Camp Grier was founded on July 15, 1952 by Robert D. Grier of Statesville, NC as an outdoor ministry of the Presbyterian Church. During the 1940s, Concord Presbytery used Camp Fellowship on the Catawba River.
When Duke Power revealed plans to build Lake Norman, the Presbytery was in danger of losing its camping facilities. Undaunted, Mr. Grier purchased 600 acres of land in Old Fort, NC in the summer of 1950 in order to start another camp for the Concord Presbytery. Mr. Grier set up a saw mill on the camp property and volunteers from the churches built the buildings in Main Camp. The camp was named in memory of Mr. Grier's father, the Rev. John McDill Grier.
There's a saying, "you can pave the world or you can put on shoes". Camp teaches kids how to put on shoes. Rather than looking for the smoothest and easiest path through life, experiences in the outdoors gives young people the skills and confidence to embrace challenging circumstances, persevere to solve critical problems and see the world through a lens of compassion. This makes our world a better place for all of us. Because of the values our founders baked into our roots a long time ago we, in turn, are able to pass those values on to the next generation of leaders. We're in good hands.
No doubt about it camp can be fun. Paddling through a rapid on the Tuckasegee can be incredibly exciting. However, camp can also be pretty challenging. In order to get to that fun rapid you have to work with a partner to maneuver your boat around rocks, shoals, and other hazards. Often it's hot and thunderstorms roll in. Sometimes you get pinned on a rock. Sometimes you flip. But if you persevere the rewards are great and you will become stronger. From the beginning Camp Grier has been about accepting the challenge and persevering through the many obstacles that undoubtedly come our way. The mountains will teach us and those lessons will remain with us throughout our lives.