The History of Camp Conger
The first Huron County 4-H camp was held in 1925 on the Conger Family farm in the cow pasture by the river. A tent was used for a dining hall and food was prepared outdoors. A pit was dug and filled with ice for refrigeration. The campers stuffed wool bags with straw from the Conger farm for mattresses. The campers slept in tents and scrambled to dig ditches around the tents when it rained to drain the water away. Drinking water was carried to the kitchen area in milk cans from the spring on the side of the hill.
The first permanent structure was the kitchen, built in 1927. The original dining hall was added in 1928. Cabins were built, starting in 1929, with the last old cabin constructed in 1977. The present road was laid out in 1935. A nearby cottage was purchased for $80.00 and moved to the camp site in 1936. The building, which has served as the camp General Headquarters, was moved to the camp site using horses rolling the building on logs. The GHQ was torn down in 2002. The dining area was expanded in 1966.
Water was put undoer pressure and a large storage tank was installed in 1928. Electricity was brought to the camp site in 1938. The recreation hall was constructed in 1962. Wells Lake, named after former county agent John Wells, was dug in 1963. Swimming during camp has been in the pond ever since. Prior to the construction of the pond, campers swam in the river.
4-H camping programs have been held at Camp Conger every year since 1925, except from 1942 - 1945, during World War II.
The Camp Board, representing Camp Conger, Inc. took a bold step in 1989 when they approved a motion to "pursue tangible lines toward a new dining hall within the next three to five years". The board slowly worked on putting a fund raising plan together and coming up with a proposed design for the onew building. It was determined that they were going to have to raise over $100,000 for the project. The fund raising committee consisted of cho-chairs and representatives from four quadrants of the county. Each quadrant representative arranged for a township chairman to coordinate a door to door campaign.
The official kick-off for the new building was held in JUly of 1997 with an Alumni Picnic at camp. Foundation grant proposals were written and the county-wide door too door campaigns were held. By the end of January 1998 they had raised $127,000 for the Lewisi and Florence Conger Hall and an additional $27,500 for new kitchen equipment. When the campaign was over, the fund drive had raised $110,000 from banks, businesses and individuals and foundation grants added another $110.000. Over $220,000 was raised so that the building could be built and paid for in full.
Ground breaking for the Lewis and Florence Conger Hall, which includes the dining hall, kitchen, modern restrooms and a basement was held in the spring of 1998. The first group to utilize the new facility was Intermediate Camp in June 1999.