To see more of these nostalgic photos and read more of the history of the Shoshanah Campus, you can also visit our fan page, created and maintained by Mottel Baleston here: www.campshoshanah.org
The History of Ariel’s Shoshanah Campus begins with two key people: 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 worker with what was at that time, The American Board of Missions to the Jews (ABMJ) now known as Chosen People Ministries who 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. It was called Camp Heathcote after a family member of Rose Burnham. 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 memorized 120 verses over a ten-week period and then came to 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. During this time he met Mary Ann Morrow.
The ABMJ Memory Camp program was discontinued after five years, though Burl Haynie, on his own, continued holding regular summer sessions there. Prior to her move to Florida, Rose Burnham organized the Clinton Essex Evangelical Association. This association was made up of Burl Haynie and local Pastors and continued holding children’s programs for several years. After Aunt Rose’s death in 1969, the camp fell into disuse until Arnold and Mary Ann returned from living in Israel in 1974. Dan and Arlene Rigney approached Arnold about having a special one-week discipleship program for Jewish believers at the camp property. It was intended to be a one-time program and about 15 people attended. It was then decided to have a second summer camp for two weeks. By the time the third summer came around, camp developed into a three-week program. The camp has continued to grow and expand over the years as it meets the need for intensive Bible teaching from a Jewish frame of reference for both Jewish and Gentile Believers.
Initially, Ariel Ministries was renting the property from the Clinton-Essex Evangelical Association. In 1998, 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 to help further expand the camp program. Ariel now has about 450 acres of property.
In the summer of 2007, a new two-week program was added and in 2010 another one week program “The Life of the Messiah from a Jewish Perspective” was added on and now the summer program extends for six weeks.
The Starks Dining Hall was completed in 2013. The completion of the new two-story campus and school office building was realized in the spring of 2016. Two of the four new dormitories were completed in 2015 and the other two completed in 2016 and the old dormitories have been removed. The focus now will be to build two more new bunkhouses as well as adding cabins for couples and families for year-round use. Other building projects include more housing for the teachers of both the summer program and the school and a year-round house for the director of the camp and school.
In the fall of 2015, we began a one year program called "The School of Messianic Jewish Studies" that ran from September to March. There was no spring trimester due to a shortage of students. We are now praying for at least twelve students to apply for the second year of the school.
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 gift to the Shoshanah Campus New Expansion Fund.
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“This is a wonderful bible camp and retreat. Scripturally sound in-depth bible teaching. Highly recommended!”
- Terry Z.
“We've gone many years in a row. There is an authentic love among the people there, for each other, and a genuine love for the Lord. It's so special and so beautiful.”
- Anne C.
“It is a wonderful Bible camp for adults and children.”
- James A.