Camp Selah Since 1948
Camp Selah was founded in 1948 by local churches and individuals who felt their community needed a Christian camp for boys and girls. In August of that year Selah was incorporated as a non-profit organization and purchased 250ft frontage on Long Lake in Reading, Michigan. From its beginning Camp Selah's greatest asset has been the commitment of its many volunteers and faithful supporters. Selah is overseen by a board of directors some of which have had involvement at the Camp reaching back 40+ years.
In 1950, the first building was erected and the first summer camp was held. Tents were used for camper housing and chapel services. Over the next six years a dining hall, chapel building and dormitories were completed. In 1982, Duane Cross, along with his wife, DeeAnn, came to serve as the first year-round camp director. During his fourteen years of service the ministry grew in many ways; Camp Selah was able to expand its property and make improvements to programming. The ministry began to grow beyond a camp that primarily served specific local churches to one that reached out to boys and girls of the entire tristate area.
In 1996, God led Jeff Knoll and his wife, Myrna, to the directorship from Camp Michindoh. At that time, the opportunities for ministry were so great that Camp Selah had grown beyond what one man could manage. With the addition of Jim and Liz Knoll as part-time staff, the ministry was able to maintain the forty-year-old facilities as well as serve many churches and guest groups. The summer camping ministry doubled in attendance in less than four years and many young people heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
Phil Charles, pastor and long time board member, and his wife, Carolyn, followed the Lord's leading to the directorship in 2006. Throughout his involvement in the ministry, Phil oversaw many improvements to the buildings and grounds including a new addition to the main building. Carolyn acted as the camp financial secretary. Phil and Carolyn served whole-heartedly until their retirement in the fall of 2014. Their guidance and example while they were at Selah helped deliver much spiritual growth to the staff.
Camp Selah Directors since 1982: Left to Right Jeff & Myrna Knoll, Mark & Shelley Emmons, Phil & Carolyn Charles, Duane & DeeAnn Cross
Previous Selah counselors Tyler Tracy, and his wife, Denae, became year-round staff in 2014 serving as the program director and financial secretary. Tyler brought an amazing energy and enthusiasm to the camp programming and helped the camp usher its new outdoor education program. The two welcomed Alice into the family in 2020 and shortly after her first birthday, Tyler was offered and accepted the executive director position at neighboring YMCA camp, Kimball Camp, further strengthening the bond between the three youth camps in Hillsdale County; Selah, Kimball, and Michindoh.