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…It was 1952, 4 years after Rudy and Florence Bauder were married! As an investment, they found and purchased 240 acres of cutover land (stump farm) for $14/acre, naming it St. Helens Wilark #1. Later they purchased another 100 acres for $23/acre, 15 miles away, Rainier #2, all within Columbia County, Oregon. All of this became known as Bauder’s Emerald Forest, Certified West Coast Tree Farms by the American Tree Farm System. Florence was the 11th of 12 children. God gave her the Vision and Dream for a Christian Retreat, and reminded her that she knew how to share! So, they both dreamed and worked toward that Goal!

…”On Saturdays we packed our 5 children, Rita, Debi, Andi, Rudy, Jr., Eric, Moufflou the Dog and Lunch into our old green Jeep and headed from Beaverton up 30 miles along historic Columbia River on Hwy 30, through Scappoose, to St. Helens, turning left on Pittsburg Rd. for 15 more miles with 3 valleys to #1 Tree Farm, near the site of the old Clark & Wilson Logging Camp at Wilark. A farm neighbor cut a road into the property, and while Rudy, Sr. chain-sawed, the rest of us drug branches and debris into burning piles. Once aerially sprayed, we planted 1,000s of Douglas Fir Seedlings toward a well-stocked tree farm!”

…As God directed them into Christian retreating, Rudy (w/Florence) drew the plans for the first Lodge. Their children were either in University or married at that time. Florence was 53 and Rudy 62. Florence was very anxious to finally get going! She asked Rudy, “When are we ever going to get started so we can see our Dream realized?” Then, her challenge to Rudy: “If you will take an early retirement from Sheet Metal and move up and get started building the Lodge, I’ll stay in Beaverton and go back to work – a good Legal Secretary can get a job without a problem! Maybe in 2 years of weekdays I can move up with you!”

…Thus, a challenging adventure was begun, but, not for 2 years! It was 7 years later, when Florence could no longer stand the separation. “But,” she says, “God ministered to me in an awesome way one morning at 5 a.m. on my dark, cold way back to Beaverton, giving me a song of encouragement:” Set my Feet upon The Rock, Pull me from the Miry Clay, Let my Spirit soar on High, so I can have a Blessed Day! If my feet are on The Rock, and my Spirit’s in the Sky, I can have a Blessed Day, and You’ll know the reason why I can have a Blessed Day with You! “And, truly, His Spirit buoyed me up, until I could terminate from Tektronix, Inc., where I had been an Executive Secretary in the Legal Department of that great Company!”

…They named it WILARK LODGE, for 20 Guests, after the site of the 1920’s Clark & Wilson Logging Operation at Wilark nearby! But, 13 years into Retreats, Rudy, Sr. was taken with Cancer! Now, Florence, At 90, and son Eric are going on with the Camp Ministry. 2 ½ acre Emerald Lake was developed for Swimming and Paddleboating. There is a new Kitchen Pantry, and facilities are being added for those with limited mobility. A 90’x110’ Maintenance Shop was built for equipment repair. A second Lodge, LITTLE BLACK BEAR LODGE was built for 20 more Guests.


...”High on the list of raves is our Nutritious County Cuisine, including our Freshly Stone Ground Bread and Fruity Caramel Cinnamon Rolls!” ‘Flo’, Rita and Eric are the Cooks! Flo also manages the Office and enjoys doing extensive Landscaping. As Emerald Forest Camp Manager, Eric also logs both Tree Farms. Multiple-use of this property was the Goal of the Bauders from the beginning. Camp Emerald Forest is a Christian Retreat, and will continue to serve Churches, Schools, Families, and our Larger Community!

... We are Nearby, yet, Worlds Apart!
… CALL FOR A BROCHURE: 503-397-4226
Camp Emerald Forest is an Oregon Non-Profit Organization #93-0736365

Oregon Small Woodlands

Contact us at:
Phone (503) 397-4226