RIO GRANDE — This week, board members of the group Friends of Camp Asbury, met to continue working for the upcoming summer camp season.
Longtime residents of Gallia County will know the camp by its old name, Camp Francis Asbury. The camp has been renamed Evans Christian Outfitters to help usher in the new era of camping and service to local churches and organizations.
It was originally donated by Bob Evans to the Portsmouth Area United Methodist Conference in November of 1959. The first year of camp was held in 1965, and it was operated by the United Methodist Conference until 2003 when it was shut down as a result of decreased attendance. It was reopened in 2006 by local churches seeking to provide the benefits of christian camping for local congregants. It was again shut down and subsequently sold in 2016 by the United Methodist Church to the Friends of Camp Asbury.
FOCA is a non-profit organization that consists of members from a variety of church backgrounds that desire to see a local facility available at a reasonable cost to churches around Gallia County. FOCA intends to hold summer camps in 2017, but not without renovations first.
Evans Lodge, the primary building on camp, is receiving new roofing, major repairs to the wooden frame around the roof, all new windows and doors, flooring, and new septic systems. Crews and volunteers have been hard at work to accomplish the list of items necessary to bring the level of quality back to Evans Lodge. Other improvements around camp include a new road to the lake with improved drainage, improved parking areas, as well as needed maintenance to the groundskeeper lodge.
The FOCA board has a wish list of items they would like to see done as soon as possible; including upgraded heating and air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, and new mattresses for the bunk rooms to name a few. Work has yet to begin on Wesley Lodge due to the limited resources and size of Wesley. Evans holds a larger amount of campers as the primary lodge, and therefore has become the focal point of all efforts to get the camp running.
For anyone interested in learning more about Evans Christian Outfitters, visit evanschristianoutfitters.org, or their facebook page ‘Evans Christian Outfitters’. They are still looking for support and welcome anyone to assist in what way they can. To do so, contact Perry Prosch at [email protected]
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext.2108 or [email protected]