In 1972, the Lord gave General Superintendent Russell Myers a vision that the Eastern Region of the Evangelical Friends Churches (EFC-ER) needed a camp. In 1976, 114 acres of beautiful land in Carroll County, Ohio, were given by Randy and Barbara Gifford of Medina, Ohio, to the EFC-ER as a site for a camp, conference, and retreat center. In 1980, “Camp Gideon” was chosen as the official name because Gideon personified faith and obedience in God as told in the Bible, just as the EFC-ER was experiencing. In the years following, additional land was purchased to make a total of 180 acres, and soon a road was built, a picnic shelter was constructed, and a storage facility and garage were added.
On August 12, 1985, the camp was formally dedicated by Russell Myers. The Wilson Memorial Lodge was built and dedicated on September 6, 1987. Development of the camp continued with the appointing of camp directors and property managers.
In the following years, a low ropes course, a backstop, a basketball court, sand volleyball courts, soccer goals, and playground equipment have been added to the property. 1993 saw the conversion of the bunk house, the addition of several miles of walking trails, the building of what has affectionately become known as Lake David, and the installation of RV hookups. A second major building, Canyon Lodge, was completed in 1997, bringing the total camp capacity to 100.
An in-ground pool was added in 2002, bringing a splash to the summer activities.
The past several years have seen many more improvements, including family style dining, mapped and marked trails, a pool house in 2010, the enclosure of the picnic shelter into a craft building, a gazebo, and so much more. We are even planning the addition of several more activities and buildings to come in the future!