history OF CFL

Camp Fern Legacy is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the sustainable and successful operation of Camp, and to maintain its heritage and better serve future generations.
A Note From Margaret Rotzler Lee: My grandparents, Maggie and Vernon Hilliard, founded the original Camp Fern in 1934.  I grew up there as a camper and counselor.  After graduate school and working as a speech pathologist, I returned to camp full-time in 1979.  In 1999, I became sole owner. I retired in 2019. Now, through Camp Fern Legacy, Inc., camp is experiencing a re-make by an amazing group of energetic people who possess an intense dedication to the camping experience they knew and loved growing up at Camp Fern.  They bring to the table in this endeavor an extraordinary level of expertise and diversity of skills.  They are in it “for the long haul” as they have told me.  After all, they want their children (and hopefully grandchildren) to grow up with the same sort of camping experience that they had. They have encouraged me to be a presence at camp when I am able, and they have asked me to continue helping with Vespers services, as they know how important it is to me personally to expose our campers and staff to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and His plan for our lives. I wholeheartedly support Camp Fern Legacy, and I have great confidence in the quality of experience that it will offer campers and parents going forward. Margaret

After the heartbreaking cancellation of Camp in May 2022, Camp Fern Legacy was founded as a non-profit organization to ensure the sustainable and successful operation of Camp, maintain its heritage and better serve future generations. This allowed Camp Fern Legacy to save on operating costs as well as accept donations to reinvest into facilities, focus on improving safety standards including obtaining applicable certifications, and offer unique programming. ​Camp Fern Legacy opened its gates in 2023!

An Interim Board of Directors was established and is comprised of many former directors and long-time staff who not only have intimate knowledge of what it takes to prepare for camp but also bring a variety of business, financial, legal, consulting and marketing experiences to focus on the future.  The Board hired the necessary full-time staff to operate Camp. ​

In addition to the organizational structure, Camp Fern Legacy enhanced many areas of facilities & programming to ensure the safe operation of camp as well as compete with families’ many other summer options.  These enhancements included, but were not limited to:
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  • Responsive & open communication with families ​
  • Enhanced staff training with professional seminars & certifications​
  • Dedication to safety & seeking industry leading certifications​
  • Food options including farm-to-table lessons​
  • Meal planning with registered dietician
  • Reliable communication & photographs during the session
  • Access to reclaimed & improved tribal grounds​
  • An emphasis on teaching skills in activities that campers can rely on in years to come​
  • The active involvement of supporters and friends to help us create the most saturated experience possible​
Other Questions You May Have

Who owns Camp Fern Legacy?​
Camp Fern Legacy, Inc. is not a family-owned business. Instead, Camp Fern Legacy is a Non-Profit Organization  governed by a volunteer board of directors responsible for hiring full-time directors and establishing a variety of committees based on annual needs. ​

Who is leading this charge?​
The interim Board of Directors has hired leadership that has a proven track record of successfully running Camp as well as a deep understanding of the original Camp Fern and its traditions. Suzy Littlejohn Watts and Erica Olsen served in many roles, including as Program Directors, and we are grateful for their knowledge and expertise. Suzy is a 3rd generation Camp Fern alumnus and her children attended as 4th generation. Erica was the Director of Camp Fern from 2004-2012 and 2014-2015, running exceptionally successful summers and smooth off-season operations. Long time Camp Fern families are thrilled that we have these two extremely qualified, professional, and fun Directors to ensure the Camp Fern Legacy operations run smoothly year-round. We fully trust them to recruit passionate, qualified counselors and develop fun programming for the summer.

1046 Camp Road

Marshall, Texas 75672

903-742-4321

[email protected]

© Copyright 2023

All Rights Reserved

Camp Fern Legacy is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services