This is a continuing weekly series that highlights members of the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce. You can see last week’s member story by clicking here.
We are highlighting Oakridge Christian Camp and Retreat Center this week which is owned by the Ball family. The camp is located just west of Anadarko on highway 281. This interview was conducted with owner Brian Ball and his daughter Jaime.
Jaime and Brian Ball
When was the camp founded and when did you take ownership?
Our family took ownership in 2000, it was a Nazarene camp previously who named it Oakridge and we kept the name. The campgrounds have been around a long time and the first camps were held in approximately 1948–so almost 70 years of camp history out here.
In your words describe what you do at Oakridge:
We provide recreation and overnight accommodations, meals, and meeting room facilities so that people may connect with each other. We hope our guests are able to rest, experience new things and connect with God.
Why did you choose to work in Anadarko?
We were in the market for a camp, specifically to buy. We also put offers on 4 other camps in other states, but eventually we found out about this one in Oklahoma and after an initial visit made an offer and the rest is history.
You continually upgrade this facility with new renovations, any recently completed projects that you would like to highlight?
For our overnight guests we have purchased 250 new mattresses, which are not your typical camp mattress, that are 20 inch tempur pedic memory foam. We also have added a new activity called arrow tag which is similar to lazer tag, but with foam tipped arrows. Plus, within the last two years we completed construction of one of the largest high element structures in Oklahoma called Goliath.
Goliath-one of the largest high element challenges in Oklahoma.
What keeps you up at night as a business owner?
From a business standpoint we really want to make sure we are able to give each of our guests an amazing individual experience, which can be challenging while hosting large events. Our facility on average hosts 250 campers per week during the summer and we can house up to 500 people total.
If you had a magic wand to improve something at your business or in the city of Anadarko, what would it be and why?
Everyone wins when we all work together and so we would ideally want everyone to have strong relationships throughout the city and unity within the community.
What is something our audience may not realize about Oakridge?
There are a lot of things that we are able to offer for kids and adults. Our biggest markets for campers actually travel in from Oklahoma City and Dallas. Each week we have a food bank that serves approximately 100 families in Caddo County.
What is your biggest challenge you must overcome in running the camp?
Our biggest obstacle in life is ourselves. We all can realize that we can BE better and DO better.
What is the most rewarding part about running the camp?
Not many people get to work with their family, but it is an incredible joy to be able to work with our family and extended family (staff). Right now we employ 16 staff members and then during the summer months we will increase that amount by 20 or more.
Oakridge has a pool and hot tub!
Why do you think it is important to be a Chamber member?
We do value the awareness and connection. We want to show that we support Anadarko and the Chamber itself which connects people in the community. We want to do our part.
Opportunity to say anything to our audience?
We want to encourage everyone to figure out their part in making our community a better place. If you have any questions, you may contact Oakridge at 405.247.5433. Our website is oakridgecamp.com and climbgoliath.com