A New Home in the Canadian Rockies
December 10, 2014

Good things sometimes come to an end and that is the case for the seventeen-year partnership between Camp Bighorn (Plains, MT) and Prairie Bible Institute (Three Hills, AB).  

Despite healthy working relations and steady enrolment, Prairie’s Wilderness & Leadership program is relocating closer to the college’s main campus. Beginning in September 2015, Explore, as it is commonly referred to, will be based at Frontier Lodge, a Christian wilderness adventure camp in Nordegg, Alberta. Situated on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, Frontier Lodge is surrounded by stunning mountain vistas, beautiful lakes and easy access to both Jasper and Banff National Parks.

Directors Dennis and Hannah Landon feel the pain of this decision personally. They both graduated from the program and have been connected to it for the past ten years. The decision was made together with school administrators following a review process and while they recognize that this may be a good decision, it has been an extremely difficult one to make. “Partnership is not just between two organizations,” says Hannah. “We have many close friends and mentors who have poured into both our lives and the lives of students, so it’s hard knowing these relationships won’t continue in the same ways.”

Prairie’s president, Mark Maxwell is grateful for Camp Bighorn’s contributions. “It’s not often that partnerships end on good terms,” he says. “We could not have asked for better partners and we are genuinely grateful for their commitment to serve students with excellence.”

Operational realities such as the rising US dollar and the distance between locations were the primary factors that led to relocation. The opportunity to be in the Canadian Rockies and be close to Calgary and Edmonton also played into the decision. “While we looked at several potential sites,” says Dennis, “Frontier Lodge quickly emerged as the front runner. While they have quality facilities and a spectacular natural setting, I was most impressed by their vision, culture and passion to continue a great program. We are excited to partner together.”

Frontier Lodge currently offers Ascend, a three-month outdoor Bible school. With the newly formed partnership, they plan to fold it into Prairie’s program, creating a one-of-a kind option that builds on the experience and expertise of each organization. “This is an exciting time to partner with Prairie,” says Brad Andrews, Executive Director of Frontier Lodge. “This partnership allows us to be a part of building something great and accomplish our mission—Using God's wilderness to reach, teach and train youth and adults for Jesus Christ.”

Hannah and Dennis are focused on providing the best educational experience for current students. “This is a special group,” reflects Hannah. “This January and February will be the last time our program will be in Montana and we are committed to finishing well.”

Learn more about Prairie and Frontier Lodge at www.prairie.edu/explore and frontierlodge.ca.


Prairie’s Outdoor Leadership program begins with a 1-year discipleship certificate that many students choose for their gap year. They can then continue on to either a 2-year diploma or 4-year bachelor degree. The program uses biblical study and wilderness training such as canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, caving, ice climbing, backcountry skiing and wilderness survival to build Christian character and leadership skills.  While students are prepared for a career in the outdoor adventure industry, principles can be translated into a variety of ministry and career tracks.

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Dennis Landon, Director
Explore Outdoor Leadership Program, Prairie

Brad Andrews, Executive Director

Frontier Lodge



Prairie Bible Institute
Box 4000
Three Hills, AB T0M 2N0

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