Elämä (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.

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 Statement

Camp 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.

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There 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 camp.
  • Agreement to comply with the Camp Elama camping guidelines

Needs and Projects for teams

  • Digging a new well
  • Construction of new toilets
  • Construction of walls for the summer kitchen
  • Garbage collection

Elama Camping Guidelines

You have use of Elama completely free of charge.

God has blessed us with it, and we pass the blessing along to you.

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 it.

Take away all your trash, plus some.

  1. PRECAMP 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.
  2. PRECAMP 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. .
  3. EMERGENCIES – Camp Elama representatives live on the property and are available to assist in the event of emergencies.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 uponA 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.
  6. 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.  
  7. FOOD 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.
  8. KITCHEN 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.
  9. ELECTRICITY – electricity is provided free of charge. Please conserve energy as much as possible.
  10. BATHING – on the upper land, a simple shower is provided. A banya is available on the lower land.
  11. SWIMMING – swimming is allowed only in the designated areas. Do not cross property lines or use our neighbors' beach areas.
  12. LAND USE – You may not be on the land without prior permission.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.  
  15. 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.  
    - 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 needed.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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. 
  21. 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.