WLD Ranch: 50 Years of Faith, Friendship
For 50 years now, WLD Ranch has been building faith and friendships among local kids, and also families.
Although much has changed physically at the ranch in the past half century, the camp is holding onto its roots, while also staying relevant in modern times.
Emily Corbett is one of the countless lives touched by WLD Ranch in its long history.
"We got connected up through the church and was out here for I think nine summers working, and just loved the experience so much, fun with the little kids," Corbett said.
When the ranch started in 1963, it was primarily a Christian destination for summer camp, but as it grew in size from 50 acres to 97, it also expanded its reach.
"We service all kinds of different groups," said WLD Ranch Assistant Director Joseph Preston. "We also do a lot of horse retreats with our horse program, with girl scouts, we do a lot of school group programs for public schools and private schools."
The anniversary celebration invited people to revisit old memories, or discover this local treasure for the first time.
Whether you jumped on a horse, shot a bow and arrow, or climbed the rock wall, it was a way to reconnect with nature, if only for a day.
50 years ago when the ranch opened, it was a different world. Now in this digital age when kids are attached to their iPhones and computers, the ranch is a refreshing escape from technology.
"You always mostly spend time on all the electronics and its always good to go out and enjoy nature and how beautiful it really is," said 7th grader Regan Covert, who came with her Girl Scout troop from Hermitage, Pa.
"Because people have gotten so focused on technology and stay so glued to their gadgets and devices and such, they lose a lot of opportunities that you have face to face with people," said Preston. "Coming away to a camp is a great way of hopefully breaking away for a few days."
Now, as many past campers and counselors do, Corbett brings her children to experience the place she fell in love with as a young girl.
"I got to meet a lot of great friends I've stayed with thought years, and now I get to come back with my kids and I'm really enjoying it," she said.
This Sunday the anniversary celebration wraps up with one more day of activities, from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m.