Many kids and adults over the years have made many special memories at the Christian Camp for the Deaf. This scrapbook section is where we are collecting many of those memories for others to enjoy.
Attention! If you have any old history about camp such as camp reports, old pictures, movies or video tapes, a list of the first staff and campers, or anything else that is connected with the camp from the beginning in 1957 through today, please let Frank Rushing know. Frank would like to borrow your items so he can make copies that can be placed on the camp web site. Even if you don't have any materials, but do have a good recollection of your memories from camp, please write Frank and share with us your memories from camp.
You can reach Frank by mail at 1325 Winthorne Drive, Nashville, TN 37217-2412 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures and Stories
(Click on a picture to enlarge it)
This logbook reveals the top secret adventures, skills, lessons, and thrills received at the Christian Camp for the Deaf.
The first workshop for the deaf was conducted in the church building of the deaf congregation on Newton Street in Austin, Texas on July 9-11, 1957. There were about 30 to 40 in the daily services. During this time, Gary Blake, a junior at Harding College, suggested beginning a Christian Camp for the Deaf at Camp Wyldewood in Searcy, Arkansas . The first camp session of Christian Camp for the Deaf was held at Camp Wyldewood in Searcy, Arkansas on August 18-23, 1957. Gary Blake also suggested having the next Deaf workshop at the end of the camp session on August 28-30, 1958.
The participants at the 1958 camp sessions included the following:
Five deaf evangelists:
Earl Lee Birdwell of Houston,
Five hearing evangelists who worked with the deaf:
Bob Anderson of Indianapolis, IN
Four interpreters and teachers:
Gwen Chancellor of Austin, TX
Six deaf workers:
Jimmy Bailey of Little Rock, AR
Five hearing workers and supporters:
Bernice and Clyde Harcrow of Austin,
All of the above were the ones involved with the beginning of two weeks of Christian Camp for the Deaf at Camp Wyldewood.
Directors at Christian Camp for the Deaf
Ben Holland served as the first director of the camp from 1957 through 1959. Richard Hawkins served as director in 1960. Bob Anderson served in 1961 and 1962.
In 1963 the camp was moved from Wyldewood to camp Haiayaka, located in Shelby Forest just north of Memphis, TN. Richard Hawkins again served as director in 1963 and 1964. Sam Roach served as director in 1965 and perhaps 1966. Richard Hawkins again served as director from 1967 through 1971. Clayton McCray took over as director in 1972 and continued through 1973. Afterwards, Camp Haiayaka was sold by the Jackson Avenue Church of Christ to the owner of a Memphis cotton company. As a result the camp for 1974 was moved to Camp Ney-A-Ti, just north of Guntersville, AL. The camp had been held at Camp Ney-A-Ti for 36 years. Then the camp moved to YMCA Camp Ocoee in Ocoee, Tennessee in the year of 2011.
Clayton McCray served as director of the camp during the 1974 session. Frank Rushing took over as director in 1975 and has continously served as director to this day.
The camp began with a two-week session. This continued in Memphis after the move from Searcy. But the board of directors agreed that this was becoming a financial burden. So they agreed to reduce the length of the camp session to one week. This was done while the camp was still in Memphis.
Formerly the camp met from Sunday through Saturday, but due to cost increases, the camp schedule was changed to end on Friday.
Thanks to all who have provided historical information (Billy Leavell, Marty Leavell, Sam Roach, and Frank Rushing). If you see something here that is incorrect or something you would like to add, please email us so we can make updates.