HistoryElämä (the actual Finnish spelling) is located in an area of Russia that was part of Finland until the Winter War and the War of Continuation, during WWII. The larger area containing Elama was known as Rantamaki (shore-hill in Finnish). It was a Finnish estate and later a Finnish health asylum. The original gates to the Finnish estate are still visible as you drive toward Elama. After the war, it became a Pioneer Youth Camp. The camp was abandoned many years ago. Elama is now privately owned. The owners are building their family estate on the main part of the camp and have given us use of a section of the old camp. Camp Elama is a Christian camp, operated and overseen by Christians from Russia and the US.
Elama is a run as a program in cooperation with MIR, a Russian charity based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Why the name Elama?
When we were offered use of the camp, we began to pray what the name should be. We thought it would be appropriate to give it a Finnish name.
Elämä is the Finnish word for Life. We believe that the Lord wants His life to be in Camp Elama. He wants us to bring it back to life. And this means that His people need to be there, since His spirit lives within those who believe in Him.We want Elama to be a place of Life; where people are able to connect with God and experience His presence.
Our Mission StatementCamp Elama provides free camping facilities for qualified church and ministry groups. The program especially targets children and church communities in Russia who would not otherwise be able to afford such an experience. The goal is to provide a place conducive to healthy Christian character development. Click here if you'd like to contact us. And click here if you'd like to support the camp. CostThere is no fee for use of the facilities for qualified groups. Qualifying groups must provide their own programming, food, service, insurance coverage, and staff for the supervision of their camp activities. In addition to providing facilities to groups, Elama runs its own camps with its own programming and counselors.
Elama Camp Use Requirements
- Application for use of our facilities
- Retreat program consistent with the mission
statement of Camp Elama
- Powers of Attorney for all children attending
- Agreement to comply with the Camp Elama camping
Needs and Projects for teams
Digging a new well
- Construction of new toilets
- Construction of walls for the summer kitchen
- Garbage collection
You have use of Elama completely free of charge.
God has blessed us with it, and we pass the blessing along
Elämä is the Finnish word for Life.
We want the life of God, in His people, to be on this land.
Elama is to be a place of sanctuary and peace.
The most important rule is: Leave it better than you found
Take away all your trash, plus some.
TRAINING - A successful camp requires
careful precamp planning. Please familiarize your leaders with their
responsibilities and the requirements of Camp Elama. In addition to
thoughtful preparation for programs, food service, transportation, recreation,
activities, and cleanup, please emphasize each leader's role in emergency
procedures and attention to the health and safety of your campers.
COMMUNICATION - Prior to your retreat,
please be sure to clearly communicate with each member of your group.
They will need to know what to expect at camp and what will be expected of
them. Be sure they know what to bring with them, how to get to your
specific campsite, and how they can be reached while at camp. .
- EMERGENCIES – Camp Elama representatives live on the property and are
available to assist in the event of emergencies.
- CHECK-IN - Plan to arrive before or with your group and talk to the camp representative as soon
as you arrive. Please call the camp representative to let us know if you
are delayed enroute and unable to arrive when expected.
- CHECK-OUT - In order to avoid delays to your departure, please plan
your program and cleanup to be ready for
your check-out at the time agreed upon. A campsite inspection must
be performed by our camp staff before you leave. Please plan to
accompany our staff on the inspection in the event any follow-up is necessary.
- ORIENTATION - Please plan 30 minutes in your program for an
orientation to the Camp to be given by a camp representative. Camp Elama
history, mission, and ground rules are covered. All members of your group must attend.
SERVICE - Your group is responsible for
all its own food, supplies, and meal preparation. Water in limited
qualities will be available. You may need to fetch or bring your own water.
FACILITIES – Kitchen facilities are
available to those campers using the upper section of land. We provide
stoves, limited refrigerator space, and limited running water. Limited cooking
supplies are available.
– electricity is provided free of charge.
Please conserve energy as much as possible.
- BATHING – on the upper
land, a simple shower is provided. A banya is available on the lower land.
- SWIMMING – swimming is
allowed only in the designated areas. Do not cross property lines or use our
neighbors' beach areas.
- LAND USE – You may not
be on the land without prior permission.
- WORK PROJECTS – your
camp is expected to participate in some form of work project while at Elama.
This will be discussed before your camp arrives.
- TRASH - Please make
every effort to minimize waste generated by your activities. Your trash
must be removed from the camp. A trash bin is located in the village
nearby. Bring large plastic trash bags.
- CLEANUP - Before
check-out, please plan to have your group thoroughly inspect the grounds and
clean and sanitize all of the facilities in your campsite. You are
responsible for the condition of all the facilities in your campsite even if
you did not use them all. Remember
to bring your own supplies for cleaning. Please take all left-over
food home with you.
- TRANSPORTATION -
- You provide your own transportation to Camp Elama.
- The road to the camp is narrow but commercial buses are able drive on it.
Smaller vehicles are better.
- Limited parking is available at the camp. Please share transportation to
minimize the use of vehicles as much as possible. Gasoline is not
available at or near the camp.
- A map to Camp Elama will be provided. Make and distribute copies as
- BOUNDARIES - Please
plan your activities to respect the privacy of other camping groups and our
neighbors. Please be sure that your campers do not enter any other
campsite or cross any property lines or fences.
VISITORS and RESTRICTIONS - We cannot accommodate visitors, drop-ins, sight-seeing tours. We do not allow pets, alcohol or
weapons. Smoking is not allowed. Please note these restrictions
as you plan your program.
- FISHING - Unattended
lines, trot lines, and spear fishing are not permitted. Bait is not
available at camp; please plan to bring your own fishing gear and bait.
- CAMPFIRES and FIREWOOD
– There are specified areas for small campfires. Please do not allow your
group members to gather firewood or create new fire sites.
- NOISE LEVEL - Please
be quiet -- no loud music that can be heard by other groups or neighbors. No
outdoor amplified music is allowed. 11pm is ‘lights out’; all campers must be
quietly in their room or tent at 11pm. Let's be good neighbors.