What's the story behind the Deerfoot Blue Campaign?
It begins in 1930. Since then God has been working through Deerfoot in powerful ways so that generations now point to their Deerfoot experience as formative to their spiritual lives. [Link: Share your story of Deerfoot’s impact in your life]
The Founding: The era of Deerfoot’s founding under Dad Kunz was one of bold and great faith. He stood on the Dugs, viewing Whitaker Lake below and dreaming of the possibilities. What seemed impossible, even unlikely when he realized the land was already occupied, turned into reality because God moved.
Deerfoot continued to grow and develop during an era of highly dedicated part-time leadership. It was very much a volunteer and grass roots kind of organization during this era. This was the period when the Guide program, which has come to embody our mission, was developed.
Full-time Director: In the early 80s, the Board sat once again facing a gigantic decision, which would require bold faith. The decision to hire a full time, year round, director was not an easy one, but the Board stepped forward in faith, and the Lord brought tremendous growth to Deerfoot Lodge.
A Thriving Mission: Today, the original mission to build godly men thrives at Deerfoot Lodge. In recent years, registration capacity reached 80% on the first day. The camp has been running at capacity, with wait lists for many years and has no capacity for numeric growth on the current site. We again seek God’s grace and guidance concerning the future.
The Next Step: In 2011, the Board of Directors began dreaming about what it might look like to expand Deerfoot. We considered many ideas for expansion on the current property, and even looked closely at local properties. The doors closed and none of the ideas were right for the mission of Deerfoot.
In March of 2015, after nearly a year of praying and discussion, the decision was made to explore opportunities in the mountains of North Carolina or the surrounding areas. The idea for Deerfoot Lodge Blue Ridge was born.
Since then, God led us to an ideal place called ‘Trout Lake’, which is located near Cashiers, NC. The Trout Lake property is 340 acres, with a 25 acre private lake, set in a pristine, mountainous and wilderness area. We entered into a purchase contract in August of 2015, and began to pray and ask people to join us financially in this Vision. By January 2016, by God’s grace, we received gifts and pledges to purchase the Trout Lake Property without any long-term debt. Praise the Lord!
We now face the daunting God-sized challenge of building the camp on this beautiful new property. The cost will be God-sized, an estimated $9.5 Million. The challenge will be God-sized: bringing a lot of organizational changes to Deerfoot Lodge and the year-round staff. The opportunity, however, will be God sized as well: Opening the doors of Deerfoot to a whole new geographic region relatively close to large cities like Charlotte and Atlanta. We look forward to taking down the ‘no vacancy’ sign that currently hangs at Deerfoot, to say ‘yes’ to boys who want and need to be here.
The Deerfoot Blue Campaign calls for participation from every generation and every part of the Deerfoot family. Our goal is to avoid any long-term debt for Deerfoot Lodge. For that to happen, we need Deerfooters to give, to pray, to help, and to support the launch of Deerfoot Lodge Blue Ridge.