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Camps and Youth


Youth

Camping

The Wyoming Presbytery offers summer camps in June and July for K-12th graders and their families, at Camp Story in Story, WY. Camp Story is also available for rentals.



Camp Story

Directions to Camp Story:

Traveling from the north – I–90 E to Exit 33 for Meade Creek (US Highway 87 S) to Story. Turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and follow the road to make a left turn onto Skylark Lane; Skylark Lane will fork, take the left option (Presbyterian Road) and Camp Story is at the end of the road.Traveling from the South – I–90 W/US 87 N Exit 44 for Piney Creek (US 87 N) to Story. You will go through Banner on the way to Story. Turn left onto Fish Hatchery Road and follow the road to make a left turn onto Skylark Lane; Skylark Lane will fork, take the left option (Presbyterian Road) and Camp Story is at the end of the road.

The physical address for Camp Story is 11 Presbyterian Road, Story WY 82842

The phone number for both camps is (307) 377–0043

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History of Camp Story

The Big Horn Conference Grounds at Story

A History compiled by Ray and Bessie Holsinger in 1974

The Presbyterian Church Cabin on the Story Conference grounds was the first building there. It was constructed from materials obtained from an airplane hangar that at one time stood near the fairgrounds and belonged to Dr. G.H. Buffum. A hard wind wrecked it, and Dr. M. DeWitt Long, first resident pastor of the Sheridan church, serving from 1905 to 1923, obtained the lumber with the idea of building a church cabin a couple of miles above story, a beautiful location in the Big Horn Mountains twenty miles South of Sheridan. The Wolfe sisters, Annabelle and Sue, members of Dr. Long’s bible class, donated the land for the cabin site, and the building was constructed.

Dr Leslie F. Sweetland followed Dr. Long as the second resident minister of the Sheridan church and served for five years, 1924–1929. He had seen what summer conferences could do for young people during his pastorate in Nebraska, and felt that the church cabin was an ideal place to hold such a conference.

The men’s club of the church, hearing of these plans, raised $1,500 with which materials for a kitchen, porch and fireplace were make available, and the original cabin was enlarged. There were no sleeping quarters, so the Lever and Garbutt cabins were purchased by the Presbytery of Sheridan and more land was obtained from the Annabelle Wolfe Estate, providing room for more cabins.

Dr Sweetland and the Rev. Samuel C. Ryland of Gillette, with the help of other pastors of the Presbytery, were the ones who really started the movement toward a summer conference to be held at Story in 1925. A group of young women from Gillette conferred with Dr. Sweetland about a place to camp for a week, and after attending conferences at Story for three years – One year occupying the Garbutt Cabin and two years the Levers’ Garage, which had only partial walls and a tent for a roof which was not water tight – went home with the urge to make the conference a permanent annual affair. Uppermost in the minds of some was the idea of having a good cabin for sleeping.

Mrs. Ryland, while studying in San Francisco, roomed with Bessie McKay who was much interested in young people. In the course of time Mrs. Ryland told her the need for a cabin at the story camp. When Miss McKay went back to her bible class of 250 young ladies, she told them the story andl=ey each volunteered to send Mrs. Ryland $1.00 to help build a cabin. Wedding fees, Chr as gifts of money sent to the Rylands, and part of their savings helped supply the rest ofe $650, which was needed to complete the McKay (Gillette) cabin. At approximately the same time the Sheridan church built a girls’ dormitory. Each of these building will house thirty people.

The first official conference was held July 8–14, 1925, with young people for Greybull, Cody, Powell, Basin, Gillette, Moorcroft and Buffalo and a goodly number form Sheridan. The conference committee included Dr. Sweetland of Sheridan, the Rev. Samuel Ryland of Gillette, and the Rev. J.R. Walter of Powell. Delegates were housed in cabins and tents. Such well–known leaders as Dr. Calvin H. French, President of Hasting College, Dr. B.F. Long, brother of Dr. M. DeWitt Long, Superintendent of Evangelism in Nebraska, Dr. C.L. Clark, State Executive of Wyoming who conducted the Vesper services each evening, Dr. Charles A. Wilson, Pastor of the church at Casper, were all there for the full week. The forenoons were spent in bible study and classes, the afternoons in nature study and recreation. The bon fire and vespers, which meant so much to the young people;. took up most of the evening.

In 1927, the attendance was above the previous years and there was a promise of one hundred for 1928. In 1927, the sixteen and one–half acres of land adjacent to the original cabin were purchased at a cost of $1,284, paid in ten yearly payments. At the end of this time, it was to be turned over to the Presbytery of Sheridan or to the Synod of Wyoming, which ever seemed the best procedure.forenoons were spent in bible study and classes, the afternoons in nature study and recreation. The bon fire and vespers, which meant so much to the young people;. took up most of the evening.

In 1927, the attendance was above the previous years and there was a promise of one hundred for 1928. In 1927, the sixteen and one–half acres of land adjacent to the original cabin were purchased at a cost of $1,284, paid in ten yearly payments. At the end of this time, it was to be turned over to the Presbytery of Sheridan or to the Synod of Wyoming, which ever seemed the best procedure.forenoons were spent in bible study and classes, the afternoons in nature study and recreation. The bon fire and vespers, which meant so much to the young people;. took up most of the evening.

Dr. J. Willis Hamlin came as the third resident pastor of the Sheridan Church. During his service of sixteen years, 1929–1945, he was dean and director of the conferences. Many improvements were added, including several cabins: the cook’s cabin, an office building, a small store near the bridge where candy, gum, and soft drinks could be bought, the two boys’ dormitories, Tumble Inn and Tumble Out, each of which housed ten boys, and a small chapel which is now used as a craft lodge and classroom. The first Assemblies were held under a big tent, which had to be put up and taken down with the help of wire stretchers and block and tackle. A permanent footbridge was built over the stream that runs in front of the main cabin, and all the coal and the necessities for the kitchen and dining room had to be carried across this bridge. During the time of Dr. Hamlin’s service the debt on the property was retired.

In 1948, the Rev. Samuel C. Ryland and his wife, Olive, asked for permission to build a log cabin on the conference grounds, to be used especially for conference speakers and retired ministers. The Rylands were to have full use of the cabin as long as they wished. The cabin, now known as the Ryland Memorial Cabin, belongs to the campsite and the Presbytery.

The fourth resident minister of the Sheridan church was the Rev. H. Cameron McClure, who served for over thirteen years, from October 1945 until his death in January 1958. During Mr. McClure’s service another cabin was built at the opposite end of the grounds to be used as a dormitory. Built in 1954, it was later named the McClure cabin in memory of him. During Mr. McClure’s time the camp was electrified, and the large white chapel. with its picture window framing a beautiful view of the mountains was built. The conference is indebted to Mrs. Thomas Bishop for the money that went into the Chapel. Some of the money came from the sale of the manse at Basin and some from the people of Basin.

On August 9, 1958 the Levers cabin burned. Only the rock fireplace and chimney are left standing.

In July of 1964 a large bridge was built across the stream, providing access for cars and trucks to the kitchen.

Sheridan’s next minister was the Rev. Charles H. Washburn, who was here from 1958 to 1964. He had all the buildings painted green. Flush toilets were installed and a small shower house was built. A new well was dug, providing a continuous supply of clear, safe water for drinking and cooking.

The Rev. Robert Palmer came to the Sheridan church in November 1965. In 1967 a new kitchen addition was built on to the original cabin, using the space occupied by the old kitchen to enlarge the dining hall. The Peter Kiewit Company donated a commercial cooking range and refrigeration unit that had been part of their field equipment. A large propane tank was installed, and the septic tank capacity was more than doubled. In 1971 a completely new bathhouse was begun, with separate facilities for boys and girls. This is the first unit that is part of a master plan for the conference grounds prepared by the architect, Adrian Malone.

With the continuing interest of the people of the churches of Wyoming, the Big Horn Conference Grounds at Story will continue to grow in beauty and utility and in service to the young people of our churches.


Website: campstory.org

Facebook: “Camp Story Wyoming”

E-mail: director@campstory.org

Phone: 307-763-0919 (call or text)

Mailing Address:
Attn: Jenny Davis, Camp Story Director
2121 Colonial Drive
Sheridan, WY 82801

Physical Location of Camp:
Camp Story
11 Presbyterian Rd.
Story, WY 82832

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