History & Organization
Beaver Creek Youth Camp Sign

   That same night, the king simply couldn't sleep. He had the official royal records brought in, and his young male servants began reading them to the king.
                                    Esther 6:1

   Hopefully you're not reading about Beaver Creek because you can't sleep. Beaver Creek's Statement of Purpose and history follow. If you are looking for the organization and oversight of Beaver Creek, please click here.

 Statement of Purpose
  The Beaver Creek Camp Commission is dedicated to promoting Christian education, recreation, and social welfare of youth and adults regardless of race or disability and is open to all denominations. We understand "the promotion of social welfare" to include the strengthening of families and other human relationships, the enhancement of personal growth and wholeness, the exploration of human life in relationship to nature, and the furtherance of life in the Christian Community.

  Click here for a history of Beaver Creek video.

 Beaver Creek Experience can trace its history back to at least 1929 when Rev. John Spargo took a youth group from Monte Vista to the church camp at Grand Mesa. The next year, youth from Monte Vista, Bowen and Alamosa went to Grand Mesa. The delegation led by Ivan Asay left Alamosa in a Model T Ford before 7:00 a.m. and arrived in camp after 10:00 p.m. After this experience, exploration began for holding camp closer to home.

   1931 - Sangre De Cristo Institute Commission organized. Camp was held at Masonic Park.
   1932 - No camp held. Blanca, Alamosa and Mosca held a retreat on the Urraca over the 4th of July weekend.
   1933 - Institute at Crestone organized. Camp was held at Crestone using the "old Mining Company Barracks."
       A few cooking utensils were purchased and fund-raising began for a "permanent camp in the San Luis Valley."
   1934-1944 - History is vague.
   September 23, 1945 - Seventeen Commissioners met at the Sargent Church.
       Exploration began for a building site.
   February 2, 1946 - Site exploration continued. Process to incorporate began.
   June 6, 1946 - Incorporation had been accomplished.
       Fund-raising continued including a request to the Methodist Annual Conference to be included in its drive to "raise funds for the improvement and extension of youth camps."
   Before February 1948- Beaver Creek, Jasper, Platoro, Zapata Creek, Pearl Lake, Galbrath Ranch, and the American Legion Grounds above Masonic Park had been explored for possible building locations.
   February 15, 1948 - The site at Beaver Creek was confirmed and a lease with the US Forest Service was negotiated. The commission name was changed to San Luis Valley Institute Commission.
   June 6, 1948 - First meeting held at the Beaver Creek site.
   September 1948 - Purchase of building materials authorized.
   By early 1949 - Two tents, 100 bunk beds, 455 sacks of cement, window sash and roll roofing had been acquired.
   June 27, 1949 - Construction of main building (now Rustic Lodge) began.
   August 27, 1949 - First camp to be held at Beaver Creek began ("an Intermediate Camp"). "The building had not been completed but an enthusiastic and successful Institute was conducted. Methodist Church of Monte Vista donated tables and benches for the dining room and the Mosca Church erected a big bell from their old school house for announcing the meals and classes."
   1950 - The fireplace in the dining hall was completed. The first bathhouse was built. "In addition to the Methodist Intermediate Camp, about sixty 4-H youth from Conejos County used the camp. Many other groups of the area came for short meetings."
   1951 - "The Presbyterian Churches of the Valley united in a camp on the Beaver Creek grounds."
       Improvement on the main building continued.
   September 9, 1951 - Beaver Creek Camp was formally dedicated.
   1952 - US Forest Service approved 10 cabin sites.
   1954 - Spruce, the first sleeping cabin, was built with funds provided, primarily, by the Alamosa Church.
   1955 - A second bath house (girls) was built. Aspen and Pine were built.
       Rev. C. A Hartley and Homer Dunlap of Pagosa Springs brought the San Juan "area" into participation with Beaver Creek. The name of the commission was changed from San Luis Valley Institute Commission to The Beaver Creek Commission to make "possible the inclusion of the San Juan region and Salida."
   1957 - A new (boys) shower house was built. The old one became storage and the canteen.
   1958 - Cedar was built by the Methodist Church in Durango. Willow (or Fir) was also built.
   1959 - Evergreen and Cottonwood (& Fir?) were built.
   1960 - Several improvements were made to the main building and a chlorinator was installed on the water system.
      Columbine was built.
   1961 - Caretaker's cabin was completed.
   Spring 1963 - Volleyball Court and the Recreation Area by the main gate were completed.
   1964 - Construction on Dave Mathias Worship Center (now called Green Cathedral) began.
   1965 - The infirmary was completed (in 6 days).
   1966 - (or 1965) Fir (or Willow) was built (rebuilt?)
   1967 - Arrangements were made to complete the Ramada.
   1968-1997 - History vague.
   1998 - Planning and fund-raising began for a new "Four Season Lodge."
   2002 - Low Rope Challenge Course completed.
   2009 - The Berkstresser (four-seasons) Lodge was completed.
   2012 - Disc Golf Course completed.
   2013 - Basketball Court installed.
   June 2014- Beaver Creek Youth Camp and Christian Retreat was rededicated to Christ during the San Luis Valley Cooperative Parish's Church in the Wildwood celebration.
   Fall 2014 - Interpretative nature trail development began.
   Spring 2015 - Nature trail and guide book mostly completed. First Family Free Day held.
   Summer 2015 - Nature trail and guide book were completed and used in camp activities.
   July 13, 2017 - 5th & 6th Grade camp moved the first rocks to start a labyrinth behind Rustic Lodge. The Middle School and High School Camps completed what is now known as the "Asymmetrical Labyrinth."
   Summer 2020 - Beaver Creek was one of only 13 out of 175 camps in its association to successfully host traditional resident summer camps during the Covid-19 pandemic. Camps were also held in 2021, but had to shut down during the second week of 2022 because of a Covid outbreak.
   2021 - Beaver Creek began re-branding itself as Beaver Creek Experience to better promote retreats.

   Oversight of the Beaver Creek Youth Camp and Christian Retreat is through a Commission, which is composed of volunteer members of eight San Luis Valley churches and at-large members representing other churches/denominations and areas of expertise. The member churches are:
Alamosa First United Methodist Church
Bowen Community Church
Center First United Methodist Church
Saguache United Methodist Church
Sargent Community Church
Mosca Community Church
Monte Vista Community Methodist Church
Pioneer United Church, ECO