In the early 1940’s, over 60 churches came together with a plan to have a camp for the youth in their congregations. The summer of 1946, Western Buckeye Christian Service Camp came into existence. The founders rented a Boy Scout camp in Southern Shelby County called Camp Wakonda. Over the next 10 years, excitement and numbers grew annually. There were several conversations about wanting to have their own campground. In 1965, the Snapp family of Houston, Ohio donated 14+ acres of land. The Roeth Family of Houston, Ohio sold 5+ acres of land that connected to the other 14+ acres. The new campsite was located at 5455 Roeth Road, Houston, Ohio and consisted of 20+ acres. The cost of construction and clearing of the land, as well as the purchase of the 5+ acres from the Roeth family, cost $54,000.00.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, there was a big project going on across the nation – the interstate highway system. At the intersection of National Road 40 and the proposed I-75, there was a motel which needed to be moved or razed. Most of the churches in our area came together, deconstructed the motel, and moved it to the new camp location. When the construction of the camp was completed, there stood a Chapel, Girls Dorm, Dining Hall, Nurses Cabin, Cooks Cabin, and Boys Dorm. All of those original buildings are still at the camp except the Dining Hall. The Dining Hall was destroyed by fire in December of 1978. The new Dining Hall was constructed and ready for use in the summer of 1979.
What follows is a timeline of camp growth from 1967 through 2017:
1967 | A 1/4 acre pond was constructed for swimming.
1968 – 1971 | 3 shelter houses were built.
1972 | 1+ acers of land was purchased from the rail road at the cost of $1.
1974 | The camp house was built for $24K. The first full time camp manager was hired.
1974 – 1993 | Leland Quay was hired as camp manager.
1978 | The swimming pool was built for $38.5K, and the driveway was black topped for $8K.
1978 | The dining hall was destroyed by fire.
1979 | The new dining hall building was constructed for $90K.
1985 | 7+ acres was purchased from the Roeth family that set on the west side of our property. The camp paid $16K down with a balance of $26K. The maintenance building was constructed for $33K.
1987 | The swimming pool got a total overhaul.
1988 | The first computer was purchased for the camp at the cost of $3,700.
1990 | The restrooms on both dorms were replaced for the cost of $45K.
1993 – 1998 | Mark Filsinger was hired as camp manager.
1999 | Dan Roberts was hired as camp manager.
1999 | The canteen shelter house was built time and the materials were all donated.
2000 | The chapel was remodeled so it can be used year-round. Heat and air conditioning were added to the dining hall. The total cost was $76K.
2002 | The nurses station was remodeled with Senior High missions and donations.
2004 | The climbing and repelling tower were added for a cost of $12K.
2005 | The sleeping area in the dining hall was remodeled at no cost to the camp.
2006 | A new chapel floor was laid for $5K.
2007 | The canteen deck and big merry-go-round were added.
2008 | The camp house exterior was remodeled for $7K.
2009 | The inside of the boy’s dorm was remodeled.
2010 | The exterior of boy’s dorm was remodeled, and new pool equipment was purchased.
2011 | The inside of the girl’s dorm was remodeled.
2013 | The exterior of the girl’s dorm was remodeled.
2014 | The cabin was remodeled. Central heat and air conditioning were added to the camp house.
2015 | Sunny Side preschool was started.
2016 | The large connect 4 was built.
2017 | The recreation building was built.