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Our Story

Our Story

Camp Grier was founded on July 16, 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. 

Our Roots

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.  

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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. 


Outdoors For All


Camp Grier made a commitment almost 50 years ago to provide outdoor experiences for all children. We're still more committed than ever to this value. As kids spend more and more time in front of screens indoors the need for outdoor play has become critical. 



Our Property

Camp Grier Property

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Camp Grier is located on 655 acres and is surrounded by the first tract of National Forest purchased by the federal government under the Weeks Act. An 8,100 acre tract encompassing the Curtis Creek watershed was purchased for $7 an acre from the Burke McDowell Lumber Company in 1911. Following in that great tradition of conservation Camp Grier protected a 200 acre tract of our property surrounding Jarrett Creek in 2018.


We take seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of the natural resources that surround camp. During the winter of 2018 we will add an additional 10 acres of pasture land for our equestrian and agriculture program. We are also working to conserve an additional 40 acres surrounding the creeks and tributaries on our campus that feed into Jarrett Creek. 

The beauty of Jarrett Creek places it in the top 10 of all creeks on the Pisgah National Forest. In the remote and steeper northeastern part of this area, the creeks are much more difficult to reach, and course down over low falls and cascades. Many of the high coves have old-growth stands of timber, bypassed because of the steep topography.

-The Wilderness Society

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