In 1941, five ministers brought 24 young people together for a week of camp experience at Portland Arch, a Boy Scout Campsite in Fountain County, Indiana. Those young people studied the Bible, the meaning of the Christian Life, Missions, and Christian Endeavor methods. The next summer, the enrollment doubled, and by 1944, there were 99 campers.
In 1946, the group had grown so large (250 campers) that the small Boy Scout Reservation would not adequately accommodate them. The West Central Evangelistic Association, a group of men meeting since 1944, decided to do something about it. They appointed a committee to find a suitable location for our own camp. The committee chose a beautiful timbered tract of ten acres adjoining historic Hanging Rock on Redwood Creek, four miles south of West Lebanon. The land was purchased and donated to the organization by Mr. & Mrs. Ura Seeger of West Lebanon.
In 1947, three buildings were erected (two dormitories and a dining hall). Each dormitory was built to sleep 90 students.
In 1949, a full modern (for the times) swimming pool was completed on the grounds and was open for use in 1950. That meant no more swimming in the creek, or not swimming if the creek was too low, and no more snakes.
In 1950, a flash flood on the Redwood Creek washed away all of the benches that were used for worship.
In 1952, plans were made for a new administration building to be built that would house the office, nurse quarters, guest room, personnel room, and overflow dorm space for boys and girls. The commissary was also moved to provide a place for faculty to lounge between class times.
In 1954, a shelter to house pool supplies, other supplies and equipment, a tool shed and workshop was built on the west end of the girls shower room.
In 1955, a playground was installed.
In 1956, Five and a half acres of land adjacent to the camp on the North side were purchased. That purchase gave the camp control of the ball diamonds, cafe, garage, the road and the entrance to the camp property. There would also be land available to build an auditorium.
In 1957, Pine Village Christian Church gave $150 toward the building of a Chapel at the camp.
In 1958, the Chapel was completed. There is a stage and two classrooms on the North end and a classroom and restrooms on the South end.
In 1961, one acre to the North of the ball diamonds was purchased from the Pete Flesher family bringing the total acreage owned by the camp to twenty-one.
In 1962, new lavatories were built in the boys and girls dorms. New teaching shelters were also built to be used as classrooms.
In 1963, The camp trustees met to discuss the need for a home for the Camp Director. The house would have three bedrooms, one and a half baths, a kitchen, living room and dining room. There would also be a full-sized basement with one corner enclosed to be used as an office and a place for the camp committee and camp trustees to meet. It would also house all camp records. The house was paid off in only 3 years.
In 1964, the brick pillars and the brick and stone for the sign base were completed. The sign was built so that it could be seen by both North and Southbound traffic.
In 1967, 15 area preachers met to build an A-frame shelter that could be used a a teaching shelter on rainy days. It was built to hold 50 campers. The miniature golf course was also built.
In 1968, a permanent picnic area was built on the South side of the Redwood Creek to seat almost 200 campers. Campers are able to reach the picnic area by walking down the trail behind the A-frame and across the creek or by driving on South across the bridge and turning in to the first road.
In 1969, several men met at the camp to build a suspension bridge over the creek. Unfortunately it was only able to be used one time as two days after it was finished a massive rain storm and flood washed away both bridges over the creek and uprooted the trees that had been used as supports. It is reported that there was over 5 inches of rain that day.
In 1970, three corn cribs on the property were used as a canteen, cook's cabin and home-away-from-home for the boys who work at the camp.
In 1975, winterization of the office building was completed.
In 1978, a sizable gift was given to the camp by Russell Acton of Danville, Illinois. It was designated to be used to build a new girls dormitory.
In 1980, the trustees saw the need for a new swimming complex as the current pool was leaking up to 2000 gallons of water a day during operation periods. The new complex will consist of a bath house, diving pool and main pool.
In 1986, the trustees approved plans to build a new canteen. It will be a log house construction with a large porch.
In 1987, the new boys dorm and retreat center with a large porch were built on the North edge of the property.Then in 2000 the porch was inclosed to create more space for retreats.
In 1992, the former boys dorm was remodeled into what was known as the "Hanging Rock Hilton". It consisted of eight motel style rooms with centrally located restrooms.
In 1995, the dining hall was remodeled and winterized. There were also restrooms added to the North end of the building. One of the old corn cribs was remodeled into an HRCA museum.
In 1996, the large porch on the House of Adam was enclosed and winterized. The tee pee village was also built to house wilderness camp on property south of the Redwood Creek. Three gazeboes were added to the camp property to be used as teaching shelters. The miniature golf course also received a much needed facelift.
In 1997, 156 acres South and West of the Redwood Creek was purchased. Future plans for this land included a pond and trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and backpacking.
In 2003, the camp saw the addition of the Leadership Development Center or LDC building connected to the dining hall. This building houses four classrooms, restrooms, a general store, multiple storage areas, an open balcony, an indoor rock wall, and a large open area to be used for worship, recreation activities and over-flow dining space.
In 2004, four cabins were built at the new wilderness site on the Southwest corner of the property. Three were to be used for sleeping and one for a cooking cabin. There were plans to build a fifth cabin but those plans were never realized. Also in 2004 the zipline and rappelling stations were added.
2008 - The Camp hired Gary Baker to be the new Executive Director. Gary served in preaching ministry for 11 years and 5 years in youth ministry before coming to the camp
2010 - The camp becomes debt free by paying off $650,000 worth of old debt.
2012 - The camp receives a grant for $170,000 to replace the old wells and build a new water treatment facility.
2014 - Gene Farrow memorial Bridge is erected. Officially connecting the 2 sides of the property
2018 - Remodeled the chapel and completed it debt free with using donations of $190,000
2019 - The retreat center bathrooms were remodeled. $40,000 all in donations.
2020 - The girl's dorm bathrooms were remodeled $60,000 all in donations.
2022 - The Hilton was remodeled into the Hanging Rock Inn, giving private bathrooms to each of the eight private bedrooms. This building also has a meeting space and a foyer for coffee and relaxation. $120,000 was raised to complete this project debt free.
2023 - New flooring was put in the gym, classrooms and foyer between the dining hall and the gym and the front entrance of the gym. New paint was also added to the walls and the rock wall got an upgrade as well. We spent a total of $40,000 on this project of which all was raised.