For about ten years John Dunlap had been looking for suitable acreage while praying about Tidewater's great need for a Christian Camp where boys and girls could enjoy God's great outdoors and at the same time be challenged with the claims of Christ. When Mr. Dunlap started Norfolk Christian Schools and he and the leadership of Tabernacle Church of Norfolk began to sift down and consolidate their understanding of Christian Education, a Christian camping program became a must in their thinking.
When Mr. Dunlap, Gene Garrick and a crew of interested men tramped around the old DeFord farm for the first time, they experienced its wilderness flavor, and learned of how steeped in history it was. They became convinced that this was the place. The undergrowth was very thick and some areas had not been cleared since the land was conveyed to the DeFords by the Exchequer of his Majesty King George III in the 1730's. But after several thousand man hours invested by volunteers on Saturdays and holidays, a camping site was cleared and a few riding trails were blazed.
By 1961 the Lodge and kitchen were completed in which there was held a boy's week and girls's week and in which they were fed, slept, recreated and taught. At this time the string of horses was pretty short- numbering two. The next year construction began on cabins until today we have a total of 14 cabins plus the Longhorn Lodge, Wig-Wam Hobby Hogan, Scaly Bark Roost Treehouse, Trading Post, Virginia City Hotel and Bunkhouse, Town Hall, laundry building, Barn, Office, Log Cabin, Archery and Riflery ranges, 7 staff residences, Caribou cafe, Homestead (original Ranch Building), Swimming Pool, Climbing Wall, Fort X-Sport, an Indoor Riding Arena, and the Ponderosa. Plus our herd now numbers close to 70 horses and other assorted animals.
It should be said that the Triple-R is the simple result of God's great faithfulness plus thousands of volunteer man-hours and much sacrificial work and giving on the part of Christians who are sold out on the ministry of such a camping program. May God, by His grace, use it for many years to come.