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Deerfoot–Past & Present Building Christ-Centered Community

Beginnings

Deerfoot Lodge owes its founding in 1930 to Dad Kunz. He and others who shared his vision carved the camp out of Adirondack wilderness from a desire to help boys successfully bridge the gap from boyhood to manhood. He wrote...

Deerfoot's twofold purpose is to bring boys to the reality of a personal, intimate knowledge of God through Jesus Christ and then help develop true Christian character.

When Dad Kunz realized the Whitaker Lake property was already occupied, what seemed impossible turned into reality because God moved.

Deerfoot's Enduring Mission

Building godly men in a Christ-centered community through wilderness camping.

Who We Are

Foundational to the success of Deerfoot's ministry is calling boys to live out the teachings of Scripture. Deerfoot creates conditions under which they are moved toward emotional, spiritual, and relational growth. This comes from leveraging the unique combination of community and the beauty of God's creation as catalysts. Living with others in a technologically disconnected and unspoiled wilderness area develops strong community, creating a setting for boys to realize the transformational power of a lifelong commitment to Jesus Christ.

Community

God has been working through Deerfoot Lodge for over 80 years in powerful ways, with generations of men pointing to their Deerfoot experience as formative to their spiritual lives.

Deerfoot is a place of community and relationships among boys and counselors, a place where boys find mentors, and where young men can measure their passage to manhood against milestones. Deerfoot's biblical culture is marked by relevance and grace, engendering a supportive environment that helps reach into the lives of boys and the challenges they face.

At Camp and Beyond

At Deerfoot Lodge, we have a deep longing to meet boys where they are and help them become godly men. When a boy goes to camp year after year, and maybe becomes a staff member, we’ve seen our approach create a distinctive kind of man. Deerfoot men are often plugged into their families, their local churches, their neighborhoods, and our world.

Deerfoot’s influence extends far beyond camp families and the Deerfoot community.

Deerfoot Snapshots

Skill Building
Wilderness Experiences
Flex Time
Gatherings
Seeking the Lord

We Have an Opportunity

A pathway to do more . . .

For nearly ten years, Deerfoot Lodge in the Adirondacks has had wait lists of boys longing to be part of the camp experience. This means something is working. But turning away teens who long to spend two weeks at Deerfoot unplugged from "regular" life opened the eyes of the board of directors that God is leading toward more.

After more than five years of strategic thinking, praying, and planning, the board united around the concept of replicating Deerfoot's program in a new geographic location so that more boys, twice as many, can experience the life changing impact of Deerfoot's ministry.

Some Deerfoot board members singing and sharing before the breaking of bread that precedes every board meeting.

In March 2015, the Deerfoot board authorized the search for a new camp location in the southern Appalachian Mountains, with the intent of replicating Deerfoot. At its July 2015 meeting, the members approved negotiations for a 340-acre parcel in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This led to the signing of a contract for the property's purchase in August 2015.

During the months that followed, lead donors and Deerfoot board members provided gifts and pledges sufficient for purchasing the Blue Ridge parcel. Deerfoot acquired the Trout Lake property on March 31, 2016, without incurring any long-term debt. Praise the Lord!

Deerfoot-Blue Ridge
A God-sized Undertaking

Enter Deerfoot-Blue Ridge

The Deerfoot-Blue Ridge property is in the heart of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 3,500 feet, and is located about three hours from Atlanta and Charlotte.

Markers indicate Adirondack and Blue Ridge sites, about 930 miles apart by car.
Trout Lake is the centerpiece of the site.

The 340-acre property offers unique advantages for carrying out our mission:

  • Very quiet, isolated wilderness setting.
  • Private lake surrounded by the property on all sides.
  • High altitude for cooler summer days (3,500 feet elevation at lakeshore).
  • Sufficient flat areas for a recreation field, common facilities, housing, and activity areas.
  • Mixed hardwood and pine forests, and mountain scenery with long range views.
  • Outstanding hiking opportunities between 30 minutes and 2 hours away.
  • Easy drive for the 30% of current Deerfoot campers who live in Maryland and south.
  • Opens the Deerfoot experience to areas such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, and Knoxville.

Replicating the Deerfoot Model

Deerfoot’s aim in establishing a southeastern location is to carry out its mission by replicating the model through which the Lord has worked powerfully over the years. This includes the organization’s culture and approach carried out in a pristine wilderness setting, and two-week sessions with three age groups (sections) of 50 campers each. The size of the sections, the ratio of counselors to campers, the embrace of challenging activities, and the interaction among boys of different ages, are important ingredients for the building of relationships and community.

Blue Ridge Snapshots

Aerial View
Entering the Property
Shoreline
Future Recreation Field

Beyond Summer

The lakeshore in fall.

There is a growing conviction by the board of directors that Deerfoot's mission should reach beyond the summer season into the year, and to men of all ages. Those dreams can be answered at the Blue Ridge location with its year-around accessibility and mild climate. Proximity to major metropolitan areas and good flight service make it attractive as a mission-focused activity hub during the off season.

Some Off-Site Destinations

Whiteside Mountain
Nearby Lake Glenville
Panthertown Valley
Dupont State Forest
Great Smoky Mountains

Will You Join Us?

This vision is God-sized, and we depend on His provision through His people to develop and establish the new camp. We are as reliant upon the Lord for this new location to become a reality as Dad Kunz was when he first cast eyes on Whitaker Lake over 80 years ago.

As with the initial purchase of the Blue Ridge property, we intend to build the new camp without incurring long-term debt. This will require the support of the whole Deerfoot community.

Final photo opportunity before campers return home from camp.

To learn more about Deerfoot Lodge or become involved with the new Blue Ridge location, please contact us or view the resources below:

Ron Mackey, Executive Director of Deerfoot Lodge

(518) 712-9074 | chiefron@deerfoot.org

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Deerfoot Lodge
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