Close this search box.

Camp Breaks Ground on New Gym!

After decades of dreaming, ground has officially broken on the new multi-purpose gym project!

It’s official! After decades of dreaming, ground has been broken on a new multi-purpose gym at Camp Lebanon! Friends from multiple generations joined together for a ceremony to praise God for this exciting opportunity to elevate the impact of Camp’s ministry. Groundbreaking was the first step in constructing the new building, which is targeted for completion by the end of 2023. Footings and groundwork will be worked on this fall, and then full construction begins next spring.

Fundraising Update

Camp has officially surpassed the 66% (2/3) point of fundraising! This means that instead of counting up to $2.5 million, it’s time to countdown the final $847,000.02 left to raise. The stories of generosity have been amazing and we trust God to provide the rest of the funds. Would you consider helping us with the project?

Can you tell us more about the Gym Groundbreaking ceremony?

Certainly. Thanks for asking! Here’s a quick recap of the groundbreaking ceremony, as told through pictures.

A great group of friends walked up the hill from Camp’s main hub, gathering on the physical location of where the gym will soon be. In the photo you can see white lines outlining the exact location of the future building.  A stage was set up on the spot where the stage will be in the gym itself.  A table was also set on the mark where the future coffeeshop will be. (reminder, you can find the gym floor plan on this page)

Bill Abeler , Camp’s Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and shared a quick devotional from the Word of God. It’s Gym Time!

Diane Brandes led the group in worship together.

Monte Abeler, Director of Development & Marketing, did his best to give everyone a “tour” of the new building, pointing to specific places where things will be. He showed the location of the coffeeshop, gym, stage, activity checkout, climbing wall, and bathrooms.

Following the imaginary tour, John Kinghorn (Kinghorn Construction, picture above) and Aaron Thompson (The Design Connection) gave an overview of the project and processes.

Grady Kinghorn (Kinghorn Construction) shared his testimony of meeting Jesus at Camp Lebanon, along with his excitement for this gym project.

Rick Stempel (Camp’s Board President at the time of purchasing the North 40 land) and Roger Negaard (Champion of the new gym project) led the group in prayer.

And then it was time to break some ground!….

The first crew to break ground was the gym “vision team”, which was John Kinghorn, Grady Kinghorn, Roger Negaard, Scott Shoemaker (facilities), Shane Hollenbeck (ministries), Bill Abeler, Monte Abeler, Diane Brandes (Board President), Lisa Abeler (women’s ministries), Parker Anderson (operations), Mark Waller, Aaron Thompson, and Jana Swenson (fundraising consultant).

Next up was Camp’s current Board of Directors! Howie Schomer, Randy Toews, Vicki Trees, Vicki Gustafson, Dave Blanchard, Bill Abeler, Diane Brandes, Matt Young, Mark Waller, Karla Ross, and Jon Monsour.

Next up was anyone who had previously served on Camp’s Board.

They were followed by current, full-time Camp Lebanon staff.

Team Quilt got in the action!

So did some summer staffers.

Babies even jumped in to help!


All-in-all, it was a big moment for Camp Lebanon! Friends off all ages shared in the joy and are eager to help this gym become a reality. The next steps are to continue to fund the rest of the project.  Next year, there will be countless volunteer opportunities for people to chip in according to the giftings.  Thanks for being a part of this!

Read these next.
Stay connected with us!

Do you love Camp Lebanon? If so, we’d invite you to follow us on social media and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter. Really we just want to help you stay in the loop!