jennifer has becoming an invaluable member of our team and has continued to add new responsibilities to her work. Her passion for camp ministry is contagious and we are thrilled to have Jennifer as part of the camp family! Jennifer loves everything outdoors, especially her hammock and her Chacos. When she’s not designing a new camp craft or planning camp events, you can often find her hiking, reading, or playing one of her 145,962 instruments. Jennifer graduated with her BA from Anderson University in 2014.

Contact Us

Need to get in touch with the camp? Need more info about our summer programs? Interested in booking a retreat? Fill out this form and send us a message. We will get back to you. If you have an urgent message, please call the camp at (260)-799-5988