In the late 1960s God brought a dedicated group of Christians together led by Ken Hay. Steps of faith helped them recognize that there was a great need for a camp, but this group had very few resources. In God’s timing, the group was given access to sizable funds at very low interest. It was a faith venture all the way that had begun when Ken and his friend Dr. Walter Fremont prayed for a quality Christian camp in the Southeast area of the United States 10 years prior to its founding.
The group discovered a ruggedly beautiful 810-acre tract of land just over the North/South Carolina border in Transylvania County, North Carolina. The money was used to purchase the land and begin construction. It was hard to imagine a “new, young” camp with such a nice property and facilities. It was also hard to imagine a camp so desperately dependent on God and the kindness of God’s people to simply make it financially through a first year.
Along the way God has allowed the ministry to expand its reach in ways beyond comprehension. Thousands of families and churches have been encouraged in the critical area of Christian music through our music ministry. From 1987 until 2004 The Wilds had an incredible opportunity to minister to over 35,000 campers through The Wilds of the Rockies located near Kremmling, Colorado. In 2001, CampsAbroad became the official missions arm of The Wilds, providing camp training and materials to over forty foreign ministries at no charge. Then, in our fortieth year, the Lord answered nearly 10 years of prayer and opened wide the doors for us to begin a camping ministry in the Northeast. The Wilds of New England, located in Deering, New Hampshire, currently offers several summer weeks of teen and junior camps.
From three weeks of camp and 250 campers during that first summer of 1969, to year-round camps hosting over 20,000 campers per year, The Wilds has been here to assist local churches to reach the youth and families of our nation for forty-plus years! A comment from many through the years is “Wow, this place has really changed since I was a camper years ago, but in some ways it’s still the very same place! Does that make sense?” Yes, it does make sense. It is important to change and to progress, but it is also important to stay the same in the areas that matter for eternity. May we always rely on the grace of God to keep us true to Him.