Students plan to support efforts to rebuild the dining hall at the Camp of the Hills retreat site in Marble Falls since it burned to the ground last month.
For unknown reasons, the dining hall, which also housed the kitchen, offices and counselors’ quarters burned down March 25. No one was injured in the fire, and campers’ cabins and other facilities were not damaged. For 20 years, Camp of the Hills has served as a nonprofit Christian summer camp for disadvantaged youth. This summer alone, CotH plans to serve more than 400 campers, according to campofthehills.org. Drew Bowen, camp director and junior Christian ministry major from Bryan, said camps will still be scheduled in the near future without a dining hall.
“We plan to acquire commercial kitchen equipment and store it in a portable building,” Bowen said.
Bowen said several ACU student groups, along with churches from all over Texas and Oklahoma, are striving to gather support and supplies to help Camp of the Hills recoup its losses.
Ally Craigie, president of GATA and senior psychology major from Castle Rock, Colo., said she is encouraging club members to donate money for lost furnishings and also attend a weekend trip to offer any help CotH may need.
“I have seen the way this camp can change the lives of these kids,” Craigie said. “As a club, we were devastated to hear about the losses the camp suffered, and we want to do everything we can to make sure kids can keep experiencing God in this place.”
Josh Alkire, senior Christian ministry and English major from Abilene, is working to raise money by providing information via Facebook.
“I tried to think of creative ways of gathering some of the more difficult items to collect, such as towels, first aid supplies, pillows, blankets, sheets and clothes for the younger children,” Alkire said. “In the near future, CotH will need a lot of money to help with the cost of a new building, so any students who can make small donations, host fundraisers or contact home congregations would be serving a great cause in a very big way.”
For more information regarding the camp, the accident or how to get involved with the rebuilding, visit www.campofthehills.org.