Our Story exists because of God’s Story. In 1956, God did a miracle in allowing a “poor” pastor by the name of Truman Robertson, along with his wife Jan and 5 kids, to buy 80 acres of pristine land with over a thousand feet of frontage on quiet Spider Lake. He had no money to do this, but the promise of some friends was clear, “If you find a place, we will stand with you.” $5,000 came in the mail and Fort Wilderness was birthed. Truman was “poor” only in this world’s eyes; he was rich in faith and could see something much bigger.
With just 16 campers that first year, and only 2 primitive camper cabins, a bat, a ball, a canoe and a Bible, a humble beginning didn’t mean big things weren’t in the works. The Fort Family quickly grew as friends stood by Truman and Jan. Their love for people was contagious. In the late 1960s, Fort was added to the power grid. In the 1970s, camp was winterized. Winter youth groups began to come. Whenever he could, Tru would teach the gospel with clear and passionate words. And you couldn’t help listening to his Tru stories either. More friends joined the Fort Family. Life in McNaughton, WI would never be the same.
Today, Fort Wilderness has 8,000 campers each year and more than 20 year-round missionary staff. Generous friends continue to respond to God’s call to them. In addition to Main Camp, Fort now has 2 additional summer-only sites called Adventure Outpost and Leadership Lab. Hundreds of youth campers hear of God’s love for them each year at these modern, though rustic, sites. The numbers have grown, but the message has not. “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” You’ll have to “come up North” to hear more. You can be sure that the Fort Family will be waiting for you!