Introducing Hope Valley!
As a teen, I used to come to Camp Meeting with my family. One summer I worked at the snack shack. Other summers I simply would spend time on the campus hanging out with friends and going to the youth meetings. Throughout those years, one thing remained consistent. Down the hill, past Beaver tent and Earliteen was the valley floor, packed with rows upon rows of eager RV campers. I’ve heard it called Happy Valley owing, I’m sure, to the myriad “happy campers” that pepper the grounds during Camp Meeting week. I’ve also heard it called Death Valley. Maybe because of the hot, dry, dusty conditions of the hottest summers. Honestly, I never figured that one out.
But in 2020, out of the smoke, ash, and chaos of fire evacuations, a new moniker has emerged. And this time there’s no confusion. It started with an evacuee, RV trailer in tow, finding “Gladstone Park Conference Center” on a Clackamas County evacuation map. They rolled through the front gate and down toward the valley. “What’s this place called, anyway?” They asked a staff member. Trailer after trailer came through the gates, finding refuge while fleeing the on-rushing flames.
“This place feels peaceful.”
“You people give me hope.”
When the community was in need, they didn’t just find RV hookups. They found a safe place to park, hot food to eat, places to shower, and a whole team of staff and volunteers whose singular intention was to serve Jesus and serve others. Most importantly, they found hope.
Welcome to Hope Valley at Gladstone.