Jefferson County: Upgrades make guests more comfortable, opening them up for their best camp experience.

Total peace. Total fun. Total sanctuary.

This is one guest’s review of Suttle Lake Methodist Camp in Central Oregon, which is known for its breathtaking setting and exceptional hospitality.

“We welcome each person and each group for who they are, making the space comfortable for them and really getting to know what they’re goals are,” says Jane Petke, the camp’s co-director.

Situated on the eastern slopes of the Casades, the camp provides diverse opportunities to hike, swim, explore and be rejuvenated by nature. Each year the camp sponsors 25 programs and hosts many schools, community groups, families, churches, and about 75 nonprofits.

In 2015, the camp received a grant from the Gray Family Foundation for some needed repairs to improve guests’ comfort and safety. The upgrades include new fixtures, sinks, plumbing and electrical systems for a shower house that was in disrepair. Now when visitors go to freshen up, they are greeted with a bright, modern space.

Outside the 1940s-era dining hall, the camp replaced an aging, uneven wooden staircase with level, concrete steps that fit with the lodge’s rustic appeal.

With another round of grants in 2016, the camp will replace carpets, mattresses and continue improving the facilities.

Camp repairs aren’t glamorous, but they’re always needed, and difficult to find funding for.

“Since this is a matching grant, some donors have gotten really excited about the project,” she says.

“I’m really grateful that the Gray Family understands what camps need and makes the process easy.”