Beaver Camp raises over $10,000 for construction project

LOWVILLE, NY —Throughout February, Beaver Camp held a Polar Plunge Challenge, a fundraising effort were all of the staff and a few board members put their names forward. Whoever had the most money donated in their name faced the daunting task of jumping into Beaver Lake.

A total of $10,365.20 was given as part of the challenge. On Sunday, March 1, Mike Judd jumped into the lake while friends, coworkers, and supporters cheered. $4,520.20 was donated in his name.

“This went way beyond my expectations, and I feel blessed by the level of support,” says Mike Judd. He is the Executive Director of Beaver Camp, which is owned and operated by the Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association. “Preparing to jump in was terrifying. I found myself needing to psych up in the same way I would if jumping off the zip line platform or rappelling off the 85 foot cliff in Eagle Canyon. It was definitely the coldest water I’ve ever experienced.”

The idea started about six weeks ago when Beaver Camp’s Adventure Education Director, Adam Houser, shared his New Year’s goal – to go into Beaver Lake every month of 2020. This launched a discussion of how this crazy idea could become a fundraiser. Donations were accepted throughout February.

The goal of the Polar Plunge Challenge was to raise funds to build a new gazebo, complete with a fire pit.   The timber-framed structure will house the circular fireplace hood and original stonework from the Pavilion, an enclosed, heated building built a few years after AMCA purchased Beaver Camp in 1969. A woodstove will remain in the Pavilion, making it usable throughout the year.

The new gazebo will be ideal for families gathering for conversation, counselors leading cabin devotions, adults enjoying a morning quiet time, and so much more – all within view of Beaver Lake! Another significant benefit will be the additional space created by removing the fireplace, making the Pavilion much more usable for large group games, church services, conferences, and other gatherings.

“A huge ‘thank you’ to the 52 donors who gave towards the Gazebo Project at Beaver Camp as part of the Polar Plunge Challenge!” says Judd. “We are still seeking $3,100 to fully fund the project.  If you would like to give financially or help construct the gazebo, please contact me at (315) 376-2640 or”

For more information about Beaver Camp’s summer camp, retreats, Challenge Course, field trips, and more, visit or call (315) 376-2640.