History and Location:
Camp Bellevue is located about a 1-hour drive north-east of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, in the town of Tabacundo near the city of Cayambe (a combined population of perhaps 65,000) high in the Andes mountains. Even though it is situated almost directly on the equator, the climate is spring-like almost year-round because of the altitude. The property was purchased in 1994 and the construction of the first building, consisting of dining hall, class rooms, kitchen, dormitories, and bathrooms, started in 1997. Since that time, the camp has expanded to include multiple cabins, a shower house, an assembly hall, a medical facility, an administrator’s house, a playground and sports courts, a firepit, and a baptistry. The camp has a capacity to serve groups of up to 200. Ulf and Margaret Hallen served as the camp’s first administrative couple and oversaw much of the early construction. In 2006, Justin and Jauna Reeger replaced the Hallens, and in 2013, Rusty and Laura Campbell came on as the current administrators.
During the school year, Camp Bellevue offers an After-School Program for the children in the community. In this daily activity (Monday through Thursday afternoons), the camp provides an environment of supervised learning and play, modeled on biblical principles, for approximately 100 under-resourced neighborhood children. These kids receive Biblical teaching through daily devotionals, tutoring and help with their homework, access to a library with books, computers, and Internet, time for sports and outdoor play, weekly English classes, and other programming as staff and volunteers are able. Daily snacks and transportation to and from the town of Tabacundo are also provided. Every other month or so, a special outreach activity or open house for the children or their families is planned.
During the summer months, Camp Bellevue offers traditional overnight camps for children and youth. These camps aim to instill biblical principles while also providing opportunities to grow in other areas necessary for a successful life. One Bible camp is especially for youth from congregations all over Ecuador. Additionally, there is a Kids Camp (for 8-12 year olds), and a Basketball Camp (for teens). Low or no-cost day camps are also offered – a VBS-style program for elementary kids, and English camps for teens sponsored by Let’s Start Talking “Young Friends” teams.
Camp Bellevue provides a base of operation year-round for short-term mission groups from North America. These groups are hosted with the desire to instill in the participants a love for service and missions. Groups serve either at the camp, or with other nearby ministries, churches, or non-profits. Most also serve the community or area congregations through VBS programs, medical and dental clinics, construction projects, or other activities. This is as an important aspect of reaching out to our neighbors and sharing the Good News with them.
The camp is also open throughout the year to local churches and groups for seminars, retreats, conferences, and workshops. Groups connected with the Churches of Christ in Ecuador receive a special, subsidized rate as we desire that the camp serve and be a resource to all the churches in our fellowship.
Oversight, Finances and Contacts:
Camp Bellevue is part of the Bellevue Foundation, an Ecuadorian non-profit organization. It is primarily financed by the Bellevue Church of Christ, in Bellevue, Washington.
The onsite administrators for the camp and the Bellevue Foundation are Rusty and Laura Campbell. The Campbells serve under the direction and oversight of the Mission Committee and elders of the Bellevue Church of Christ. If you would like more information, want to send a financial gift, or are interested in sending a short-term group, please contact them:
Rusty and Laura Campbell
Ecuadorian Cell: 011-593-991-968-244
U.S. # (Skype): 615-290-5767