Viola Resort 1960's
Located in Viola, California off Highway 44 and just minutes away from Lassen Volcanic National Park sits Lassen Pines Christian Conference Grounds. Lassen Pines boasts 45 acres with two lakes, one for fishing and one for swimming. Rustic cabins surrounded by towering pines allow for up to 400 guests. The Viola Resort was first built by B.F. Loomis, known for being instrumental in forming Lassen National Park. He was also known for his photographs of the 1914 eruption of Lassen Peak. The resort grew from a store in 1896 to a resort and in 1969 it was purchased by a local businessman with the vision of creating a Christian Camp for youth. The camp has been managed by several nonprofits over the years and has ministered to thousands of youth and families. Youth Alive Church Ministries has operated the camp since 1993 following its long-time caretaker North Valley Baptist Church. Youth Alive operates as a rental facility providing foodservice and lodging for church groups. Elevate started filling available camp weeks in 2009 and now hosts students in four of the eight peak weeklong summer sessions.
Lassen Pines operates as a rental facility assisting churches and other groups by providing food and lodging along with camp activities at the lake. LP has a go-kart track and snack bar. Over the years the facility had struggled to make repairs but God has provided for recent updates and new cabins that have greatly improved the property.
Elevate began hosting camps at LP in 2009. Over the last 10 years, these camps have grown to serve over 1200 and fill four weeks in July at the facility.
Elevate's staff have a history with the camp as well. Duane Helle served on staff in the 90's. Both Jeff and Scott attended as campers, counselors, staff and brought students to camp as youth pastors.
building on a legacy of ministry
Due to the 2020 pandemic LP was unable to operate for summer or winter sessions. 2021 looks to allow for only limited engagements. Youth Alive has expressed interest in relinquishing the property to Elevate. Our organization and Lassen Pines have been working together for 11 years. Our commitment is to continue the mission that was seeded back in 1969 when the property was originally purchased. Youth Alive has faithfully partnered with local church leaders to provide a camp experience for families, adults, teens, and children. It is our desire to honor their hard work and sacrifice by continuing to utilize the camp property for the cause of Christ. We are seeking to raise a substantial down payment and secure funding to purchase the property. This will help pay off debt and honor the commitments that Youth Alive has made.
Elevate has successfully operated camp programs serving 50 churches and over 1400 students each year. In addition, Elevate has served local school districts with Leadership camps. Operating as a full-service camp property instead of a rental property is the primary change of mission. The different operational goals would be a critical factor in successful long-term success. LP is able to charge $185-195 per camper as a rental facility. While the market for camp programs under Elevate is currently $365 per camper. Over time, Elevate would convert the remaining rental weeks of camp to full-service camp programming increasing the income margin.
While LP hosted weekend retreats in the off-season, Elevate would be able to fill spring and fall sessions with UNITE Environmental Camp.