Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Laurel Ridge Camp offers summer camps, mission camps, year-round programming, and rental facilities to communities of faith, non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals for their use and enjoyment. Owned and operated by the Southern Province of the Moravian Church of America, Laurel Ridge has offered youth, families, churches, and organizations an incredible mountain location for relaxation, recreation, reflection, and renewal since 1960.
In May 1953, a group of dedicated members of the of the Moravian Church, Southern Province had the vision to purchase land to serve as a place where the Province could hold summer camps and annual conferences. Located above 3,600 feet in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Ashe County, North Carolina, Laurel Ridge began with 115 acres of land purchased with a gift of $12,000 from the young people of the Moravian Church. Over time, with additional gifts and land purchases, the camp grew to a total of 688 acres. Since the opening of the Summer Camp in 1960, Laurel Ridge has seen many changes and much growth. We thank God for the vision and the faithfulness of the many people who were instrumental in starting and maintaining this ministry.
Our diverse, experienced staff ensure that camp visitors have an unforgettable experience at Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center. Whether you are a camper, parent, retreat participant, volunteer, visitor, or friend, our dedicated staff is here to serve you!
Feel free to contact any one of our staff with questions or ideas!
Tres Fordham / Executive Director
A longtime Moravian, Tres comes to Laurel Ridge Camp from the YMCA of Northwest NC, serving as Executive Director of the Yadkin Family YMCA. He received his Bachelor of the Arts in Recreation Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his Master of Science in Leisure Studies from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Tres has been married to Dawn for over 30 years, and they have two children, Jay and Mollie. Tres enjoys anything to do with “The Lake” and spending time with his family. Jay and his wife Erin gave them a granddaughter Rowan Kate which has made life even better!
Favorite Snack: “You mean I have to pick just ONE…not sure I’ve ever met a snack I didn’t like.”
Blair Osborne / Facilities Manager
Blair has been coming to summer camp from the time he was old enough until he graduated high school. He later enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served in Dessert Storm. After retiring from a career in law enforcement, Blair joins the staff with a renewed since of call to the mission of Laurel Ridge. He is so excited to have the opportunity to give back to the ministry that meant so much to him. He has been married to his wife Tori for 25 years and they have two children, Bo and Catie. He also has three dogs, Zeke, River, and Kota. And several chickens.
Favorite snack: Ruffles and French Onion Dip
Scarlett Dowdy / Program Manager
Scarlett, Mt. Airy native, spent 12 years as the Director of Christian Education at Grace Moravian Church before joining the staff as Program Manager in 2014. As Program Manager, Scarlett coordinates and writes program for all summer camps and Mission camps. This includes logistics for Camps as well as other Laurel Ridge events. If you are interested in renting summer camp in the off season give her a call. She has been married for over 30 years to Bob (Tree Bob), and they have a daughter, Meredith, two fur babies, a Mini Schnauzer named Chester and a Corgi/lab mix named Poppy. Her favorite vacation spot is Ocracoke Island on the Outer banks.
Favorite Snack: Goldfish Crackers
Karen Eagle / Guest Service Coordinator
Karen Eagle joined the Laurel Ridge team as a housekeeper in 2017, making sure every guest had a wonderful experience. Karen is our Guest Services Coordinator and works with groups as they plan their visit to Laurel Ridge. She works with leaders to plan their Higgins Lodge retreats and rental of Tise Lodge, Friends Cottage and Geminhouse.
Favorite Snack: Laurel Ridge Brownies
Thank you for your interest in joining our team! Our team consists of people dedicated to creating a safe, fun, and positive experience for our visitors and campers. We are looking for employees with positive attitudes who are passionate about providing great service, building relationships, strengthening their communities, and growing in faith, love, and hope!
Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center is led by a Board of Directors. Our Board is comprised of fifteen members who represent the congregants within the Moravian Church, Southern Province. They work with the staff to provide guidance and direction so that Laurel Ridge remains true to its mission and focused on its vision.
Feel free to contact any member of the board with ideas, thoughts, or proposals!
Our Moravian Heritage
For Moravians, Christianity is grounded in the living experience of faith in Christ, active love for others, and joyful hope. We believe that this living relationship with Christ is born and nurtured in local faith communities, in relationship with and in service to one another and the world. Our Moravian camp experience is one such community, helping campers grow in their Christian faith as they become physically and spiritually healthy individuals capable of living and working with others while creating lasting friendships amid the beauty of God’s creation.
The Moravian Church is one of the oldest Protestant churches in the world. Followers of Czech reformer Jan Hus began what was known as the Unitas Fratrum 60 years before Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation. German religious reformers and refugees reimagined the church in the 18th century and became pioneers in mission.
When the early Moravian Church was founded in 1457, our spiritual ancestors embraced the idea that the New Testament tells us clearly what is essential: everything the church does should be for the purpose of building people up in faith, in love, and in hope.
Moravians share common beliefs with most Christian churches. Our guiding principle captures the essence of Moravians well:
In essentials, unity;
In non-essentials, liberty;
In all things, love.
According to Moravian teaching, these are the essentials:
- God’s grace: God creates, God saves, God blesses us; and
- Our response: We respond in faith, love, and hope.
We have faith in what God has done and is doing; we love God, love ourselves, love our neighbors and love our enemies. Above all, we face the future with hope because God is with us and we are with God now and forever.
The members of the modern Moravian Church Southern Province embrace and practice these essentials throughout our daily lives, bringing us ever closer to living as God calls us to live.
The Moravian Church is a worldwide church, with over a million members across the globe, most in Africa, and about 40,000 members in North America.