"Providing a Natural Environment for Christian Growth" is the mission statement of Camp Loughridge. The camp was created as a separate entity (a 501(c)3 non-profit) in 1995, aligned with First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa. This was to create a non-denominational camp for the broader Christian community. Camp Loughridge's vision is to be a "Christ-centered facility through which life changing transformation takes place".
Camp Loughridge's predecessor, the YWCA Camp Parthenia, operated on the shores of the largest of three lakes, Lake Parthenia, from 1919-1959. Observing the demand for a civic participation among young women, Anna C. Roth founded the Tulsa YWCA in 1915. The camp was named after Parthenia Miller, the Muscogee Creek woman who originally owned the land. When the stock market crashed in 1929, the YWCA offered a solution for more than 1,000 unemployed women by offering the facilities and grounds to provide lodging and employment training. Once the economy improved, Camp Parthenia was once again a summer camp for girls.
In 1959, YWCA sold the 40 acres to First Presbyterian Church and the name was changed to Camp Loughridge in memory of Reverend Robert McGill Loughridge, a pioneer missionary for the Muscogee Creek Nation. In 1995, Camp Loughridge was chartered as an Oklahoma not-for-profit corporation. Camp Loughridge has hosted Classic Summer Day, and overnight Camps for over 56 years, serving youth from 7–13 years old, and employing 70-100 youth leaders and mentors each summer. This corporation now maintains and operates the 188-acre camp.
Camp Loughridge 2016 Board of Directors
Chair: Mike Dodson, Tulsa Community Foundation
Secretary: Tyson Hiner, TEKSystems
Treasurer: Chris Rankin, Bronco Manufacturing
Robert Berry, GRB Resources
Bart Boatright, Red Dog Construction
Patty Gerstenberger, Community Volunteer
Honorable Kurt Glassco, Tulsa District Judge
Tyson Heiner, TEKsystems.Inc.
Kevin Larkin, Alliance Coal
B.P. Loughridge, MD, Physician
Jeff McMains, Waterfield Technologies
James D. Miller, Ph.D. First Presbyterian Church (Tulsa)
Susan Stava, Blackstock & Moore Attorneys at Law
Clark Tingleaf, MD, Bailey Medical Center
Todd Wagner, Best & Sharp, Inc.
Emily Walton, Riverfield Country Day School
William Taft Welch, TEKsystems,Inc.
The cornerstone of Camp Loughridge's programs is summer camp. The camp is divided into two separate age groups. Summer Day Camp is for ages 7–10, and Adventure Day Camp is for ages 11–13. The average camper to staff ratio is 6:1 for Summer Day Camp and 8:1 for Adventure Day Camp. These groups are further divided by age and gender into camper tribes for their week of fun, exploration and transformation. In both camps the children have the opportunity to experience different activities including: hiking, archery, canoeing, challenge course, arts and crafts, sports and swimming. The Adventure Day Camp campers also participate in an overnight campout with bon fires and fun activities. As Camp Loughridge is a Christian ministry, campers grow closer to God through bible study, chapel and guest speakers, songs of worship and mentoring. Camp Loughridge is a seven-week program that reaches to about 2,000 campers including the specialized camps.
Camp Loughridge houses a challenge course that consists of both high and low elements. High elements include: two large swings, rock wall, incline log that extends to Mushrooms, high Wild Woozie, the three main zip lines and the Pamper pole. Included in the low elements are: an Elephant Graveyard, low Wild Woozie, TP log and various team building games and activities. A professionally trained team of challenge course facilitators runs all of the elements. Along with the camp, local groups, businesses and schools all use the challenge course elements.
Outdoor classroom is a year-round program that aims to provide students with an unconventional academic setting and learning experience. This program gives children hands-on experience with science and nature. Some activities included are: nature hikes, specific units of study, fields games and crafts. Tablet computers are now available to children during the Outdoor Classroom to encourage them to take pictures and videos of the surrounding nature.
During the hike portion of the program, children are encouraged to keep an eye out for wildlife. Some of the animals that can be found on the 188 acres at Camp Loughridge are red tailed hawks, foxes, bobcats, deer, coyotes, rabbits, beavers and turtles.
Dating back to 1934, Lake Parthenia is biggest of three lakes at Camp Loughridge. This man-made lake is 70 feet deep and covers 7 surface acres.
Turtle Lake, also known as Middle Lake, is 35 feet deep and covers 5 surface acres.
Beaver Lake, also called North or Upper Lake, is 12 feet deep and covers 3 surface acres.
The fish that reside in these lakes include Bass, Blue Gill, Carp and Perch.
The Hille Aquatics Center, located at Camp Loughridge, holds up to 193 swimmers. The swimming pool is wheelchair accessible, offering water wheel chairs and a wheel chair ramp to enter the pool. The pool contains two high dives and two low dives, along with a connected splash pad. Trained lifeguards are on duty during all pool hours to provide instruction and swimming tests every week.
This venue is an A-frame chapel overlooking Parthenia Lake with an outside balcony and a rock staircase leading to the lake. The chapel has an updated Bridal & Groom room with private restrooms, and seats 270. It is named in honor of Dr. Kirkland, pastor of First Presbyterian Church from 1957-1963.
The Temple venue consists of dinner seating for 260 with a dance area. It has a back porch with views of the lake and woods. Inside are beautiful vaulted ceilings and a double-sided fireplace. Catering Kitchen, a Camp Loughridge vendor, offers onsite catering.
The Lodge has dinner seating for 125 guests, excellent for more intimate receptions. The upstairs has two separate bunkroom areas and restrooms for a total overnight capacity of 44. Outside the Lodge is a deck overlooking the pool, with beautiful vistas of the main lake. Canoeing, swimming, and camp fires are available lakeside. The Lodge serves as a focal point for the trail system that circumnavigates the entire campus.
This lakeside venue consists of a rustic altar area with wooden bench seating for 300 guests. Wedding accouterments are sheer lace draping, chandelier and electricity. Beaver Lake also hosts a fire pit and trail system for events and weddings (no electricity).
The amphitheater accommodates for 300 guests with a view of greenery and the lake. It has built in overhead lighting and stage with electric outlets.
The gazebo is 150 square feet, making room for up to 50 guests. Sheer lace draping, chandelier and electric are all available in this venue.
This Christian-based program is designed for children who have an autism spectrum disorder and are between the ages of 6-13. During this summer day camp program, the children are given the opportunities to swim, hike, play team sports, craft, attend chapel and other fun activities. Many activities the children experience are outdoors in an inclusion environment with camp councilors trained to assist autistic children. Campers have their own specifically trained camp councilor.
This camp is geared towards children with Type 1 Diabetes and their siblings, ages 6–12. Camp Lo-Be-Gon emphasizes diabetes education and nutrition along with offering fun outdoor activities. Some of the activities included are: canoeing, archery, swimming and challenge course. Registered nurses trained in diabetes care are on site, and each counselor and volunteer have training though a Medical Director before camp.
Healing Hearts Camp is provided to reach out to those who are in grief because they have experienced the death of a loved one. During the overnight camp, children and teens ages 8–18 can band together with others who are grieving over the loss of loved one(s) while having a fun camping experience. Activities they experience are zip lines, canoeing, swimming and parties.
Hope's Crossing is a camp designed children with special needs ages 9–15. Activities include horseback riding, zip line, swimming, archery and canoeing. All of the counselors are high school, college and adult volunteers chosen based on their ability, desire and values. All campers are assigned to their own counselor. Hope's Crossing is a separate non profit that uses Camp Loughrudge facilities. Hope's Crossing Camp is FREE - through generous support by donations. More information can be found at www.hopescrossingcamp.org.
This is a one-day event at Camp Loughridge that is held for children diagnosed with cancer and their families. The day consists of swimming, a big rope swing and canoeing. Lunch is also served to the families in attendance. Camp Sunshine is an outreach mission for the First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa.
The Wise Foundation uses Camp Loughridge's facilities for the annual Young Adult Conference. An Oklahoma-based non-profit health organization, the Wise Foundation is committed to "providing help, hope and healing to young adult survivors of burns and disfiguring scars". The 3-day conference concentrates on young adult burn survivors from all around the nation. Ages 15–20 can engage in workshops, banquets and lodging at the camp.