In the late 1960’s, a young teacher asked to be considered for the manager’s position at Sawtooth Camp, when Luther Koonce retired after his many years. The committee thought a young man just starting out might not stick with it long enough and they were looking for some continuity. Eventually, he got the job and moved to Sawtooth Camp with his wife Karen and his then infant daughter Lori!
For Dave Hargreaves, leading Sawtooth Camp for 46 years became his life work and the focus of a ministry of developing new disciples. Dave and Karen shared this life and ministry together until her sudden death in 2011.
Besides raising two children, Lori and Bill, many would agree that Dave also significantly shaped the lives of at least 250 young adults who served on staff for a summer or more, and positively influenced some 22,000 campers, volunteers, and guests at Sawtooth through his witness and leadership. The leaders who were nurtured at Sawtooth Camp are now providing leadership to churches and communities all over this conference and beyond!
Dave and Karen at the groundbreaking ceremony for the "new" lodge in 1981.
In 1985 - 32 years ago! - the Oregon-Idaho periodical, the United Methodist, did an interview with Dave documenting, between his volunteering, site staff, and directing, his seemingly incredible 23 years of summers up at Sawtooth. The "new" main lodge was also just about to be used for the first time. Among many other things, he talks about his first kiss; hiding the camp's bell so his dad, who was on staff, couldn't ring it; and his real motivation for working at the camp: "the lure of big money."
Over the years, Dave has received many awards and recognitions as a teacher and school administrator from the Idaho Education Association, Idaho Athletic Administrators Association, and even the Bishop's Award at the 2013 session of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.
In September 2014, over 200 friends and family gathered at Sawtooth Camp to witness and celebrate the union of Dave and Candace in marriage.
All of these stories and statistics are evidence of what many of you already have known and experienced of Dave Hargreaves: his sense of humor, his huge heart for creation, his passion for leadership development, his unrelenting work ethic, his capacity to make connections with a wide range of people, his love for children and youth, his loyalty and longevity, and his commitment to the service of Jesus Christ through the Church.
Dave is one of the rare gems of this ministry.
And this is why it is with a mix of emotions that Dave has announced he will be retiring from the role of director of Sawtooth Camp, effective April 2018.
Like a good camper, Dave will leave Sawtooth Camp in much better shape than when he arrived in 1971. Already a place of beauty, Sawtooth's facilities have improved immensely, gaining that "new" dining hall in 1985, and a brand new (this year!) welcome center/group gathering space, not to mention all of the ongoing maintenance, renovations, and additions that have happened in other areas. While he is certainly a hard worker, Dave has not done it alone. He used his ability to win friends and develop leaders to cultivate a large corps of volunteers who have given significant portions of their time, energy, and finances to make sure Sawtooth Camp was successful in pursuit of its vision. Certainly Dave will be missed as a director, but we know that, for those who have followed him into that beautiful Idaho valley, their undying commitment to Sawtooth Camp will remain. In his departure, Sawtooth is left in a position of strength.