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Boots on the Ground reports and photos from the field

Snapshots from Deerfoot Lodge Blue Ridge

Latest update on March 31, 2019

This Is His Place

Deerfoot Lodge acquired the Blue Ridge camp property in Glenville, NC, on March 31, 2016. With the prayers of the Deerfoot community, the Lord has moved in extraordinary ways both before and after the purchase of this very special place.

The first counselors will arrive for training in early June 2019, and we plan to welcome the first campers on June 29, 2019. We look forward with great anticipation to the ways in which the Lord will work in the lives of campers and counselors in 2019 and beyond.

As of March 31, 2019, families have registered campers for 76% of the camp's summer 2019 capacity.

Much has been done... and still much needs to be accomplished.

Panoramic photo taken from the dock extends from the dam (left) to the gazebo (right).

Volunteers Stepping Up

Volunteers from near and far are making a crucial difference in the development of the Deerfoot Blue Ridge property. The opening of the camp in June 2019 will not be 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 who have taken up the cause.

Chief Nick Dotti (right) with a group of volunteers.
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 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. The photos and reports will be updated as construction activities continue.

NOTE: Clicking on any grouped photo expands its size.

Boardwalk

The bottom photo was taken on a cold winter morning in January 2019.

The boardwalk brings the east and west areas of camp closer together, and opens access to the area 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

Photos show tree houses in different stages of completion. The felled tree trunk in the lower-right photo will be modified to provide a pathway to the recreation field below.

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

We plan to complete four tree houses 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.

Recreation Field

An early February 2019 view of the future recreation field with pools of ice in spots.

The recreation field will be the focal point for large-scale athletic activities at Deerfoot Blue Ridge.

For summer 2019, a bath house will be constructed at the far end of the recreation field to serve the sporting area and the Mountaineer section up the hill. Plans call for expanding the field rightward into the hillside and for crowning the area to improve drainage.

Amphitheater

Initial development of the amphitheater site.

The amphitheater will have semi-circular rows of Deerfoot-style wooden benches for full-camp assemblies. The construction of this area has not yet begun, and will be a volunteer project.

Pioneer Lean-tos

The Pioneer section. Bottom photos show platforms for 2 additional lean-tos (left) and bath house (right).

The lean-tos in the Pioneer section (ages 13 & 14) are walled on three sides and screened on the fourth. We are building three lean-tos for the summer 2019 season, each with a capacity of ten campers and two counselors.

The lean-to supports and platforms are being built by Deerfoot's general contractor, and the base log structures are being assembled on site by craftsmen from the maker. Volunteers are finishing the lean-tos by constructing the roofs, and adding stairs, handrails, bunks, and screening.

Kunz Lodge

Photos of Kunz Lodge nearing completion.

The Kunz Lodge will house 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 will have 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 is being built by the Deerfoot's general contractor, and is expected to be ready to house volunteers by early spring 2019.

Woodsmen Cabins

The Woodsmen section. Crews erected the shells for three additional cabins during March (without roofs). Bottom-right photo shows the bath house.

The cabins in the Woodsmen section (ages 9 to 12) are identical to the cabins for younger aged campers at Deerfoot-Adirondack. We are building four cabins for the summer 2019 season, each with a capacity of ten campers and two counselors.

The cabin supports and platforms are being built by the general contractor, and the base log structures are being assembled on site by craftsmen from the maker. Volunteers are finishing the cabins by constructing the roofs, and adding stairs, handrails, bunks, and screening.

Barnett Health Center

Deerfoot volunteers have roughed-in the Barnett Health Center, including electrical wiring and plumbing, and some paneling.

The Barnett Health Center will be housed in the property's previous central building. The former living quarters will house a nurse & family, while Deerfoot volunteers are transforming the pre-existing attached garages into a reception area, examination rooms, isolation rooms for overnight patients, and laundry.

Future Steve Mayer Lodge

The Steve Mayer Lodge will be built into the hillside pictured above.

When constructed, the Steve Mayer Lodge will be the centerpiece of Deerfoot Blue Ridge. Upstairs, the building will house a large commercial kitchen and dining rooms for campers and their counselors, support staff, and volunteers. The lower level will contain the camp store, support facilities for off-site trips, and administrative offices and meeting rooms.

The construction of this structure will truly be a "very heavy lift," with substantial additional funding required before Deerfoot can embark on this project. During summer 2019 and a number of subsequent camping seasons, a commercial-grade portable kitchen and large dining tent will make up Deerfoot's food service facilities.

Current plans call for the footprint of the Steve Mayer Lodge to be excavated from its future hillside location in early 2019. The fill from this excavation work will be used to raise the level of the nearby muster field (see below) in time for vegetation to take hold for the 2019 camp season.

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

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

Plans call for the level of the present area to be raised to the height of the boardwalk that adjoins the muster field. Earth will be transported a short distance from the excavation site of the Steve Mayer Lodge in early 2019 (see above), in time for the area to be useable for camp activities in summer 2019.

Are You In?

People of all walks of life, locations, and ages can support the work that the Lord intends for 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. Gain access to the full set of Deerfoot Blue Ridge videos, presentations, and documents by clicking on the link below:
  • Volunteering – We are seeking people with all skill levels and specialties for the large amount of work that still needs to be invested for the camp's opening in 2019 and beyond. 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.

  • A group of lead donors has established a $1 million Matching Challenge, whereby the total donations and commitments received prior to opening day will be matched up to $1 million (see link below). At present, $600,000 has been raised against this challenge.
  • For future years, funding will be required to build out the camp facilities beyond their initial configuration, as camper numbers increase from 90 to 150 per two-week session and we add a dining hall and other central buildings.

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

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Deerfoot Lodge
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Credits:

- Deerfoot Friends

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