Roseau River Bible Camp began with the vision of Mr. Jac Harder. After his vision was shared with friends, Canadian Sunday School Mission (also known as CSSM Ministries) was approached to see if developing a camp at Roseau River would be feasible. After an extensive survey of Southeastern Manitoba, CSSM concluded that a Bible Camp at Roseau River was indeed necessary. Development began on a 143 acre piece of land located three miles west of Roseau River, Manitoba.
As the present site was being developed, the summer camp program was held at the Nazarine Camp, located near St. Malo. During the three years at St. Malo, the camp grew quickly, with an average of 250 campers attending annually.
In 1992, the camp program relocated to the new site along the Roseau River. The new site featured a new main lodge that included a dining room, a chapel, office space, and washroom facilities. The site also featured new cabins, a waterfront along the river, and stables for the horses. In the augural year at Roseau River, 332 campers attended the summer camp sessions. That number nearly doubled to 603 the following year.
In its first decade at the Roseau River site, the camp experienced tremendous growth and facilities were expanded to meet this growth. Additional housing was created by the building of fourplexes. The stables were renovated and upgraded. A new basketball court was added in 1997 and the new swimming pool opened in 2001.
The year 2002 was a milestone for the camp. Not only was it the tenth anniversary of the move to Roseau, but for the first time, summer camp registrations exceeded the 800 mark. This year was also special because the camp was able to pay off its mortgage and was now free of debt. Amidst the excitement and optimism, the Camp Board unveiled a ten year expansion plan to ensure that the ministry at Roseau River would continue with vision and a firm foundation.
The camp has continued to grow remarkably. The summer camps operate at full capacity. Specialty camps such as Special Needs Camp, Paintball Camp, Horsemanship Camp, and BMX Biking Camp have been added to compliment the existing program. An average of nearly 1,000 campers have attended the past few summers, while many potential campers are placed on waiting lists. Throughout the year, the camp hosts numerous retreats and rental groups.
All the glory goes to God. As many ordinary people have served Him faithfully, the Lord has been blessed the camp tremendously and turned Mr. Harder's dream into a reality. Many people have come to know their Lord and Saviour here at the camp and have left forever changed.
Roseau River Bible Camp would like to publicly thank all of the past and present staff and volunteers who have contributed to the camp ministry. Many people have helped out as cabin leaders (counselors), maintenance people, cooks, kitchen helpers, lifeguards, wranglers, or nurses. Special thanks go to those who have help guide the vision of the camp as board members, camp directors, and other full-time staff.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" Colossians 3:17 (NIV)