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Camp Sabroske: Oak Harbor’s hidden gem

Caileigh Moyer with Cobalt Blue and volunteer Breanna Hutson with Denver standing on the outskirts of the pond at Camp Sabroske.

At 4405 W Toussaint North in Oak Harbor sits 112 acres of land that Camp Sabroske calls home. This land was donated in 1960 by Elin Sabroske specifically to be used as a youth camp and that is one of its purposes today. Camp Sabroske is also a camp ground with 30 RV sites with electric and water hook ups available, there is tent space available on all 112 acres, a lodge for events, an in-ground pool, a pond with paddle boats and catch and release fishing, dorms, cabins and horseback riding. The camp is truly a hidden gem in northern Oak Harbor.

The camp is owned, operated and run by Doug Moyer and his family; Doug’s wife, 8 children and 2 foster children. Camp Sabroske is a non-profit 501 C3 Christian campground. The family lives on site at the camp and performs all maintenance on the grounds. Doug also has his pastoral degree and runs the youth camps at Camp Sabroske.

There are many different kinds of youth camps at Camp Sabroske. There is a cowgirl camp which is a mother/daughter camp which campers stay Friday and Saturday nights. Mothers and daughters learn grooming and basic horsemanship. There is a similar camp for fathers and sons called a cowboy camp. Cowgirl camp is typically the third week of September and cowboy camp is the first week of October.

The youth camps that are offered at Camp Sabroske offer basic horsemanship, horse behavior training, horse safety, a bible study and a worship band. There is a gospel basis for every camp offered.

“The size of the grounds gives us room to break the kids up into smaller groups which is beneficial for the kids,” said Doug. “It really is a different experience for people who don’t live in the country.”

Camp Dillon is a unique camp offered in which boys 10-15 come to the camp and are taught a skilled trade. Over the years Camp Dillon has taught campers carpentry, plumbing, electrical skills, and vehicle maintenance. The camp is run by volunteers who know the trade and it gives the boys a chance to learn one on one in a hands on experience.

“We like to show the boys this is what you did and this is what you’re capable of,” said Doug. “Tom Johnson has a big hand in Camp Dillon and keeps in contact with some of the campers and they go on to be a skilled trades’ worker.”

There is also a purity camp that runs one Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October. The camp is for 6-12 graders and they learn about abstinence, peer pressure, how to act as a man and treat a lady and what ladies should look for in a man. At the end of this camp there is a formal ball. In the past, up to 75 kids have attended the purity camp.

Camp Sabroske is also the location for an emergency housing cabin. The Oak Harbor Rotary Club donated $5000 to the camp to build a cabin especially for families in need. Be it a domestic abuse or any emergency situation, a family can stay in the cabin. Each tenant is evaluated every 30 days to see if they are still in need of the emergency service. The camp is also a member of the Ottawa County Housing Collaborative and works with Heartbeat.

Camp Sabroske is open from April 1-November 1 at the current time. Doug is hoping to open the new lodge for the 2015 season and hoping to extend the season to offer a year round family retreat center.

For more information on Camp Sabroske visit campsabroske.org or call 419-898-6741.

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