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A Glimpse Of Fort Rock

Updated on December 7, 2015

Which Fort Rock?

A Glimpse Of Fort Rock. But which "Fort Rock"?

There is a Fort Rock State Park in Oregon. But it is not that one because we are in the Ozarks. There is a Fort Rock Festival. But it sure is not that one. That's not our kind of thing. Then there is Fort Rock New Hampshire Trails. But again, we are not in New Hampshire, but the Ozarks. And there is Fort Rock - Arizona a Ghost Town. That's something I would like to visit, but it is about 1250 miles from here. So what Fort Rock are we talking about?

Fort Rock Family Camp in Saint Paul, AR. O.K., so it is not in Saint Paul. That is only a mailing address. Saint Paul is way to large a town to be in the country anyway. The 2013 population count was 113 according to the internet. But when I drove through Saint Paul the other day I think the sign said the population was an insane amount of over 400 people. Now that's not being in the country. The truth is Fort Rock is within walking distance [For most people.] of Brashears, Arkansas. Now you would not even know you were in Brashears if there was not a small hwy. sign that only had the word "Brashears" on it.

About the snapshot above. It is the entrance to Fort Rock Family Camp, but in the winter when the camp was shut down for the season.

Let's get another thing straight. As you have already figured out - I am not a writer. And I don't want to be a writer. Writers are way too wordy. I want data or information. Not a page of description of the flower growing out of a crack in the wall, when all I want is to know how long the wall is.

One other thing you might want some insight into is my point of view. Am I trying to sell something. NO. I am trying to come up with a "hub" or what ever we call them. I am using something that I am familiar with and passionate about just like I am supposed to. Am I qualified to do this. Of course not. But I do have a little more insight than many people. I have attended Fort Rock Family Camp and I usually volunteer one day a week there. Or you could say that I am just a "handy man" one day a week trying to "fix" stuff at Fort Rock Family Camp. I love it.

One other thing I am compelled to share with you before we look at the camp. You like myself have had the experience of becoming better acquainted with people only to loose respect for them in the process. But here my experience has been the other way. I have only been associated with Fort Rock for a couple of years. BUT, the better I have gotten to know Terry Forsyth and his family, the more I have appreciated their integrity and godly lives. Just to work with them is an inspiration and encouragement. God bless them for that.


The Fort Rock area

To give you an idea of the setting where Fort Rock is located, this snapshot was taken in the fall from the Fort Rock Family Camp gateway into the stockade. The hill in the distance is not on the property. The property line in this direction is down at the stream between where I am standing and and starting up the hill in the photo.

Town of Fort Rock


Here is a winter scene with camp shut down for the season. The trees behind the main building are in the Ozark National forest. Yes, it's that close.

The building you are looking at has the: White River Trading Post,[It is very small with just a few snacks and gifts.] Corner Stone Bank & Trust [The Office], Undertakers Parlor,[Library or reading room.] Mary Lou's Diner [Through the main Doors], Sheriff's Office, [With the jail inside. Only two cells.] Hotel [Prophets chamber. Or guest room for outside speakers etc.]

The back side of the building has one of the most important facilities of all - the kitchen. Well, at least I think so. Next to the kitchen are a large dinning room and chapel area combined. You know, feed the body and feed the soul. Or, grow both bodily and spiritually.

Fort Rock living quarters

"Block houses". This is one of four block houses. Each block house has four apartments which would be sixteen apartments for families. Then there are a few more buildings scattered around the farm to house happy campers.

A Fort Rock apartment

Inside view of one of the blockhouse apartments. They are all very much alike with just small differences. One of these apartments was rigged or built to make it easy for people with handy caps. Even a wheel chair could roll up to it.

As you can see, it will create real family "togetherness".

Fort Rock weaponry

I have not seen this cannon shoot. But I understand that they use it to shoot tin cans and see who can shoot the farthest, or something. But you can bet it has something to do with fun for the kids.

Fort Rock's mortuary

Just one glimpse inside of the "Undertaker's Parlor". This particular casket was built by Mr. Forsyth for himself. He said he intends to be buried in it when his time to go comes.

In truth, the "Undertaker's Parlor" is a library, or reading room. The book shelves are caskets standing on end with shelves for the books in them.

Ladder to a good time

This snapshot was not intended to go public. It originally was taken to prove a point. One of our daughters is deathly afraid of height. You cannot even get her up a ladder. So I took this snapshot to show her what her mother was getting ready to climb and ride the zip line. Oh! And this daughter had forbidden her mother to do something as dangerous as ride a zip line. So mother is showing daughter who is boss. Of course "Mom" had a blast and came back for more.

Let's eat and more

Now we are getting somewhere. It is lunch time. That is, if you can get the kids to stop playing table tennis or other inside games. For an old man like myself this is one of the most interesting activities around. Well, in my eighties I do not have the energy to through away like the other kids do.

But thinking of activities at Fort Rock Family Camp here are some of the activities offered at one camp or another.

Tomahawk throwing, zip line, rifle range, archery, canoeing & kayaking, hiking & fishing, horseback riding, skillet tossing, ATV national forest, volleyball, horse shoes, checkers, water sports. etc.

More weaponry

A view of the archery range with "Russ" helping the kids learn to shoot a bow and arrow. Also to be sure that they shoot at the targets instead of at one another. The safety and welfare of the campers is one of the great concerns of the camp directors. They do their best to provide a safe as well as fun environment.

Try your skill

A camper Tomahawk throwing. I have not thrown the tomahawks. But I have had to weld up a few. We have steel handles in them. Remember - we are working with kids, and they can be harder on things than you and I.

That zip line


Snapshot is of the camp - true. But what I want you to really see is the zip line. This can give you an idea of the span of the line. The area you see the line going over is now a lake which you get just a glimpse of in a snapshot further down. This snapshot was taken to prove something. To prove to one of the daughters that her mother [My wife.] was not afraid of the zip line. The fact is, my wife was 72 years old when this picture was taken and rides the zip line every chance she gets. But, kids will be kids, no matter what the age.

A wet time

I confess. This was the evening that really got me turned on about the camp. This was a camp in July, so it was warm out side. And the evening had a huge water fight going on. On purpose. Even Terry (Mr. Forsyth) had his water gun out. And it is a huge one. He is not going to let some kid out do him in a water fight.

But the kids drenched Terry. He had to pour the water out of his boots. One of the events that evening was a three man sling shot. The kid would load a water ballon into the sling shot and shoot it out there for their dad to catch - if he could. Most dads got wet over that one.

Another note about activities at Fort Rock Family Camp. Do not bring your electronic games. They are not allowed. You are there to have some real old fashion fun, not to set in a chair with your nose poked into a screen of some sort.

The evening I took the snapshot above was an eye opener to me. I have not seen kids have so much fun in probably seventy years. Just good old fashion [supervised] fun. Yelling, screaming and chasing each other. Having a blast. By the time the evening was over, all the railings around the block houses had WET cloths hanging on them to dry out.

Teaching the whole person

The image above is Mr. Forsyth in a chapel service. Chapel? Yes. You may not realize it, but you are more, much more than just a body. You are a spirit, soul and body. You guys want proof? Try to convince your wife that she is nothing but a body. She will set you straight so fast your head will spin.

Fort Rock Family Camp wants you to have fun and lots of it. But the underlaying purpose is to help the WHOLE person. Help you be all you want to be and all God wants you to be. That is why Fort Rock offers; marriage retreats, parent/child retreats, family camps, men's conferences, American History Family Camp and Ladies Retreats. Therefore chapel is a part of the whole experience at Fort Rock Family Camp.

More of the local

I know. This is not the best snapshot in the world. But I wanted you to have a little different view of the area Fort Rock Family Camp is in. This shot was taken in the late fall from the Fort Rock compound. You can see why those of us who live here in the Ozarks just love it. And when we do take a vacation - we are glad to get back home.

The body of water you see here is one edge of the lake at Fort Rock, that is the one that the zip line runs over now. It is hard to see because of the shade late in the evening. But do notice the absence of; buildings, roads, stores, smog, traffic and much more.

The driving force behind Fort Rock

The snapshot above is a small tract or pamphlet written by Mr. Terry Forsyth the founder, designer, builder, owner, president, director and what ever is needed. I am not saying this is a one man show. No. He has a lot of great help. All of them are great people. And a lot of great outside groups that come in an help put on the camps.

But my thought here was that it would be fitting to end this "hub" with Mr. Forsyth's own story. This would allow you to see what drives the man in his attempt to help; families, marriages and people. So Terry very generously allowed me to copy it for you to read.

"MY STORY...

"What path are you on?

"I grew up in church. So I could say going to church doesn't make you a good person. I lived what most would consider a normal life. I did all the things most teenagers do. I was taking a class at college and the instructor asked me a sobering question, 'If you died today where will you spend eternity?' I answered like I feel most would. I said I hoped to go to heaven. He said that if I prayed this prayer I would be 'born again'. I prayed with him and he stated that I was born again. When he left I reflected on what he said and supposed I was alright. However, the Bible is clear that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things will pass away and behold all things are new. The problem was I had not changed. To be saved you must first be lost! No change had occurred. Not until sometime later would I realize what been born again would come to mean.

"I was a successful business man in the real estate and home building business and had accumulated approximately $600,000.00 in debt. I took my family to church off and on because it seemed like the right thing to do. Whenever the preacher would talk about sin, I knew he was not referring to me because I was a 'good' person. O course the Bible says that none are good, not even one. It goes on to say that our righteousness is as filthy rags.

"Pressure of life and financial stress of being in debt, have a way of working on you. I thought I had arrived, that I had finally made it. I owned a big house and all of the 'toys' that accompanied success. As far as the world was concerned I had it made. By this time I was 35 years old and the toll of doing things my way was finally catching up with me.

"My wife and I started attending a Baptist church around the corner from our house and were invited to a Financial Seminar. The pastor told me it was God's way of making money. I figured since I had tried every others way. I might as well give God's way a try. During the first class I heard the instructor say that I loved the world and the things of the world more than I loved God. He also said being in debt was bondage. Boy was he right on that point! I had determined that this class was not for me. By God's grace and the fact He loves each one of us, I was persuaded to go back the next Sunday. You have to know that I worked 8 days a week normally, I was a self-made man, or so I thought.

"Next Sunday rolls around and I'm back in class only to be told again that I was not as good as I thought I was. I did love the world and the things of the world. I loved money! For some unknown reason I kept going back to the class.

"The fifth Sunday night at class, something seemed to be different. It was as though the LORD Himself was speaking to me, not audible, but in my heart. He said that He loved me and wanted a relationship with me, and if I would trust Him with my life and all that I had, he would save. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was fed up with always acting like a Christian and really not being one. My spiritual eyes were opened that night when I accepted what Christ had done for me on the Cross of Calvary. He died for my sins and paid that ultimate price. If by faith I could believe this, He would save me. The good news is that He loves you too. He wants to be the LORD of your life. Will you accept Him like I did, by faith? Wherever you are just cry out to Him to forgive your sins and be cleansed by His blood. Confess Him today...

"HERE IS HOW YOU CAN BE SAVED:

"All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 - Admit you are a sinner and need a Savior

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt Be Saved. Romans 3:23 - Recognize that Jesus is the Savior you need

"Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead. Thou shall be saved...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9,13 -Pray to God asking Jesus His son, to save you

"I'd Like To Hear From You:

"Terry Forsyth at Fort rock Family Camp P.O. box 156, Saint Paul, AR 72760 (479) 677-3136 www.fortrock.org




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