Following is a brief history of Christian Camping Southern Africa.
In January of 1976, Brad and Pep Stenberg joined the staff of CYARA Christian Camp and Conference Centre n Hekpoort, Transvaal. They came to South Africa from Mount Hermon Christian Conference Centre in California with a vision to work with camp and conference leaders in developing the effectiveness of Christian camping in Southern Africa.
In June of 1977, Brad and Pep Stenberg made a five-week tour of Christian campsites and conference centres in Natal, Transkei, Lesotho, the Cape Province, and the Orange Free State. They visited 42 different sites out of which grew an interest in developing a fellowship of Christian camping and conference leaders in Southern Africa. When Brad and Pep returned to CYARA Camp and Conference Centre in the Transvaal they visited camp and conference centres there to share the idea of getting camp and conference leaders together to share ministry ideas and needs.
With the support and cooperation of Vernon and Cathay Dinkelman and the staff of CYARA Christian Conference Centre, the first such meeting was held at CYARA the 24th to the 26th of January, 1978. Some 40 people from each of the four provinces of South Africa attended this meeting. Mr. Vince Craven, a trustee of Christian Camping International (CCI) and the International Ambassador of CCI, came from Canada to share in this conference. Before leaving CYARA, those in attendance unanimously decided that a Southern Africa fellowship of Christian camping and conference leaders should be organized. They chose five people to set up the organizational structure for this new fellowship. The ad hoc committee included Bethel Gibson as chairman, and Vernon Dinkelman, Fred Grant, Peter Holmes, and Brad Stenberg. Another conference was held at Camp Jonathan in Natal, 7-8 August 1978, to discuss and approve the ad hoc committee’s proposed constitution. This was attended by 30 people who were able to able to work through and approve the proposed CCCF Constitution.
CCCF was formally begun and the first CCCF Convention and Annual General Meeting held at El Mirador Hotel, 20-23 November 1978. The members elected Theo Frykberg (Willowvale Camp) as the first CCCF President. Eight others were elected to serve on the first CCCF Executive Committee: Roy Langford (El Mirador) as Secretary-Treasurer, Jill Bouman (Teen Ranch), Vernon Dinkelman (CYARA), Neil Freimond (YFC), Fred Grant (Living Waters Christian Camp), Sam Peters (Lenasia), Midge Pittman (Skogheim Christian Conference Centre, and Ernst Schulte (YMCA Camp Jumbo). Brad Stenberg was appointed as the first National Coordinator of CCCF.
Christian Camping in South Africa received a big boost when Mike Nolan from Rocklands became the Chairman.
Mike Nolan appointed Janet Hardie as his secretary who held the position until 2004.
The executive committee decided to appoint an Administrator.
During an Annual General Meeting held at Rockland on 9 June 2004 they agreed to change the name from CCI to CCSA (Christian Camping Southern Africa)
Clive Douglas became the first Administrator of CCSA.
Martin Lord was appointed Chairperson. The conference was held at Wortelgat, in the Western Cape. The executive committee members were Mariska de Beer (SU representative), Anton Kruger (Cyara Lodge), Yvette Cronwright (Firefly), Ingrid Kjonstad (Skogheim Christian Trust), Janet Hardy (Rocklands Centre), Vic Brink and De la Harpe de Villiers (VCSV/UCSA representatives), Pam Moore (Sumcay & Waterways) and Corrie Zaayman as Administrator.
The CCSA/CAMnet conference was held at Skogheim Christian Trust.
The conference was held at VCSV/UCSA Retiefkamp, Free State. Vic Brink was appointed Chairperson and Lorraine Diederichs as Administrator. The executive committee members were Carl Cilliers (Greystoke), Ingrid Kjonstad (Skogheim Christian Trust), Scott Cronwright (Firefly), Stan Dugmore (Forestway), Janet Hardie (Rocklands Centre), Eugene Keet (Deep Valley Nursery), Pieter Snyman (VCSV/UCSA Die Hoekie) and Ingrid Mpofu (YFC Cyara).
Vic Brink and Lorraine Diederichs represented CCSA at the CCI summit at Pinos Reales near Madrid in Spain in April 2012. In June 2012, the conference was held at VCSV/UCSA Die Hoekie, Gauteng. CCSA had 122 members of combined categories.
The 2013 conference was held at Manyano, Paarl, Western Cape. 110 members attended the conference. Executive committee members were Vic Brink (Chairperson), Carl Cilliers (Greystoke), Ingrid Kjonstad (Skogheim Christian Trust), Scott Cronwright (Firefly), Stan Dugmore (Forestway), Hennie van Niekerk (VCSV/UCSA Head Office), Pat Diederichs, Pieter Snyman (VCSV/UCSA Die Hoekie) and Ingrid Mpofu (YFC Cyara). Pieter Snyman represented CCSA at the 2013 Regional Conference of ACC at Kanamai in Mombasa in Kenya. He reported that he was greatly encouraged by what he experienced there. He also assisted with some of the training that took place.
The conference was held at VCSV/UCSA Jeffreys Bay. Executive committee members were Pieter Snyman (Chairperson), Jonathan Bestwick (Skogheim Christian Trust), Carl Cilliers (Greystoke), Scott Cronwright (Firefly), Stan Dugmore (Forestway), Hennie van Niekerk (VCSV/UCSA Head Office) and Pat Diederichs. Lorraine Diederichs remained Administrator. Much work has been done towards establishing a Christian Supply Chain Buying Group. CSCBG is now registered as an NGO and has its own board. In this process, we have the support of Christian Camping in Australia and New Zealand and the approval to work on the model they have developed and use with great success. CCSA got a new website.
The conference was held at VCSV/UCSA Winklespruit, Kwa-Zulu Natal. HoneyRock (Part of Wheaten College in the USA) has identified an opportunity to present their Adventure Ministry Leadership Programme to CCSA affiliates.
The conference was held at Waterberg Game Lodge, Limpopo. The CSCBG and venue360 were introduced to members by a presentation and mini show. Lorraine Diederichs resigned as Administrator. Pat and Lorraine's ministry to CCSA members, visiting sites as well as the administration will long be remembered.
The 2017 conference was held at HeronBridge Retreat, Gauteng. Jonathan Bestwick was elected Chairperson.
The 40th annual conference was held at Rocklands Centre, Western Cape. The newly appointed Chief Executive, CCI Worldwide, Mr. Mark Heasman attended the conference.