Ascension School Camp and Conference Center’s mission is:
To provide a place apart for all God’s children to gather and to share, to be refreshed by the joy of God’s creation, nurtured in the bounty of holy love and challenged to the ministry of Christ’s Gospel.
While Ascension School provides opportunities for Christian formation through adult and youth programming, our facilities are available to guests from all traditions interested in a naturally serene setting for their events and celebrations.
Our Core Values:
- Deepening people’s spiritual awareness
- Working for social justice
- Environmental Stewardship
- Responding to human need by loving service
The History of Ascension School
Ascension School Camp and Conference Center began in 1882, with the gift of 100 acres from Samuel Gaither French, to establish a girls boarding school. The school officially opened on September 4, 1884 with 40 boarding pupils and 25 day pupils supervised by 6 teachers. The Ascension Episcopal School for Girls flourished until a cold morning on July 29, 1892, when a fire in the fireplace got away from them and burned the school to the ground, leaving only the carriage house (Morris Hall currently). Morris Hall now houses the Diocesan Office. The land lay fallow until June 1924 when Bishop William Remington decided to open a summer camp for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon. The heart of the camp has always and still is the Ascension Chapel, built 1876 is listed on the national historic registry as is the accompanying rectory (Barton House).
In 1998, Ascension School stepped into another path in development with the building of Kimsey Commons – a state of the art adult conference center. Kimsey Commons boasts a self-contained unit for conferencing for up to 60 people with housing for 22 in double occupancy rooms with private baths. The dining hall and kitchen can serve up to 60 people. Kimsey Commons has allowed the camp and conference center to offer adult retreats for the Diocese as well as the surrounding communities.
In 2015 we remodeled our summer camp dining room and will begin building a new multipurpose building that will serve both the summer camp program and the adult programs. These capital improvements are made possible by Ascension School’s successful capital campaign conducted in 2014.