Many of the buildings have seen multiple uses during close to 50 years of use since the Children’s Home days.
The building which was the school house has been accommodated to serve as the home of the Buckhorn Creek Mennonite Church which meets there regularly.
The main administration building in which the kitchen and dining hall are located has been used to house VS personnel, as a bookstore, rooms for staff housing during summer camp, as the director’s residence, and also houses the camp office. The kitchen has since enjoyed a few improvements such as the adding of a walk-in cooler, a dishwasher, a commercial stove, convection oven, heavy duty mixer and a new tile floor.
The 3 rooms in this building were filled with bunks and used as the boys’ dormitory until 1998. In 2001 it was remodeled and a large covered porch was added to the back side. Now there are 3 guest rooms – each with a private bathroom and private entrance – which are used to house staff during the summer. The basement was at one time the recreation room, and now is used as the craft room, laundry room and storage area.
When the property was purchased, this 30’x60’ structure was a gymnasium with basketball goals at each end. Within a couple of years, it was converted into a chicken house with 2 levels, using lumber that came from the old Gays Creek church building which had been taken down. In the 80’s the upper floor was converted into a recreation room and the lower level was made into a chapel and classrooms.
This building was built from rafters and lumber rescued from a chicken house that was torn down. It was used to store tools and farming equipment during the time that Eldon Miller did custom hay cutting. It later held wood used to heat the administration building. In 1999, those same rafters were taken down and used to form the roof of the pavilion up the creek from the waterslide, and also the roof of the new shop which is located farther from the center of camp. The place where the shop was is now a Staff Lounge where summer camp staff members meet for prayer, devotions, and worship (and escape to for some occasional minutes of solitude.)
Originally named in honor of Bertha T. Krestan, this building was used as the girls’ dorm for camp until 2002. Its two story structure held 4 bathrooms which each sported a claw footed tub. The problem in the early days was that it was equipped with only cold water. I have heard that baths were quick during the early years. Later on, the kitchen area was converted to a shower room with 3 shower stalls, and hot water to spoil the campers. Since 2002 it has been in the process of renovation, and is newly completed with 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a nice sized meeting area and a kitchen. As of right now the basement (which had held the craft room) is a wood shop.
Named in honor of the Miller family who occupied it for some years, this building was once a duplex, but has had various changes and reworking of its insides. Now, with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, and a basement, it feels like a house. On Memorial Day of 2003, the basement wall collapsed due to heavy rains. With the help of work groups, the wall is now in better condition than before and the basement no longer has water in it after a good rain.
This building has been rented out at times to local families in need, has served as the craft room, or for overflow when there was no room in the dorms for campers, and lately has been used as a residence for longer term staff.
One of those projects that used money from the coal royalties was the building of cabins for all the campers. Four cabins were built on the hillside behind the chapel for the boys and four more were constructed on the hillside behind the dining hall for the girls. Each cabin has 5 bunk beds (10 places to sleep) along with a shower, bathroom and sink area. This provides a place for each cabin group to call “home.” It becomes a safe place where the stories of many different lives can be shared and community can be built.