Fire Challenges Wilderness Ridge Again - by Exec. Dir. Neil Kenagy

God is good, all the time.

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Update on Fire at Wilderness Ridge

The Hidden Pines Fire has damaged and destroyed structures on both camp properties. We are still unable to access the properties, as the 4500 acre fire continues to burn and is only 50% contained, but we have seen pictures of buildings still standing and buildings which are destroyed. We are hopeful that the fires on the camp are under control and damage will not continue to spread.

Aerial photo of original campground (855 Park Road 1C) with lake on left, pavilion above it and ropes tower standing in upper center. Maintenance barn below the lake has been destroyed by fire. (photo from Austin American-Statesman)

Aerial photo of original campground (855 Park Road 1C) with lake on left, pavilion above it and ropes tower standing in upper center. Maintenance barn below the lake has been destroyed by fire. (photo from Austin American-Statesman)

Staff

While all of the Camp staff and their families are safe, four members of our staff have lost their residences and many of their belongings. We were blessed to have enough warning for the team to remove their most precious items before evacuation, but most of their household items and furniture were lost in the structure fires. Those displaced are now staying with family in Cedar Park, Katy and Dallas. We are looking for arrangements to have them settled near the camp properties as quickly as possible in order to continue operating committed retreats and to plan for recovery. Please consider making a special offering to individual staff members or to the Friends fund, which is managed by our Board of Directors.

What's Next

The Board of Directors will be meeting October 23rd to begin planning our next steps. We hope to have access to both properties by then and to have a complete assessment of the status of all buildings and areas of the camp properties. We will make every effort to communicate to all the short and long term plans for the camp. 

News Articles on Camp Wilderness Ridge

Local TV stations have featured the camp in their coverage of the fire.

 Updates

 

You can find up-to-date information on the camp website or on Facebook Page.

Fall Retreats

 

We still have several retreats for fall. Immediately when news of the fire damage went out, two Central Texas camps, Cooper Farm and Camp Tejas, offered us assistance in serving our scheduled groups. We are hopeful that we can program and execute their retreats in a manner that will meet our guests expectations.

Support for Recovery

 

As we assess the losses and begin planning our recovery, we will post specific needs on our website, including workdays and items we are seeking as in-kind donations. Our staff members who lost their household items can be helped with cash donations through the site or you can send gift cards to the address listed on ourdonations page. As the fire was burning on the site our staff gathered as a team at Hill Country Bible Church in Austin to assess our situation. As we went around the team and their spouses, we shared our feelings, frustrations, fears and hopes for the camp. We all are optimistic about the future of Wilderness Ridge, knowing that God has seen us through fire before. We look forward to continuing our mission to train young men to be leaders and men of faith.