What is Malibu?
The Malibu Club is one of Young Life's original properties. Located 100 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Malibu is situated at the mouth of the world-renowned Princess Louisa Inlet. Surrounded by mountains soaring straight out of the water to heights of more than 8000 feet, Malibu is a place of extraordinary beauty and isolation.
Each summer Malibu welcomes thousands of high school students from across the US and Canada. During the school year Malibu is available for non-profit organizations to book for groups of up to 350 people.
In 1938 Bill Boeing introduced Tom Hamilton, purveyor of the Hamilton Standard variable pitch propellor, to the beauty and splendor of the Princess Louisa Inlet. Within three years, Mr. Hamilton purchased most of the land around the inlet and began construction of the Malibu Club. Hamilton's plans for Malibu were extravagant and he put forth a monumental effort to bring them to fruition. Sand was brought in to create new beaches and tons of soil was barged in to build an 18 hole golf course. Malibu opened for business in 1945.
The Malibu Club was originally designed as a luxury resort for the rich and famous and over the years many big name stars visited including John Wayne, Senator John F. Kennedy, Barbara Stanwyck, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope. In 1950 Hamilton's dream ended. The resort was no longer turning a profit, and on a rainy night Hamilton packed his family into a plane and abandoned the property.
Malibu and Young Life
In March 1953, Bill and Elsie Campbell flew Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, up to Malibu. Mr. Rayburn was looking for a property in the Pacific Northwest for a new Young Life camp, and the Campbells had been to Malibu when it was still open. As the story goes, Mr. Rayburn declared that Malibu would be Young Life's next camp before he even stepped off the plane.
Undaunted by the million dollar price tag, Mr. Rayburn met with Tom Hamilton. He invited Mr. Hamilton to visit Young Life's camps in Colorado to show him the work being done with high school kids. Mr. Hamilton dropped the price to $300,000 and Young Life purchased the Malibu Club.
In 1954 Malibu hosted its first Young Life camp with nine kids. It was a small start, but the numbers grew very quickly. Today, Malibu welcomes closer to 300 high school kids and their Young Life leaders each week.