Veteran missionaries, Harold and Mabel Richards, were operating Valley Christian Home for Children near Palmer, Alaska when the vision to open a youth camp began. The government developed a new plan to place wards of the state in private homes, and the Richards knew God’s hand was moving them to a new ministry.
Harold and Mabel determined to establish a “Christian campground for underprivileged children” which would provide the opportunity to continue to impact the boys and girls of Alaska for Jesus Christ.
After much searching, they found and made an offer on an old homestead located outside of Willow, Alaska. In the original offer for the property, Harold Richards wrote, “Be assured that we… are committing to the outcome [of this offer] to the will of the Lord.” The current property, consisting of approximately 96 acres, was obtained in December of 1964 and the first camping program was underway by the summer of ’65. Another 50 acres has been leased from the state for the past 30 or so years as well.
The Richards served faithfully at North Star Bible Camp, as it came to be known, until 1972 when Jim and Janet McCormick (who had been volunteering at NSBC during the summers since 1968) arrived from Woodland Park, Colorado to carry on the torch.
In 1994, twenty-two years under their belts, the McCormicks handed the baton to Stuart and Linda Mitchell. Plans began immediately for new construction as well as renovations of current facilities. Under the leadership of Stu and Linda, NSBC completed the Loon Lodge, Uncle Jim’s Workshop, the remodel of cabins Kenai, Kodiak, Talkeetna and Chena. Two 4 plex units, Matanuska and Susitna, each with a central common room were opened in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
From 2005, a number of board members and concerned individuals held the reigns of the North Star Ministry. Mark and Karen Miller and family came, from Oregon, and settled into the work in 2008 and directed operations through the spring of 2011.
Daniel and Rebecca Newman, from Oregon, arrived in the fall of 2012 and served till spring of 2019. Dan handled the administrative, and outdoor grounds while Becky covered the kitchen. They were joined by their daughter Miranda and her husband Russell the next year.
Daniel and Jenna Bird, were the summer camp program directors from 2013-2020.
Today, the staff and board of North Star Bible Camp still hold Harold Richard’s words as their guiding motto, “Be assured that we… are committing the outcome [of this camp] to the will of the Lord.”