The Camping Experience

Camping is a unique opportunity to experience God’s creation and the beauty of the environment that most of us don’t see every day. More importantly it affords the opportunity to build relationships with family and make new friends without the distractions of the world. Leave business and social media at home. Instead, relax, reflect, and wear the same clothes for three days. Build a fire with the kids and burn marshmallows. Go for a hike. Take a nap. Go fishing and teach the kids how to put a worm on a hook. Camping is a special time to just BE and not worry about what to DO.

Learn more about the campground on the Lake Heron web site.

Camping fun

Legacy

Dean and Gail Stephens bought the 240 acre property with the 10 acre lake in 1987 and knew it would be a beautiful area to develop for camping. They worked together for over 20 years to build it to what it is today.
Dean and Gail's desire is to ensure good stewardship of the property that God entrusted to them. Dean said, "It is just as important to God how we distribute what is left of His property when we die as it is how we managed it while we were alive." Their objective is to give Him a good return on His investment during the years they managed it.
The Lake Heron Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation, is fulfilling Dean and Gail’s legacy by preserving the Lake Heron property and continuing the Christian ministry.

Dean and Gail Stephens

Growing

Dean and Gail dreamed big. While they owned the property, they made extensive improvements, but wanted to expand the ministry in a big way! The Lake Heron Conservancy was established in late 2017 to do just that. We anticipate 2019 will be a big year for continued growth and outreach.

Projects completed in 2019:

  • Updated the campground reservation management from the current time-consuming manual method to a semi-automated online reservation and payment system. This frees up volunteers' time for better serving the LHC mission. Guests are able to see which sites are available and then select specific campsite(s) and boat(s). Add-ons like a bundle of firewood can be paid for online during your stay, making the process much easier.
  • Percolation testing and soil probes were done in late 2019, toward the design and installation a wastewater treatment system to service "The Barn", RV campsites, and future lake-side cabins, bathhouse, and activities field.
  • We invited local churches to utilize Lake Heron Retreat for youth events and church picnics.
  • Work continued on upgrades to the Lake Heron Dam, as required by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. This is an ongoing multi-year project, including maintenance and upgrades to the overflow outletworks.

Priority Projects for 2020 (or soon thereafter):

  • Team with Central PA Conservancy to enter the Lake Heron Retreat property into a conservation easement.
  • Transfer the lake property to LHC ownership. In 2019, Lake Heron Conservancy took on responsibility for operation and maintenance of the Christian camping ministry and conservation of the lake and property in perpetuity. Fundraising and partnership opportunities are key for success.
  • Design and install a wastewater treatment system to service "The Barn", RV campsites, and future lake-side cabins and activities field.
  • Continue work on the interior of "The Barn", and add a large deck in the front. This will provide a dining room, kitchen, meeting room, activities room, and deck.
  • Install a small playground area, with a wooden swingset and a balance course.
  • Construct a simple outdoor chapel, for weekly services. Cost is negligible, but we need volunteers to help with the construction.
  • Continue to grow relationships with local churches by inviting them to utilize Lake Heron Retreat for youth events and church picnics. Let us know if your church is interested in holding a pot-luck for its memebers/guests this summer.
  • Install upgrades to the Lake Heron Dam, as required by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. This is an ongoing multi-year project, including maintenance and upgrades to the overflow outletworks.
'The Barn' in need of a deck.

Support Lake Heron Conservancy

By supporting Lake Heron Conservancy:

  • You are part of a solution to reach families and children for Christ
  • You are offering children opportunities to develop personal growth, self-esteem, leadership skills
  • You are improving your community and safeguarding the environment.
  • Guidestar

Donate now and make a difference!

When you Donate via Facebook , 100% of your donation goes to Lake Heron Conservancy! (Facebook covers the credit card processing fees.)

Or, you can Donate via PayPal without the need for a PayPal or Facebook account.

You can also help by holding a fundraiser on Facebook to benefit Lake Heron Conservancy.

thanks

Partnerships — Associations — Supporters

The Lake Heron Conservancy seeks partnerships with churches, youth organizations, service groups, businesses, and individuals to realize its vision. Please contact us to introduce yourself and your organization.