In 1974, former NBA star John Block and his wife Margie, started Oakbridge Christian Family and Sports Camp in the Ballena Valley, 50 miles northeast of San Diego, California. The camp was to be used to minister to adults and kids through programs such as basketball and tennis camps, family camps, pastoral retreats, and men and women’s church retreats.
In 1982, after years of physical property development of the 26 acres and the development of a Christian retreat ministry, the Oakbridge property was deeded to Young Life. The relationship between Oakbridge and Young Life has been a long-standing one. Young Life’s use of Oakbridge for middle school camps and staff retreats had steadily increased from year to year.
In 1986, a new central facility (lodge and dining room) was completed with the generous gifts of the Ingold Family of Fallbrook, California. That same year, the Chatelain Family of San Diego donated 40 acres and a home adjacent to the property. During the next few years, Oakbridge was able to renovate the junior Olympic size swimming pool, and add some much needed program items such as a ropes course, mountain bikes, and sand volleyball.
In May 2000, yet another parcel of land was purchased that brought the total to 120 contiguous acres. Since then many upgrades have been made to the infrastructure of the property as well as a new administration office and additional program activities. Vision for the completion of the master plan has materialized and will be a main focal point for the next several years. (See development news.)