The next large building to be erected was the Chapel (circa 1948). The Chapel was built by Mr. Gruber, an 80-year-old man who continued to do construction into his old age. The Wecks boys tell of watching Mr. Gruber walk the rafters, high above the cement floor, as construction was going on. Since the plan for the building was for the floor to be slanted like a theater, the building was located next to the dining hall on a slope. The Chapel had a rounded roof and was constructed using 1×12 lumber, with the joists and rafters placed on top of the 1x12s. Again the Lord provided, and Mr. Wecks could purchase theater-style seats from the old Portland Civic Auditorium for a great price by buying all the seats they wanted to sell. During the winter of 1948, a large snowstorm caused the roof of the Chapel to sag. To prevent the roof from collapsing, many volunteers drove to the camp and attached cables to the beams inside the building from wall to wall in order to hold the building together. The roof survived, and the building was used for many years as a place of worship and fun. I remember using the Chapel as a young camper for a night of skits and entertainment. I can still see the counselors acting out a skit on stage and the campers laughing hard. I also remember some of the counselors teaching campers how to repel using the outside of the building. However, the reinforced roof was not able to last forever. Eventually, the Chapel was torn down, and the new Chapel was built in the present location by the field in 1971. You can still see the cement floor of the original Chapel on the east side of the dining hall.
Mr. Wecks decided that a gym was needed for the children to use when the weather was bad. Some of his sons questioned the logic of building a closed gym with a roof since the camp was used primarily in the dryer summer months when an open building would be much cheaper. Since the camp is located in the foothills of Mt. Hood, the rain does not completely disappear during the summer, so Mr. Wecks went ahead with his plan – now seen as divinely ordained. The gym was built around the year 1949, and again Mr. Gruber was hired to do the work and was seen walking the rafters as it was constructed. The original plan was to have windows on the slanted roof line at the top of the walls, but the windows leaked, so they were straightened out to where they are currently. The gym still stands today in almost the original form as built, is the center of many of the camp’s activities, and is used by guest groups throughout the year.
Many of the guest groups were in need of smaller, more intimate meeting rooms, so around the year 1951, the quarter house was built. The quarter house was a building with four rooms centered around a large stone fireplace. Each room was attached to the others, and the building was located in the center of the large field area. A man by the name of Mr. Wiebe was the builder of this building. The quarter house is still in use today as the staff lounge, current craft room, and rocket room are all located on the back side of the newer main Chapel.
Originally, there were two homes built on the property. One was the caretaker’s home next to the gym, and the other was a small cabin where the current fireside is. Mr. Weck’s son and daughter-in-law, Earl and Fern, were the first to occupy the cabin. Earl and Fern would live in the cabin during the summers to help take care of the camp. However, one winter, the cabin burned to the ground. Although the local fire department was aware of the burn, they neglected to inform Mr. Wecks, so the burned-out home was not discovered until the camp opened once again the following summer. Mr. Wecks was very disappointed in the local fire department for never saying anything to him about the cabin.