expansion nears completion
Helen E. McKinney
(July 2002) CRESTWOOD, KY. For the past 126 years,
Camp Kavanaugh has been a sanctuary in the heart of Crestwood, Ky.,
for many who have enjoyed this 55-acre wooded retreat.
Officials on May 9, 2001, broke ground for a new, state-of-the-art conference
center. With construction nearing an end, a consecration ceremony has
been scheduled for 4 p.m. on Aug. 4. Bishop James King will officiate.
The conference center will occupy one-third of the building it is housed
in. Among its amenities are high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
This two-story structure will contain four breakout rooms downstairs
for small group counseling, a conference hall for larger groups, a kitchen,
a dining room and staff offices. Guests can eat, sleep and meet all
under one roof.
The other two-thirds of the building will serve as headquarters
of the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church, said Executive
Director Brad North.
When the Kentucky Conference and the Louisville Conference merged,
they needed a permanent office site, said Dale Ehret, Kavanaughs
board chairman. The Conference currently rents space in Holiday Manor
on Brownsboro Road.
Officials considered locating at Bowling Green, Lexington or Louisville
but chose Kavanaugh because of its accessibility, officials said. Its
convenient location to the interstate and 20-minute proximity to Louisville
made it an appealing choice. Also, the conference currently owns the
land on which the camp sits.
Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh, as a shrine to the Camp Meeting Movement, founded
the camp in 1875. Bishop Kavanaugh recognized the rejuvenating power
of nature and, as a result, the camp has always been a haven to such
groups as the YMCA, boy scouts, girl scouts and most local churches.
Businesses also come to the camp to hold training seminars or use the
North said Camp Kavanaugh could accommodate large groups of overnight
guests in the 22-room Foeman Lodge or the McCoy House. The latter structure
was built in 1879 and has four large dormitory rooms and a kitchen.
Richards Cottage can house smaller groups.
Until now, the only meeting area on the grounds was the McDowell Auditorium,
built in 1875. This open-air, multipurpose facility also contains a
small chapel and kitchen. The camp also has a Dining Hall that will
seat 150 guests.
North said one cabin was added in June 2001, and the camps long-range
plan includes the addition of four more cabins. He said he would like
to see money raised to refurbish the camps 48-year-old pool and
build another lodge.
Due to the camps growth, upgrades are badly needed. Ehret said
the camp has gone from accommodating 3,500 guests in 1996 to 19,000
The conference center was built for $3.5 million, said North. Approximately
$1.4 million was spent on the camps facilities and $2.3 million
on the conferences offices, said Ehret.
The entire amount was provided through donations. We raised over
half of the funding through the many wonderful supporters of the camp,
The new facility will seat 250 people at tables or 350 people stadium-style.
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