Youth adventures for Christ

Camp Grier is embarked on an exciting journey to become one of the premier Christian Adventure Camps in the Eastern United States. It is a beautiful example of God’s creative handiwork on 650 acres bordering the Pisgah National Forest near Old Fort, NC and entirely within the Presbytery of Western NC. The camp, founded in 1952, provides Christian camping experiences for children, youth and families. In a highly competitive summer camp market, the camp increased summer enrollment by 17% last year by offering adventure programs that attracted older youth and a redesigned program for younger youth and children.

Description of Project:

Maintaining its overall context of Christian spiritual formation, the Camp plans to focus on outdoor adventure programs that utilize the considerable natural assets of Camp Grier and its location in the Western NC region. To continue the increase in campers, this ministry seeks funds to upgrade the programming to expand activities such as whitewater canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and, an equestrian and farming program, and other attractive activities.

Specific upgrades are needed in adventure programming equipment (canoes and paddling accessories, mountain bikes, climbing equipment, outdoor gear, zip line), lake waterfront upgrades (water slides, water activities equipment, beach and swimming dock), hiking and biking trail development/maintenance (increased trails on the property and on neighboring Pisgah National Forest land and improvements to existing trails), and renovations to Main Camp buildings to increase the year round use of the camp. These improvements can make Camp Grier an outstanding Christian Camp.

Essential Goal and Planned Expenditures:

Adventure Program equipment $222,000
Water activity equipment and lakefront upgrades $135,000
Trail development $63,500
Renovations to Oak Lodge building $80,000
Total Essential Goal $500,500

Dream Goal Planned Expenditures:

Renovations to other lodges, dining hall, landscaping $265,000

Rationales and Impact for Project:

Many adults and pastors point to a Christian camping experience as being highly influential in shaping their personal spiritual life and faith development. Camp Grier has implemented a new program model, new marketing, and new outreach campaigns. These preliminary steps in this re-focused programming have already yielded a 17% increase in camp attendance in 2014 and a 34% increase in early registrations for 2015. A capital investment in these new strategies is now needed so Camp Grier can continue to grow and thrive. However, insufficient financial resources at this point could hamper that forward momentum and its outstanding promise. Operating an attractive, competitive camp, with Christian spiritual formation as the program anchor, combined with new upgraded programs and activities, will attract youth and families who seek stimulating outdoor activities in a Christian context.

Essential Goal Sustainability and Accountability:

Camp Grier recently reorganized as a private non-profit organization supported by the Presbyterian Church and governed by a Presbyterian Board of Directors. The new board of directors of Camp Grier is composed of Presbyterians who are committed to quality Christian outdoor experiences for youth and families. Many attended and worked at Camp Grier. They provide solid financial oversight and management experience and are collaborating with a well-qualified and experienced Executive Director to implement new initiatives and strategies to propel the organization into the future. The Board of Directors, which includes seven people from this PWNC, is charged with providing adequate annual funding for Camp Grier and quality control of its programs. PWNC plans to continue close contact as we work with the Camp.

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Presbytery of Western North Carolina • 114 Silver Creek Road • Morganton, NC 28655 • Phone: 828-438-4217