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Wesleyan camp plans to open this summer

WEST CHAZY - The future of the Wesleyan Bible Camp once faced uncertainty, however, now plans are in the works to reopen the campground later this year.

The West Chazy Holiness Camp Meeting Association held its first meeting to announce the camp had officially purchased the 35-acre West Church Street property. Through the assistance of an anonymous party who loaned $200,000 and their own fundraising, the association was able to purchase the property Feb. 19 for $250,000.

According to information provided by the association, the terms of the loan agreement are the association will make monthly payments at 6 percent interest for the first three years, amounting to $12,000 per year. The association will then pay $35,000 per year for the remaining years, also at 6 percent interest.

"This is really our first meeting as an association who own some property," association president Dale Robar said with delight during the March 7 meeting.

According to Robar, the camp, which was established at its current location in 1901, consists of approximately 100 privately-owned cottages, two tabernacles, dormitories, a dining hall, a caretaker's home and garage and several smaller buildings and campsites.

The camp was reportedly closed in June 2007 due to financial reasons while under the ownership of the Eastern New York\New England District Conference. In response, a group of cottage owners formed the WCHCMA to explore the possibility of leasing or purchasing the camp outright.

The idea was to keep alive the summer holiness camp meetings that had been held for more than 100 years, said Robar.

The camp is expected to be open to the general public this summer, said Robar. The first event to be held at the camp is a rededication prayer service, planned for Memorial Day Weekend. The event will include a song service led by the Wesleyan Niskayuna Praise Team, Bible study group, children's and teen's programs, and a chicken barbecue.

In the future, Robar said the association would like to develop trails in the property's wooded areas for hiking, nature walks, bicycling and horseback rides. The association is also pursuing its federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which would allow all donations to be tax-deductible for those making them.

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