Boots on the Ground the making of deerfoot blue ridge

Latest update on March 13, 2021. Photos of people in this presentation are pre-COVID.

This Is His Place

Deerfoot Lodge acquired the Blue Ridge camp property in Glenville, NC, on March 31, 2016 – just five years ago. With the prayers of the Deerfoot community, the Lord has moved in extraordinary ways both before and since the acquisition of this very special place.

Opening season (2019) staff members

The first counselors arrived for training in early June 2019, and we welcomed the first campers on June 29, 2019. The Lord did a great work in the lives of campers and counselors that first summer. Looking beyond the 2020 summer camp season cancelled due to COVID-19, we look forward to what the Lord holds for the future. Registrations for Deerfoot Blue Ridge on "Day 1" in 2021 were 40% higher than in 2020 for what turned out to be a cancelled season!

On the financial front, the Deerfoot community banded together in amazing ways to bridge the funding gap that would have resulted from the cancelled 2020 season. The donations also provided the resources for Guide and father-son programs over summer 2020 at Deerfoot Blue Ridge, and for construction crews in both New York State and North Carolina.

At the February 2021 meeting of the Deerfoot Board of Directors, Ron Mackey presented a schedule of funding still needed to finish camp. Of the $15 million projected total to complete the initial concept of Deerfoot Blue Ridge, we have raised $13.5 million thus far in donations and pledges! Praise the Lord! That leaves a remaining gap of $1.5 million, or 10% of the total project cost.

Much has been done... and much still much needs to be accomplished. The move of God's Hand is very evident!

6/29/2019 – The Thrill of Day 1

NOTE: Clicking on any grouped photo below expands its size.

Scenes from opening morning. From serenity to prayer to welcome and tetherball.
First all-camp gathering on opening day.

Volunteers Stepping Up

Volunteers from near and far have made a crucial difference in the development of the Deerfoot Blue Ridge property. The opening of the camp in June 2019 would not have been possible without your prayers and the hard work provided by Deerfoot work weekenders, others from the Deerfoot community, and new friends of Deerfoot from western North Carolina.

Chief Nick Dotti (right) with a group of volunteers (pre-COVID, as are the other photos with people in this presentation).
A husband-and-wife team spearheaded construction of the boardwalk. They have been long-time work weekenders at Deerfoot Adirondack.

Behind the Scenes

Felling a tree at the future Mountaineers section.
Moving a boulder at the future rifle range site.
First cement pours at the "Dad" Kunz Lodge site.
Repairing equipment.
Off-loading the first set of pre-cut logs upon their arrival from Abingdon, Virginia.
Assembling the first Woodsmen cabin using pre-cut logs.
Expert craftsmanship is evident in the corner detail of the first assembled Woodsmen cabin.

Let's Take a Walkabout...

In the section below, we will take a tour of the major building sites at Deerfoot Blue Ridge, circling the lake clockwise from the boardwalk.

NOTE: Clicking on any grouped photo expands its size.


The bottom photo points toward the temporary dining facility on the southeast shore of Trout Lake.

The boardwalk brings the east and west areas of camp closer together, and opens access to the grounds south of Trout Lake. Construction of the boardwalk was accomplished entirely by volunteers. Work began in summer 2019 and was finished in the early fall. This was the first major project completed at Deerfoot Blue Ridge.

Mountaineer Tree Houses

The tree houses of the Mountaineer section are located up a hillside in a private, wooded area. The felled tree trunk in the lower-right photo was notched to provide a straight path to the recreation field down the hill.

The tree houses in the Mountaineer section (ages 15 & 16) are located in the forest above the recreation field and provide a unique camp experience for Deerfoot's oldest residential age group.

Four tree houses were complete for the camp's opening in summer 2019, each with a capacity of five campers and one counselor. The construction of this section is being done exclusively by volunteers. We still have a remaining funding and construction need for six additional tree houses to accommodate a full complement of 50 campers in this section.

Recreation Field

The regraded recreation field is ready for action (top). The lower-left photo shows the area during reconstruction, and the structure in the lower-right is the recreation field bath house.

The recreation field is the focal point for large-scale athletic activities at Deerfoot Blue Ridge. A bath house at the south end of the recreation field serves the sporting area and the Mountaineer section up the hill.


The amphitheater is the site of evening bonfires overlooking Trout Lake.

The amphitheater has semi-circular rows of Deerfoot-style wooden benches for full-camp assemblies. The construction of this area was a volunteer project.

Pioneer Lean-tos

The Pioneer section, consisting of five lean-tos.

The lean-tos in the Pioneer section (ages 13 & 14) are walled on three sides and screened on the fourth. We have completed all five planned lean-tos, each with a capacity of ten campers and two counselors.

The lean-to supports and platforms were built by Deerfoot's general contractor, while the base structures were assembled on site by a mix of Deerfoot volunteers and the contractor. Volunteers finished the lean-tos by constructing the roofs, and adding stairs, handrails, bunks, and screening.

"Dad" Kunz Lodge

Photos of Kunz Lodge with its lodging, meeting, and food preparation facilities.

The Kunz Lodge houses support staff (maintenance & kitchen) during Deerfoot's summer camp season, and volunteers and special programs during the off season. It is a year-around facility that has a sleeping capacity of about 34 to accommodate volunteer groups and venues of various sizes.

The downstairs features a fireplace, kitchen, indoor seating areas, and a wide porch to enjoy the outdoors. Most of the bunk beds for overnighting are located upstairs with a central bathroom.

The structure has already proven its worth as a flexible base for a variety of purposes.

Woodsmen Cabins

The Woodsmen section. The bottom photo shows the area as viewed through the trees from the lakeside path.

The cabins in the Woodsmen section (ages 9 to 12) are identical to the cabin style for younger aged campers at Deerfoot-Adirondack. We have erected four regular-sized cabins and two smaller cabins at Deerfoot Blue Ridge for a total capacity of 50 Woodsmen per session.

The cabin supports and platforms were built by the general contractor, and the base log structures were assembled on site by members of the Deerfoot community. Volunteers finished the cabins by constructing the roofs, and adding stairs, handrails, bunks, and screening.

Barnett Health Center

The Barnett Health Center is located in the reimagined garage of the original residence, and adjoins the living quarters of the camp nurse.

The Barnett Health Center is housed in the property's previous central building. The facility includes a reception area, examination rooms, isolation rooms for overnight patients, and laundry.

Temporary Food Storage, Kitchen, and Dining Facilities

We so look forward to the day when this temporary food service setup is replaced by the Steve Mayer Lodge. The current BBQ station affords a beautiful view of Trout Lake (lower-right photo).

Future Steve Mayer Lodge

The Steve Mayer Lodge will be built into the hillside pictured above.
Three dimensional model of the Steve Mayer Lodge, with seating for campers and support staff, a commercial-grade kitchen, and large covered porches.

When constructed, the Steve Mayer Lodge will be the centerpiece of Deerfoot Blue Ridge. The building will house a large commercial kitchen and dining rooms for campers and their counselors, support staff, and volunteers.

The construction of this structure will truly be a "very heavy lift," with this being the costliest build at Deerfoot Blue Ridge. Since the camp's opening in summer 2019, a commercial-grade portable kitchen, covered grill, modular refrigerator and freezer, and large dining tent have made up Deerfoot's food service facilities.

If Deerfoot receives sufficient donations and pledges by April 30, 2021, we anticipate construction of the Steve Mayer Lodge to begin in August 2021 and for the facility to be ready in time for the 2022 camp season.

The muster field at the south end of Trout Lake adjoins the future Steve Mayer Lodge.

The muster field is the gathering place before meals at Deerfoot Blue Ridge, and will also be used for small-scale sports activities.

Are You In?

People of all walks of life, locations, and ages have joined in the work that the Lord is doing at Deerfoot Blue Ridge. We encourage you to participate in one or more of the following ways:

Praying – The prayers of the Deerfoot community have always been of paramount importance to Deerfoot's ministry, and continue to be vital to the establishment and future operation of Deerfoot Blue Ridge. Click the link below to receive monthly and periodic prayer team updates by email:

Spreading the Word – Contact Chief Nick or Chief Ron (contact info below) to schedule meetings with friends and associates of yours who may know prospective Deerfoot campers or may have an interest in volunteering or giving.

Volunteering – We are seeking people with all skill levels and specialties for the large amount of work that still needs to be performed. We welcome individuals, families, and groups who would like to volunteer for a day, a week, or longer. Please contact Chief Nick (contact info below) concerning your questions or interest.

Contributing Financially – Deerfoot's board practices conservative financial stewardship, and is committed to spending only up to the level of funds donated and pledged to Deerfoot Blue Ridge. Please feel free to contact Chief Ron (contact info below) if you would like to discuss donating to Deerfoot Blue Ridge in detail.

Contact Information

Main phone number – (855) HIS CAMP or (855) 447-2267

Chief Ron Mackey – phone (855) 447-2267 X700 | chiefron@deerfoot.org

Chief Nick Dotti – phone (855) 447-2267 X703 | chiefnick@deerfoot.org

Created By
Deerfoot Lodge


- Deerfoot Friends