Southwest Opens Camp Ponderosa Ranch

The Southwest Division recently broke ground for the first phase of Camp Ponderosa Ranch, the proposed facility for youth and adults. Among those present for the groundbreaking were Marlene Klotz-Collins, Phoenix metro board chair and Budd Peabody, property committee chair.

Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Olin Hogan introduced Commissioner Peter H. Chang, territorial commander, who gave the address. “This is the Lord’s Camp,” he said, and expressed the hope that youth and adults will be able to come for physical and spiritual rest as well as a place of relaxation.

Major David Hudson, divisional secretary for program, presented plaques of appreciation to Neal LaBarge, site camp manager, and others who had been instrumental in the progress of the camp. Captain Daniel Abella, divisional youth and candidates’ secretary, concluded the event with an inspiring benediction.

The division has held camps in rented facilities since the sale of Camp O’Wood in 1991. The camp had become too small to meet the growing need for specialized camps and was not cost-effective to maintain. The new camp’s central location is ideal for providing service to all corps in the division and provides space for expanding programs.

Camp Ponderosa Ranch will have seven major units to complete the entire project. Envisioned are a general administrative core, health center dining room, recreation/sports area with pool and a ball park. The target date for the completion of Phase 1 a-b-c is the summer of 1998. Phase 1-a involves the infrastructure, which includes roadways, all utilities, the main gate, and drainage. Phase 1-b will include buildings, such as showers and rest rooms, platform tents, and program shelters. Phase 1-c will be the construction of the dining hall and youth cabins. The progress of this phase depends on funds available.

At present, the camp offers camping opportunities for children 7 to 12 years of age. Older youth programs and senior citizen camp programs are also available. Although Camp Ponderosa Ranch is currently set up for wilderness campers, camping opportunities are obtainable through other Salvation Army camps in the state. Any child can plan to attend camp with arrangements through the Salvation Army Service Extension in Phoenix.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the Camp Ponderosa Ranch project can do so by directing the donation to Camp Project, Attn: Paul Harvey, The Salvation Army Camp Ponderosa Ranch, Camp Capital Company, P.O. Box 52177, Phoenix AZ 85072.

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