The History of Ariel’s Shoshanah Campus (Shoshanah) begins with two key people: (Aunt) Rose Burnham and Burl Haynie. Rose Burnham (a missionary to the Navajo Indians until her health deteriorated) worked in the local county clerk’s office and through this connection was able to purchase thousands of acres in the Adirondack Mountains. Though she had very little contact with Jewish people, God gave Rose a burden for Jewish missions. She decided to set aside 365 acres to be turned into a summer Bible camp. She enlisted the help of two men; local pastor, Joe Morrow, who shared with Rose a burden for outreach to the area’s largely underprivileged children, and Burl Haynie, a missionary with the American Board of Missions to the Jews (ABMJ), now known as Chosen People Ministries. They both would help shape Rose's vision to reach Jewish people. Haynie discipled Arnold Fruchtenbaum, and Pastor Morrow, who became the director of the camp, was the father of Mary Ann Morrow, who would eventually marry Arnold Fruchtenbaum.
Rose contacted the ABMJ, offering the property to them for the development of a summer Bible camp for Jewish believers. At that time, it was known as Camp Heathcote, after one of Rose's family members. Burl Haynie was in charge of ABMJ camp ministries and came up to inspect the property. While ABMJ turned down the offer because they did not want to take the property for Rose’s desired purpose, they did choose to use the property for an ABMJ "Memory Camp". To attend this camp, one would memorize 120 verses over a ten-week period and then attend a two-week camp to study the memorized passages. This is how Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum entered the picture. He was among the young people attending the Memory Camp and for five years was discipled by Burl Haynie. It was during this time that Arnold met Mary Ann Morrow, Pastor Joe Morrow's daughter, and Arnold's future wife.
The ABMJ Memory Camp program was discontinued after five years, though Burl Haynie, on his own, continued holding regular summer sessions there. After Aunt Rose’s death in 1969, the camp fell into a state of abandonment until 1974, when Arnold and Mary Ann returned from living in Israel. At that time, Dan and Arlene Rigney approached Arnold about having a special one-week discipleship program for Jewish believers at the camp property. It was so successful they decided to have a second summer camp the following year for two weeks. By the time the third summer came around, camp had developed into a three-week program. The camp has continued to grow and expand over the years, to what is now an eight-week program, as it meets the need for intensive Bible teaching from a Jewish frame of reference for both Jewish and Gentile Believers.
Initially, renting the property from the Clinton-Essex Evangelical Association (which Aunt Rose had organized) in1998, the property was turned over to Ariel Ministries. Burl Haynie, who owned acreage next door to the camp, also turned his property over to Ariel Ministries - helping further expand the teaching program. Ariel Ministries now has 800+ acres of property.
The steady growth of attendees also resulted in many new and repurposed building on the property. Many of our overnight accommodations now have air conditioning and their own bathrooms! Starks Dining Hall was completed in 2013; a new two-story campus and school office building was realized in the spring of 2016. The old dormitories were removed and 4 new sleeping quarters were built; two being completed in 2015 and two in 2016. A new playground was installed in 2022 for our youth attendees; including a commercial swing set so that adults can have fun too! Presently, Shoshanah is in the process of building a pavilion at Trout Pond to host our weekend cookouts during the summer program, as well as renovating the Rigney Cabin.
Beginning as Camp Heathcote, then Camp Shoshanah, today we are known as Ariel Ministries School of Messianic Jewish Studies Shoshanah Campus (Shoshanah). While the summer program continues to grow, we also look to the future and the hope that a year-round school may still come to fruition. (2015 saw what was supposed to be a year long school, September to March fade away due to a shortage of students). As things develop further, we will keep everyone informed and we always appreciate both your prayers and support. If the Lord so leads, you may designate your giving to Shoshanah Campus Building fund or allocate your gift to the Scholarship Fund, which enables people in ministry and international students to attend the summer program, who would not ordinarily be able to do so.
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