SILOAM SPRINGS AR – Camp Siloam is pleased to announce the grand opening of its newest bunkhouse. The new bunkhouse was thoughtfully designed to be a prototype for future bunkhouses at Camp Siloam. The bunkhouses at Camp Siloam were constructed in the early 1960s. Camp Siloam has plans to replace all nine bunkhouses in the coming years.
“We are so grateful for the completion of the Chinchilla Bunkhouse,” said Jason Wilkie, Executive Director of Camp Siloam. “This building is a symbol of God’s faithfulness to his ministry here at Camp Siloam.”
The Chinchilla Bunkhouse was constructed because of the loss of the Moose Bunkhouse on October 21st, 2019. The Moose Bunkhouse was declared a total loss when a large oak tree fell through the middle of the building during an F2 tornado that hit Siloam Springs and Rogers.
Church Mutual, Camp Siloam’s insurance company, agreed the building was a total loss. The reimbursement for the loss of the Moose Bunkhouse was the seed for the Chinchilla Bunkhouse. The COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on construction as efforts of staff were turned toward ensuring the camp would survive after losing an entire summer. The Board of Trustees agreed that the insurance reimbursement should be held as a form of “reserve” just in case funds could not be raised to sustain Jesus’ ministry at Camp Siloam.
During the 2021 summer camp season, Camp Siloam operated at reduced capacity due to the loss of 120 beds. The Board of Trustees and camp staff began conversations about returning Camp Siloam to its capacity of 950 beds. With the pledge of an unsolicited $400,000 gift from a friend of Camp Siloam, the Board of Trustees approved the start of construction.
“The last few years have been very challenging,” said Wilkie. “Starting in 2019 with the storms, then the pandemic, and most recently, flooding have provided some significant leadership challenges. There were days when we weren’t sure Jesus’ ministry at Camp Siloam would continue. However, our Heavenly Father gave us favor with Church Mutual, our insurer and has provided for His ministry here through the generosity of some wonderful people. We are grateful to everyone who participated in making this bunkhouse possible.”