Kentucky-Tennessee division to enlarge camp experience at Paradise Valley
The next chapter is unfolding for the Kentucky-Tennessee Division’s Camp Paradise Valley in Burkesville, Kentucky. As part of the KT Gathering, divisional leaders cast a vision for the new cabins and resulting camping experience – just part of the planned improvements coming for campers of all ages from the division.
The Salvation Army purchased the camp from the Boy Scouts of America in 1963. With both periodic major improvements and consistent gradual development, Camp Paradise Valley has continued to grow and change with time.
More than a decade ago, Camp Paradise saw its first batch of new cabins replace the oldest cabins in greatest need. Part of a capital campaign, the new American Camping Association-approved cabins made camp more accessible and enjoyable for participants.
Now, in another major improvement, the remainder of the cabins will be replaced before the summer camping season of 2019. Five new cabins, with accommodations for 32 guests each, or 160 total, are to be finished by April.
On a recent Sunday morning, Major Jim Arrowood, divisional commander, addressed attendees from every KT command. The backdrop for the unfolding vision was a banner depicting the new cabin style. This banner also was a symbol for the time; on one end it was tied to an old cabin, and the other was held up by a piece of earth-moving equipment that the next day would be used to start demolition.
“We have waited long enough,” Major Arrowood said to a standing crowd that included Colonels Ralph and Susan Bukiewicz, special guests for the weekend. “Campers need accommodations that match the excellent programming here at Camp Paradise Valley.”
The new cabin design and other planned updates will make that a reality for new and returning campers alike.
Working with local contractors and builders and doing all the cabins at once realized huge cost savings. But that means tearing down all the remaining cabins, creating a risk of a housing shortage if there are any unforeseen complications in the construction schedule.
Majors Zach and Shelley Bell, Memphis area commanders, joined in the ground-breaking to celebrate their community’s financial support to of the cabins. Major Bell elicited support from long-time mission partner, FedEx. Through the hard work of Captains Bell and FedEx’s loyal support, the dream of new cabins is becoming a reality.