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About Us

Contact Information:
Email: smokeytimbers@gmail.com
Phone: 320-766-5290

A complete camp brochure may be viewed/downloaded below!

Mission 

The mission of Smokey Timbers Foundation is to:

  • Provide affordable camping and recreational opportunities for youth organizations and family groups – Scouts, 4H, Churches, Schools, YMCA, Community Education, etc. 
  • Offer educational opportunities that focus on environmental protection, preservation, and remediation 
  • Provide a retreat site for spiritual, personal and community development activities 
Preserve and enhance the physical assets of Smokey Timbers Camp 

Smokey Timbers is a precious resource on pristine Lake Miltona in West Central Minnesota. Since its beginning as a Girl Scout Camp in 1958, Smokey Timbers has been creating lifetime memories and friendships for youth and families. Throughout the years its achievements have been made possible in large part by caring local friends and neighbors, many of them whom reside on and around the lake. It all started when a local farm couple with the vision of a forever environmental/recreational facility gifted the 21 acres of mature forest and 550 feet of natural shoreline site to the local Girl Scout organization. Fueled primarily by local effort, development and maintenance was enthusiastically undertaken through financial contributions, plus a whole lot of volunteer provided goods and “sweat equity”.

Along the way, ownership was assumed by the Regional Girl Scout Council. Local connections faded and support for and usage of this wonderful local asset declined. In 2003 the decision was made to sell Smokey Timbers. Commercial development and extinguishment of the original vision appeared inevitable. The “locals” (Miltona area permanent and seasonal residents plus a host of others who admired the Smokey Timbers vision, accomplishments and potential) launched a response.

Once again the caring people who value the importance of natural/environmental resources stepped up and demonstrated their commitment to the Smokey Timbers vision. In 2004, thanks to those people and coordination by WesMin R C & D, funding was secured, purchase was achieved, and Smokey Timbers was “rescued”. Operation and maintenance became the responsibility of a volunteer Board, and creation of an independent Smokey Timbers Foundation began. That all volunteer Board kept the vision alive, achieved IRS 501 (c) (3) recognition and ownership of Smokey Timbers transferred to the Foundation in 2009. The transfer agreement assured the site’s future as a natural/environmental resource.

With ownership the all-volunteer Foundation accepted total Camp responsibility – operation, maintenance, improvement AND retirement of its outstanding $150,000 debt. Significant progress is evident on all fronts. Most encouraging is the increasing number and variety of guests discovering Smokey Timbers to be a destination of choice – Girl/Boy Scout and 4H groups, school and community education activities, church groups, YMCA outings, family groups, service activities, environmental education programs, etc. Additionally, notable renovation and improvement continues AND debt has been reduced to $85,000. Increasingly Smokey Timbers is being recognized as the unique asset that its supporters have always known it to be.

The debt obligation continues to be a “boat anchor” for the Camp. It can readily survive, develop, thrive and succeed in fulfilling its mission on the demonstrated flow of income from typical contributions, fund raising events, modest user fees, and goods and services provided. With the annual debt payment, however, there is always the painful realization of what could have been done with that money. To sustain the momentum achieved and secure the future of this valuable asset the debt MUST be retired!

                                         


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Jack Anderson,
Jul 7, 2015, 1:04 PM