Camp Oak Hill will always be a place where children are safe, enjoy life, and experience the love of Jesus Christ.
Camp Oak Hill will provide an experience of excellence through safe and clean accommodations, fun and challenging activities, and a mature Christian staff devoted to sharing the love of Christ with each camper, the impact of which will reverberate throughout the Triangle and surrounding areas for generations to come.
Foundation in Jesus Christ
Safety and Stewardship
Long before Camp Oak Hill was serving campers, leadership groups, and retreat groups, this beautiful area in northern Granville County was impacting young adults in a different way – through high school education. Oak Hill High School served its education role from 1919 through 1973. Not long after that, the property would be transformed into a different kind of facility – dedicated to encouraging youth to build strong relationships, develop leadership skills, and grow in their faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
In 1976, three years after Oak Hill High School closed its doors, the property was purchased and given to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of the Carolinas, Inc., in memory of J. Gregory Poole, Sr., a member of the first graduating class of Oak Hill High School. The class motto – “Building for Character, Not for Fame” – provided a vision for the founders, and became the formative mission of what would one day be Camp Oak Hill.
In its early days, high school FCA huddles used the facility for retreats and leadership programs, painting old classrooms to match their school colors and enjoying friendly competition, food, and fellowship while honoring Christ. Vandalized and aging facilities were refurbished little by little, and ten acres adjoining the original 15-acre site were purchased and graded for athletic fields, in coordination with the construction of a dam and formation of a 3-acre lake.
The first summer camp session was held in 1976 and brought 33 boys and girls for two weeks of fun and fellowship. Four all-weather tennis courts were built, and a financial contribution provided funds to renovate the old high school gymnasium building.
In 1978, FCA of the Carolinas, Inc. was renamed Oak Hill Fellowship Center, Inc., recognizing its unique role as a regional Christian summer camp and retreat center. In 1982, the Irene Poole Dining Hall was dedicated, greatly increasing the function and beauty of camp and providing food service for retreat groups and summer campers.
As camp enrollment rose each year, facilities were upgraded and four duplex-style cabins were built in 1986. A swimming pool opened for summer use in 1987, and a rappelling tower was added in 1990. In 2001, a new porch on the dining hall, new cabins, and a fresh coat of paint brought new beauty and enjoyment to the property, while an 8th cabin was completed in June 2002.
In 2003, the property was expanded to include a new 9.5 acre lake, 47-foot double zip-line and 60 foot climbing tower, and a beach area for boating and swimming.
In 2005, the last remaining classroom building was torn down, and the new J. Gregory Poole, Jr. Activity & Fellowship Center opened, providing 10,000 square feet of meeting space, offices, and a new camp store. The adjacent gymnasium would remain as the only original structure left standing of Oak Hill High School.
In 2007, the staff house was beautifully renovated, and a much-needed tunnel was added to increase safety for road crossing. A new 14-element low ropes challenge course was completed as well, adding a fun team building experience for campers and retreat groups. Also in 2007, camp became accredited by the American Camping Association.
In 2012, the Board of Directors approved a “2020 Vision” for camp, including plans for new activities, facilities, and capital improvements over the course of 8 years.
As Camp Oak Hill continues to grow, the vision of building strong character, teaching new skills, encouraging strong friendships, and making Christ known is renewed with each passing year.