History & Mission - Stoney Creek Ranch

History & Mission

The Story and Heart of Stoney Creek Ranch

Mission: Our mission is to serve young people in ways that will allow them to come to know Christ, His role in their lives and to develop an authentic personal relationship with Him through the use of our facilities, financial resources and dedicated staff and volunteers.

Our Passion: Our passion is to work with organizations that target urban youth, who rarely experience the beauty of God’s creation through a life-changing camping adventure in the great outdoors.


Timeline

2001

The Beginning

Stoney Creek Ranch was founded with the mission to serve young people in ways that will allow them to come to know Christ, to discover His role in their lives, and to develop an authentic personal relationship with Him through the use of our comprehensive retreat facility, passionate staff, and generous volunteers.

Since its beginning, Stoney Creek Ranch has served churches, schools, youth groups, and corporate groups by providing a beautiful, comfortable, and action-packed retreat facility. When Stoney Creek Ranch was first founded, our four-cabin facility was rented by mostly suburban organizations that paid to reserve the camp and conducted their own gospel-sharing and disciple-making programs.

2007

A Mission is Born

The trajectory of Stoney Creek Ranch’s purposes took a turn in 2007 when we hosted an inner-city group called Generation One. We welcomed 80 at-risk kids to attend a four-day camp for a nominal fee and invited volunteers to lead worship, activities, Bible study, food preparation, and counseling.

Once we saw the hunger for faith on the faces of these kids, we knew that God had created this place so that waves of youth could come and be emotionally and spiritually nourished at a camp that was affordable and close to home. It was that summer that Stoney Creek Ranch realized its true passion – to provide underserved youth who rarely get the opportunity to break away from their harsh environment with a life-changing, Christian camping adventure in the great outdoors.

2008

Summer Urban Initiative is Launched

Thus, the Urban Initiative was born, and we began fundraising to build new facilities and recruit additional volunteers so that Stoney Creek Ranch could accommodate more and more organizations ministering to this underserved population. We hoped that cost would never prevent an eager camper from attending Stoney Creek Ranch, so we committed to providing camper scholarships to all of our Urban Initiative campers. Finally, ministries that dreamed of taking their kids to an affordable camp where they could foster unity, vulnerability, and excitement for Christ within their group, now had a place to go.

2009

Continued Growth

After a successful first run, word began to spread quickly throughout Houston about our Summer Urban Initiative. We recognized the growing desire for ministries to attend Stoney Creek Ranch, so once again, we worked diligently to find ways to increase our impact. In 2009, we served 300 urban youth with our staff of volunteers.

2010

A New Partnership

As a result of our increased capacity and the continual growth in number of youth served, we realized in 2010 that we could no longer staff our program with only volunteers. We reached out to Pine Cove and asked if we could form a partnership. They agreed, and that summer Pine Cove staff members facilitated our programing and activities. 

2012

A Successful Model

In 2012, we hired a full-time Camp Director with a calling for serving urban youth who recruited 70 college-age summer staffers with backgrounds that mirrored those of our Urban Initiative campers. We began ministering to urban youth with urban youth – a model that was wildly successful. Campers were sharing stories that they had never felt comfortable sharing. They were asking tough questions they had never felt courageous enough to ask. They were making goals and plans and commitments that they had never felt encouraged enough to make. The staff and volunteers from ministry organizations were relating to their youth on a deeper and more advanced level than ever before. It was working. The mission, passion, and purposes of Stoney Creek Ranch were coming into fruition, and word started spreading like wildfire.

2013

Expanding Quickly

In 2013, we served 1,400 urban youth over 10 sessions and hosted 50 organizations. 

2014

More Sessions, More Campers

Over 16 sessions, we served 1,800 urban youth and expanded our outreach to 60 organizations serving Houston’s urban youth. 

2015 – 2016

The Impact Increases

Over the next two years, we increased our number of youth served by 600 when we served 2,400 urban youth in 2016. 

2017

A Full Camp

In 2017, we reached our goal of filling camp to capacity when we opened our final camper cabin! Additionally, after feedback from our campers, wranglers and staff members, we increased each session from four days and three nights to five days and four nights. The extra time each week allowed campers to more fully understand the love of God and created additional opportunities for lasting friendships to form. 

2018

New Space to Grow

With our current camp at full capacity, we made the exciting decision to purchase 50 acres adjacent to our property. Once completed, the new land will serve as the campsite for our oldest campers, ages 14-17.

In addition to the new land purchased, we also completed our nurse’s station, or the “Creek Clinic” as we like to call it! 

2019

God’s Love Continues to Spread

From 70+ ministry partners, we hosted over 2,000 campers in 2019. Additionally, we opened a third new meeting space, Weishuhn Hideaway, designed to host our smaller retreat groups throughout the year.

Accreditations - Stoney Creek Ranch

Accreditations

American Camp Association Accredited

Stoney Creek Ranch is an American Camp Association Accredited Camp and therefore adheres to the highest standards set by the camping industry. To achieve and maintain this status, a camp must undergo a complete and thorough peer review by members of the American Camp Association Standards Review Committee, assessing compliance to 300 standards with an on-site visit every 3 years. Stoney Creek Ranch prides itself in its association with ACA and the hard work it requires to maintain this prestigious achievement.

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