Lone Tree is committed to excellence in camping. Using the outdoors and adventure-based activities to share Christ with each camper in a gentle, natural way through personal attention and relationships built through the activities.
Tim and Char’s early years starting a camp ministry in New Mexico were full of adventure and challenges. They lived in a tent and had to haul water from 9 miles away for the first two years. With the help of a logging permit, an old horse, and a borrowed harness, they built the first camp lodge using logs from the forest, shaped with chainsaws. Despite the rustic conditions, they opened the camp in 1982 and were able to accommodate 20-30 kids. The local church and their community from NJ provided financial and prayerful support, and many volunteers helped make the camp what it is today. The camp has since expanded into four Lone Tree ministries, and God has blessed their efforts tremendously.
Lone Tree’s mission has always been to use the outdoors to teach biblical principles and share the love of Jesus in all we do. Lone Tree’s philosophy is to build as we have the funds and thus all of our camps are debt free. Over the 35 years since our beginning there have been many, many miracles of God’s provision. When we would get discouraged, and we did, Tim would walk around the property and point out to Char the different items like the well, or the electricity and say look, remember how God provided here, he will continue to do so.
In 1990 Tim and Charlene asked the question: do we stay as a ma and pa organization, where we run everything or do we empower others and expand our ministry. Empowering others is a real act of faith and trust but in 1991 Fort Lone Tree was born. Tim’s love for the water was the grounds for Lone Tree Lakeshore which opened in 1992 and is located at Elephant Butte Lake. After a mission trip to Mexico Tim and Char realize the young people in the US need to learn about serving others and so Lone Tree Missions was born.
The facilities and programs have changed over the years but our mission, purpose and philosophy has stayed the same.
In April of 2014 Tim was called home, “well done thou good and faithful servant”. It was a great loss for all of us, but a great gain for him. He had instilled in all of us a love for the Lord, and in people. Lone Tree stands strong because of Tim’s faith in God, that Lone Tree was the Lords and we are just vessels to be used.
In 2016 we added a zip line to the Ranch, a new facility at the Fort and the Lake and now we can stand back, look around and say God was faithful then in 1980 and will continue to be as long as we trust Him and not ourselves. It is our desire to leave a legacy of truth for generations to come.
Tim and Charlene Worrell met at a Christian camp and were both influenced by their experiences there. Tim worked his way up to director of summer staff at the camp, where he grew spiritually. After graduating from a Bible institute and getting married, they moved to the Jersey Shore to start a business and a family. However, they eventually sold everything and moved out west to start a camp ministry in New Mexico, which was challenging but strengthened their faith.
In Tim’s own words, “The early years of starting a new camp in New Mexico from scratch, were years of hard work, sacrifice and living with very little. But they were the foundation years of our faith being tested and strengthened. We were seeing God provide literally every need we had, often in miraculous ways and with incredible timing. Although we had just moved to the new site in August of 1980, we actually hosted our first summer camp the next year in 1981. Seeing God at work in the lives of the young people coming to camp confirmed we were where God wanted us, and made the struggles of those early years well worth it. Now, over 30 years later, it is easy to look back and see God’s hand and provision every step along the way”.
Char grew up going to camp every summer as well, but her story is about commitment to Tim, “I did not have the faith like Tim, I worried, he trusted but I prayed. He had a million ideas, I encouraged, let’s focus on one. We made a great team.”
In 2014 Tim went home to be with the Lord. Charlene continues to be actively involved in the daily running of Lone Tree Camps, with the help of our great camp directors.