The Story of Spruceview Cabin

by John W. Alexander, President, IVCF, 1964-1981

In the early 1970s the leaders of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship decided to split the annual two-week Orientation for New Staff into two halves, the first week at the National Office to Madison, Wisconsin with the second week here at Cedar Campus. A week at Cedar Campus would give new staff members opportunity to enjoy the beauties of this glorious facility and bond together in a natural setting.

Orientation classes in the early days were small, but by 1977 the size became so large that there was no adequate place to which to hold program staff meetings. Rooms which were large enough were not private, rooms with privacy were too small.

I discussed the problem with Cedar Campus Director Keith Hunt. Together we hatched the idea of a new cabin designed as both a living unit and a place for program staff meetings. Keith estimated the cost at $40,000. However, the Cedar Campus budget was unable to pay for such an expenditure.

I explained the problem to Jim McLeish, our Vice-president for Finance who discussed it with Keith. A few days later Jim, in his own inimitable way, said, "John, if you feel Cedar Campus needs a new cabin for program directors of large camps, I'll see that the money is raised."

At that point Keith and Gladys Hunt and Betty and I proceeded to work out details of a floor plan in which the main room would fall naturally into a kitchen-dining half and a fireplace-sitting half, both halves fitting together so that a program staff of 30 could be assembled comfortably.

Ideas for the window seats came from a visit to Howard E. Butt's Lodestar Ranch near Kerrville, T.

Jim Walker, Cedar Campus' resident builder, led the work crew in constructing "Spruceview" in 1979-1980. The cabin was furnished to some extent by garage-sale purchases made by Betty. It was first occupied in the early summer of 1980 in time for Orientation for New Staff.

The name "Spruceview" was coined by Gladys Hunt.