Save The Date! Ortoha is Celebrating 75 Years Next July

We have so much to celebrate! Please mark your calendars and join us at Camp for Mission Fest Sunday next summer. We are aiming for a huge 75-year reunion for anyone who was a camper, speaker, cook, art director, camp director, parent or involved in anyway with Camp Ortoha during the past 75 years. Right now we need you to spread the word to your kids, grandkids, friends who attended camp with you, siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, other churches and anywhere you know there might be folks who attended camp from 1945 onward.

At this time we are also requesting pictures! Any and all pictures that have anything to do with camp would be greatly appreciated. Building the camp, old ones, new ones, camp fun, swimming, campfires, etc. - we want them all! Pictures can be emailed to Rae Morris at, or if you don’t have a way to scan, contact me via email, text me at 509-322-4949 or call 509-485-2347 and we’ll figure it out.

2019 Save The Date.png

Fundraiser: Cover the Cots!

The Ortoha planning board has just launched a fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of 30 new mattresses. We hope you’ll consider being a part of this effort to bless next year’s campers, as well as the campers for many years to come!

The new mattresses are 6 inches thick and covered in a cleanable, easy to sanitize blue nylon material (see an example in the picture below). These will replace older mattresses that are worn out or torn. Our fund goal to cover the project cost is $4,360.

In an effort to make the process of donating even more convenient on your end, we’ve recently added a way to donate electronically via our website. Simply visit out Homepage, scroll down to the “Donate” button and follow the prompts. Of course, if you prefer to mail in a check, those are always welcome, too! Our PO Box address is listed on the Contact page.

We are really excited about this new development, and the opportunity to improve the camp experience for future campers. We hope you’ll join us in this endeavor!

Have questions? Give Sandy Sutton a call at 509-485-2223.

Mattress 2 (2).jpg

Middle School Week!

Our third and final week of youth camp is well underway! We have 38 awesome campers up at Ortoha this week. As always, we want to ask all the Ortoha supporters out there to keep our campers in your prayers, along with the outstanding staff that is serving them (see more information about those individuals below!). We’ve been blessed with great weather this year, and it seems like the sunshine will hold out through camp’s close on Thursday afternoon.

A few parents have followed up with us to confirm which day camp closes, so we hope you’ll help us spread the word that Middle School Week comes to a close on Thursday at 3 p.m. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

2019 Camp Theme

Grow in Christ… @Ortoha

Middle School Week Staff

  • Director: Brian Bowes

    • Brian has been serving Ortoha campers for decades, and is an alumni camper himself! He loves making every child feel special, and knows how to dial up the fun factor.

  • Speakers: Chris Warren & Jackie Druckhammer

    • Chris has been a pastor and participated in Christian camping for 38 years. He is a man of many talents, though! He also drives school bus during the academic year, and plays trumpet and french horn with four different groups, including the school's pep-band. Jesus Christ has made such a positive difference in his life; he considers it a joy to share what Jesus can do in the lives of the kids at camp.

    • Jackie Druckhammer is currently serving as Director of Christian Education at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Spokane, WA. She was raised in Vancouver, WA, and attended a church that served as an internship site for Christian Ministry students. After meeting so many awesome people who were pursuing church work as their career, she couldn't imagine doing anything else with her life. She attended Concordia University in St. Paul, MN for her bachelor's degree and DCE certification, and she’s served congregations in Michigan and Texas (where she met her husband), and now in Spokane, WA. She is so thankful for every chance she gets to share God’s love and goodness with others.

  • Cooks: Amy Schertlin & Rev. Alan Visser

    • This is an incredible father/daughter duo who have come together for yet another year of service and delicious flavors!

    • Amy is an Ortoha alumni and her father acted as a speaker at camp on many occasions. They have traveled a long way to be here, so we are very lucky to have both their enthusiasm for the Ortoha experience, and their mastery in the kitchen to bless our campers!


Grade School Week!

What a lovely day we had at Ortoha on Sunday! In addition to kicking off Grade School Week in the afternoon, we also had Mission Fest Sunday church service in the morning followed by our world famous potluck lunch.

We are thrilled to report we have 39 Grade School Week campers at Ortoha, and they are off to a wonderful start! We’ve been blessed with a great weather forecast so they are sure to get plenty of opportunities for swimming and recreation time outside.

We’d like to ask everyone - parents, alumni campers, and Ortoha supports alike - to be praying over Grade School Week as each day passes. Our speakers, Layne Baird and Emelia Bouman, have a fantastic program prepared, and we are excited to see what the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of these youngsters. In addition to praying over the campers, please also remember to keep all the staff members in your prayers, including the director, speakers, counselors, and cooks.

Grade School Week concludes on Thursday at 3 p.m., but parents are welcome to pick their camper up earlier in the afternoon if need be. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. Wishing all our campers and parents out there a great week!

11053237_1156681224357405_6738734170006030444_n - Copy.jpg

When Do I Pick Up My Camper?

Time flies! As we near the end of our first week of camp (can you believe High School Week is nearly over already!?), we wanted to post some information about the last day and what to expect with regards to picking up your camper. These tips are especially helpful for first-time camper parents, so help us get the word out by sharing this post with those who may need it.

The Schedule

This year, the official end of each week is as follows:

  • High School Week: Friday at 1 p.m.

  • Grade School Week: Thursday at 3 p.m.

  • Middle School Week: Thursday at 3 p.m.

Exceptions & Expectations

We are always considerate of the family’s schedule and obligations. If you need to pick your child up earlier, that is no problem! After all, some of you have a long drive home and you’ll need a head start. We’re also aware that some parents’ work schedules make it very hard to pick the kids up mid-afternoon. If you have any concerns about the pick-up deadline, please chat with us during the Registration process on Sunday so we can make a plan to accommodate you and your family.

Packing Up

A lot can happen in just a few days! We hope your camper has the opportunity to introduce you to all his/her new friends and favorite staff members. Be sure to take plenty of group pictures, and don’t forget that we’d love to post your favorite pics to our Facebook page. We welcome any/all submissions! We also know tracking down all those articles of clothing, flashlights, and toiletries can take time. No worries; we aren’t in any rush, and our staff members are very happy to help you pack luggage from the cabin to the car. If you happen to forget anything at camp, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the Facebook page to identify the missing item. We keep a Lost & Found box and can make sure it gets back to you soon.

Questions? Give us a shout! We’re always happy to help. Thank you!


High School Week!

Hello fellow Ortoha supporters! We are very happy to report Ortoha has 14 wonderful High School campers this week. It feels great to finally have the first week of camp underway, and registrations for the following two weeks continue to pour in daily. Hurray!

We’d like to take this opportunity to ask all our alumni campers, camper parents, supporters, and online followers to keep the 2019 Ortoha campers in your prayers over the next three weeks. God does incredible work at camp, revealing Himself in new and deeper ways. We want to pray for the spiritual growth and physical health of all staff and campers, a spirit of unity, and a whole lot of fun. It’s also important to remember the ripple effects camp has throughout the whole rest of the year. Please pray for safe travel after camp concludes each week, and that the Holy Spirit would continue to nurture the sparks He lit at camp long after the sleeping bags have been put away. If you would be willing to set a daily alarm on your phone, or post a note to your bathroom mirror to make sure you remember this prayer request, we would greatly appreciate it!

Don’t forget - Mission Fest service at camp is this coming Sunday at 11 a.m. We hope you join us and take advantage of this great opportunity to worship God in the midst of His beautiful creation.


2019 Ortoha Youth Camp Begins This Sunday!

The week we’ve been waiting for all year has finally arrived! High schoolers will be kicking off the youth camp season at Ortoha this coming Sunday, July 21st. Check out the full 2019 camp schedule below, in addition to details about Mission Fest Sunday, and the staff who will be serving our high school campers this year.

2019 Camp Schedule:

  • High School Week

    • Sun. July 21 - Fri. July 26

    • Registration opens on Sunday at 3 pm, camp starts at 5 pm

    • Camp ends at 1 pm on Friday

  • Grade School Week

    • Sun. July 28 - Thur. Aug. 1

    • Registration opens on Sunday at 3 pm, camp starts at 5 pm

    • Camp ends at 3 pm on Thursday

  • Middle School Week

    • Sun. Aug. 4 - Thur. Aug 8

    • Registration opens on Sunday at 3 pm, camp starts at 5 pm

    • Camp ends at 3 pm on Thursday

Mission Fest Sunday & Potluck

Your are invited! Please join us for church in the Gazebo building at Camp Ortoha on Sunday, July 28th at 11 am. This is a cherished annual tradition, as well as an excellent opportunity to worship God surrounded by His beautiful creation. Our speaker will be Clark Kraemer, and his message is titled "Living Life with Your Hands Open." Our world-famous potluck will follow the service. Feel free to stay as long as you like and take advantage of the close proximity to Lost Lake, Strawberry Mountain, and the Big Trees. Mark your calendars - we look forward to seeing you there!

Meet the High School Week Staff:

  • Cooks: Amy Schertlin & Rev. Alan Visser

    • This is an incredible father/daughter duo who have come together for yet another year of service and delicious flavors!

    • Amy is an Ortoha alumni and her father acted as a speaker at camp on many occasions. They have traveled a long way to be here, but they’re enthusiasm for the Ortoha experience, and their mastery in the kitchen is sure to bless our campers greatly!

  • Speakers: Rev. Steve Nickodemus & Rev. Tim Winterstein

    • Both pastors have been speakers at Ortoha before and they’re dedicated to the good work God is doing through the ministry of Camp Ortoha. We’re so thankful to have them!


Open House! Come Celebrate Ortoha's 74th Year!

What? You didn’t know that? Perhaps you’re thinking, “How can this be? I’ve never even heard of this camp. What is this camp? What’s it all about? I need to know more!”

Well, you’re in luck because one of North Central Washington’s “best kept secrets” is hosting an open house!

You are invited to visit camp on Saturday, June 22nd. Come on up, check out the grounds and facilities, and perhaps you’ll be enticed to get involved - maybe even this year - with this local youth ministry.

The best way to get there is as follows:

  • Head to Tonasket turning right onto the highway 20 heading to Republic

  • Travel about 20 miles and take the Bonaparte Lake Resort turn-off [left turn]

  • Travel past the resort till you come to a “Y” at the Beth/Beaver Lake junction staying to the left

  • Travel about 6-8 miles from there, past the Big Tree Botanical site, coming to a “T”, turn left and in about a mile, the sign for Lutheran Camp Ortoha will be on the left

  • If you reach the entrance to the Lost Lake Campground, you’ve gone too far!

Hope to see you there! Please, if possible, RSVP to Brian Bowes, the Director of Ortoha Youth Camp, by Tuesday, June 18th. You can either email: or call 429.1567.

The Camp still has the following needs for their 2019 Season:

  • Grade School Camp – July 28-Aug 1:

    • Girl counselors – 2 must be at least going into 10th grade

  • Middle School Camp – Aug 4-8

    • Need one camp speaker to present four 1-hour presentations – one per day. This year’s theme is: “Grow @ Ortoha.” Simply put, sharing the Gospel and the salvation story

    • Counselors – 3 boys, 4 girls…they should be at least going into the 11th grade

The Camp Grounds Are Now Open!

Many thanks to the volunteers who gave up their time on Saturday to help get Ortoha ready for the 2019 camp season!

As many of you know, Camp Ortoha can be rented out for group events during the summer months, (excluding the three weeks we are open for the Youth Camp, of course). That means we need to get the buildings cleaned up and organized as soon as the pipes have thawed from winter.

This year, we got a head start on the work. A small group of volunteers went up on Wednesday of last week to turn on the propane and light the pilots. In addition, three cabins were thoroughly cleaned and a good start was made on cleaning the kitchen.

On Saturday, then, a bigger crew came to finish the work. In the Mess Hall, rafters were dusted, tables were sanitized, and floors were vacuumed and mopped. In the kitchen, all flatware and kettles were washed, the shelves and cupboards were scrubbed, the grill and ovens were cleaned, and the refrigerators and freezer were cleaned. As for the showers and bathrooms, they were also cleaned and sanitized.

Some great progress was made outside the buildings, too! A crew with a small Cat machine removed and replaced the logs around the fire pit. Additionally, the county took down some dead trees.

We are so thankful for all those who volunteer each year to help make Ortoha ready for renters and campers. They help us start the season off with a bang!

Are you curious about renting Ortoha for an event? Or are you interesting in sending a camper to one of our three weeks of Youth Camp? You might find the Group Rentals page and the Registration page very helpful. You can also send us a message via Facebook and we will respond right away.

We’re excited to see what the 2019 camping season brings! And very thankful for another opportunity to foster fun, fellowship, and spiritual growth in a beautiful outdoor setting.


Help Wanted: 2019 Summer Camp Opportunities!

The planning board is hard at work putting together the details for our 2019 summer program. As you know, we have already released the official dates for the upcoming season, as well as the theme. Now, we need your help to put together the finishing touches!


  • Speakers and speaker nominations for Middle School Week (Aug 4-8)

  • Anyone willing to fill the following staff positions:

    • Grade School Week “Camp Mom” - leading chapel and crafts (July 28-Aug 1)

    • Middle School Week crafts/chapel leader (Aug 4-8)

For questions, clarifications, etc., contact Camp Director Brian Bowes at 509.429.1567 or

If you have someone in mind and want to share more information about camp with the candidate, don’t forget that our Staff page and About Us page will address many initial questions right off the bat.

We hope you will consider joining the mission of sharing the Good News to Ortoha campers this summer!

Got Video Skills?

The Ortoha Planning Board is hoping to recruit the help of someone experienced with making and editing videos. With this person’s help, the board would like to create some promotional content that could be used to spread the word about camp to new campers in our region. Ortoha now has a functioning website and active Facebook page, but we are convinced that more can be done to reach prospective campers in this highly digital age. Anyone interested is urged to contact Director Brian Bowes to discuss a potential collaboration. Do you have a friend who might be a good fit for this project? Please don’t hesitate to send them this post or forward their contact information to Brian.

The 2019 camping season will be here before we know it! Help us prepare so that we can reach more students and invite them to the incredible experience that is Camp Ortoha!

Director Brian Bowes

(509) 429-1567

Last Chance to Claim Your Lost & Found Items

We had an unusually large number of lost and found items up at camp this year. Only a few things have been claimed, though. Did your camper leave something behind? A sleeping bag, Bible, flashlight, clothing item, or water bottler, perhaps? Well it’s time to claim your items!

The planning board has held onto these L&F items for nearly four months, and if they go unclaimed, all items will be donated in January 2019. Be sure to act fast! Connect with Lenette Schldheisz as soon as possible to see if she has an item you are missing.



Have other questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We are know some parents are already planning out their family adventures for 2019 and we’d love Camp Ortoha to be a part of your summer. We’ll have camp dates posted to both the website and our Facebook page in February.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season!

Ortoha: Reflections From Camp Speakers

Although the warmth of summer is fading, the memories forged during the three weeks of Camp Ortoha are still as strong as ever. We’ve invited two of our 2018 speakers to share their thoughts on what it is like serving campers, and how lasting those experiences are.

Jim Helleson:

“It’s a sin to bore kids with the gospel.” -Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life

Each summer we have the opportunity to ”drop into” the high school world, just as Jesus dropped into our world [Phil 2: 5-8]. We get to listen and learn what their concerns are. We get to share their joys and sorrows, successes and failures. And it’s not always a pretty picture. Their lives are dominated by social media. And although they are “linked,” they are more isolated and lonely then ever. There is the constant fear of rejection. They are shamed if there are fewer “likes” then “favorites” on their posts. Into this world the liberating love and reconciliation of Jesus is proclaimed.

The clearest proclamation of the gospel, however, is not in what we say, but in what we experience together. The servant heart and enthusiasm of the staff. The great food and personal touches of the cooks. Sharing and eating together. Crazy fun games and activities. Family interactions. A time to reflect. Being vulnerable and empathetic, not being afraid of failing. The laughter and singing at campfire. The love and support of all the people behind the scene making it all come together.

Far from dull and boring, camp is experiencing the exciting adventure of the Christian life together.

Kim Helleson:

One of the ways I learn is “visually.” As the Bible study leader it is my hope that the campers will “hide His Word in their hearts,” and I am always hoping to find a way for the message of the Bible to become real to campers.

This summer I selected some verses from Jesus’ teaching and had the campers “act” the verse out for the others.

One of my favorite “visuals” was Matthew 7:24-27. The campers had one of their own be “a Rock” on which the wise man built his house! This is one scripture I expect the campers will remember!
Speaker Jim Helleson

Speaker Jim Helleson

Speaker Kim Helleson

Speaker Kim Helleson

End of Season Updates From Ortoha

We are delighted to report a steady flow of group rentals have followed our three weeks of Youth Camp at Ortoha. Once the last group rental of the 2018 season is done, Ortoha board members will schedule a time to close camp for the winter. That is a fairly easy process, but it would be an excellent training opportunity for those interested in joining our maintenance crew. We can always use more helping hands when it comes to building and plumbing repairs, so don't hesitate to speak up if you would like to know more. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated! 

Looking forward to the start of our 2019 camping season, we are very excited about the number of group rentals already booked! It seems like word is getting around the county about how great Ortoha's grounds and facilities are! To prepare for a big year of camping, we hope to put a new coat of paint down in the Kitchen and Mess Hall rooms in late spring. Many hands make the work light, so we'll keep you posted when a work party date gets scheduled for that project. We would love your help! 

As always, don't hesitate to contact us through the website or Facebook page if you have any questions about renting camp, becoming more involved with annual maintenance, or how to help prepare Ortoha for our three weeks of Youth Camp next summer. You can do any of these throughout the year - it doesn't have to be the busy season of summer. It would be wonderful to hear from you! 


Camp Ortoha could not continue to exist without the effort, passion and dedication of so many individuals! Our Planning Board prepares tirelessly throughout the year, and our staff members work hard create an incredible, inclusive experience for each camper (often on very little sleep!). We are so grateful for their service!

Somewhat less visible, but still essential is the contribution of those parents and community members who help spread the word about camp. We had a very large number of first-time campers at Ortoha this year, and we recognize this is a direct result of the parents out there who aren't timid about telling other parents about the awesome experience camp delivers. No amount of marketing can replace the personal recommendation you provide! 

We also want to express gratitude for those who give of their time (stuffing envelopes, prepping arts and crafts - the list goes on!), their talents (repairing damaged buildings, tending to the plumbing, etc.), and their finances (responding to spring "wish lists," or donating on a monthly basis) throughout the year. These gifts may seem small, but they are the glue that keeps Ortoha operating all its fullest potential! 

To all who support Camp Ortoha and its mission of fun, fellowship and spiritual growth in the great outdoors: 


Are you interested in helping plan or prepare for Camp Ortoha Summer 2019? We would love to hear from you! Please email Brian Bowes today:

News From Middle School Week

Hi all! Middle School Week is underway and everyone is having a great time up at Ortoha. We have 45 campers up there this week! 

Did you know we have TWO father/daughter duos on staff this week at camp? As we've introduced before, Pastor Alan Visser and Amy Schertlen have been diligently serving our campers these three weeks by preparing delicious, healthy meals and snacks in the kitchen. They are joined this week by Rev. Gary Krumdieck and his daughter Jeanette Floyd, who are both serving as speakers. Rev. Krumdieck has served as a speaker at Ortoha on many occasions, and as a result, Jeanette attended as a camper through most of her childhood. She is very excited to return and have a chance to create a wonderful experience for our campers this year. Rev. Krumdieck traveled all the way from Sutherlin, Oregon to be with us this week, while Jeannette resides in Wenatchee. 

The forecast continues to show sunshine through the rest of this week, meaning our campers are going to have a great time cooling down in the lake during afternoon rec time! We are so lucky to have such great weather for three straight weeks! 

We want to extend a special thanks to all the parents and family members who have made the trek up to Ortoha over the past three weeks to drop off and pick up these wonderful campers. We are blessed to have so many campers this year, and of course it couldn't happen without the dedication and sacrifice of their loved ones. 

Camp concludes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, but you are welcome to pick up your camper(s) early if that is more convenient for your schedule and commute. (Parents typically start arriving anytime after 5 p.m.) Please feel free to reach out if you have questions! 


Grade School Week Update!

Many thanks to all those who attended our Mission Fest Sunday service at Ortoha. It was a pleasure to hear from speaker Kennedy Duck Crabtree about the incredible work of Resonate Church, and what an amazing way to kick off Grade School Week - the biggest registration week of them all! We have 53 campers at Ortoha right now! You can bet it one very LOUD, very ACTIVE campground this week! Director Brian has fantastic things to say about all his Grade School Week counselors, though, and they are doing an great job of leading the campers in activities. Our speakers are Rev. Shawn Neider and Becky Loch, who is a Para Educator with the Grand Coulee Dam School District. As previously introduced, our cooks this week are father/daughter duo Pastor Alan Visser and Amy Schertlen. 

We have a big shout out to Byers Market in Tonasket who, for many years in a row now, has made copies of the annual "Ortoha camper and staff" picture for all our campers free of charge! It is a wonderful, generous gift, and sending each camper home with a reminder of their summer fun can't be beat!

Stay tuned - we'll share more updates as they become available.