For over 50 years this campground has served both kids and adults from all walks of life. Thousands have enjoyed it's beauty and countless memories have been made here. Built in the 1960's by the Methodist Church, the camp was first known as Camp Kaetzell. A couple decades later in 1987, the Woodmen of the World life insurance company purchased the property from the Methodist Church and changed it's name to the Woodmen Youth Camp (also known as the WOW Camp). For 30 years Woodmen maintained and operated the camp while serving young people from all over the state.
On June 1st 2017 we purchased the camp, beginning the camp's third generation.
It is now known as Timber Oaks Retreat.
What led us to buy a camp?
Things were going really well for us. You could say we were living the “American Dream”. Our kids were healthy and growing up fast and, financially, our house was nearly paid off. We were on the verge of reaching that desirable state of being completely debt-free. We were comfortable. However, we found ourselves wondering, “What next?”.
So we prayed that God would show us.
For over 50 years our church has held an annual church camp. It’s known to us as Arkansas State Camp (formerly known as the Arkansas Berean Youth Camp). Over the years, we have rented space for our camp from several campgrounds. But, it was in 2011 that we first laid eyes on what would one day become our future home and life’s purpose. That summer, we rented the Woodmen Youth Camp to host Arkansas State Camp. Little did we know that God was already at work preparing this place for us, and preparing us for this place! We didn’t know at the time but later found out that Woodmen didn’t normally rent the camp to outside groups. They allowed us to rent it for the next five years. We loved this camp and planned to return year after year for as long as possible. Unfortunately though, just after camp ended on the sixth year, we were told that we needed to find another place to rent because Woodmen had decided to sell the campground. We were very saddened by this news because we knew it would be nearly impossible for us to find another campground as great as this place.
Nine months later we still hadn’t found a suitable place to rent. So for some unknown reason (probably God working), we decided to call Woodmen one last time and ask about renting again. We were hoping they had changed their minds on selling the property or at least that they would let us rent once more. But instead they informed us that the price of the property had just been lowered; lowered enough that they expected the camp to sell quickly.
Our first thought was…Wow, maybe the person who buys it will let us rent it!
And then a crazy second thought came to us…Should we try to buy it?
We prayed and prayed and prayed some more. God, is this Your will for our lives? Yes, was the answer. So with a strange mix of excitement and fear we sold our house and bought the camp. On the seventh year we still had Arkansas State Camp. Not at the Woodmen Youth Camp, but now at Timber Oaks Retreat. God not only allowed us to remain at this camp, He made a way for us to always have our camp here. But not just for us and our church group…now this place will be available for many others to enjoy.
Our purpose in life is clear now, our intent to serve others as they organize and run their events is exciting to us, and we fervently desire to see others enjoying this property that God has made us stewards of.
You can tell we think this place is pretty special and once you see it, we believe you will too.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10
Our mission is to serve others by providing a place where Christian learning, fellowship and worship is always welcome. It's through God's grace that we have been blessed with this property and this opportunity.
May God be praised and lives changed at Timber Oaks Retreat.