In 1915, Bob Fletcher acquired the Camp Grace property and construction began on the lodge. The following year, they opened for business with a July 4 picnic at Fletcher Park; they also complete the lodge that year. Between 1920 and 1940, Fletcher Park fell on hard times and was closed.
God moved Missionary Irvin Noyce to acquire Fletcher Park in 1940 to be a permanent home for Camp Grace. Ten years later, Irvin Noyce turned the property over to pastors Thomas and Weidenaar and the Fletcher Park Baptist Youth Foundation Inc began. Since then, God's grace has been evident at Camp Grace by the transformation of the hearts and lives of thousands of youth in southeast Wyoming. Yet the desire of the board was that God would use Camp Grace in an even greater way. In 1970, a house was built with the intent of hiring a director; it did not work out, and the house was used for a caretaker.
The board hired the first of several program directors, Terry Riegel, in 1994. The next 18 years were characterized by remodeling the facilities that God had given us. In the summer of 2012, God decided that Camp Grace needed a whole new makeover and allowed a fire to destroy a majority of the 16 buildings, burning almost 20,000 square feet of buildings. Today we have the opportunity to watch God do a miraculous work and rebuild Camp Grace so that it can continue to be a home missions ministry, using the unique aspects of the camping ministry to reach young people for the Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen families, and serve local churches.
One of the two cabins that didn't burn was the Lion cabin, an old log cabin of uncertain origin and possibly one of the oldest buildings at the camp. Because it was used as a home for a time, it may have been the first building constructed at Fletcher Park--maybe by the Fletchers between 1912 and 1915 as part of the Homestead Act of 1862 that allowed US citizens to apply to claim 160 acres (apparently both Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher claimed 160 acres in 1912) of government land and had five years to build a home and grow crops. If so, Lion cabin was where they stayed when they began construction on the Fletcher Park Lodge.
The other cabin that didn't burn, Bear cabin, was built in the mid 1960s when the campground was full and more cabins were needed to accommodate the number of campers. As we rebuild, we look forward to using the remaining original structures. The lodge chimney, old bathhouse, and cabins will be part of the new Camp Grace.