Camp Pinnacle History
Camp Pinnacle 1941
In 1929, Dobson formed a partnership with Miami Florida businessman, Van C. Kussrow, Sr. Kussrow had seen the property while vacationing in the area and at the recommendation of his former Miami scout master, Reese Combs, Kussrow agreed to the partnership and to purchase the property. Kussrow’s business acumen combined with Dobson’s athletic ability and teaching skills provided for a highly successful and complementary partnership. The partnership endured for 30 years until Dobson’s death in 1958, after which a series of directors, including Walt Cottingham, Roger Smoak, Tom Good, Chappy Hollis, and Glen Gray served both the boys and girls camps at Pinnacle.
In 1931, Camp Pinnacle for Girls began, initially directed by Dobson’s wife, Laura Mae. Directors who followed included Francis Major, Nelle Carr, Beth Blackwell, Mary Lanier, Linda Reeves, and Jean Cochran. Van Kussrow remained Camp Pinnacle’s president until his death in 1990; his son, Van C. Kussrow, Jr., assumed that role until his death in 2006.
The Kussrow family had numerous opportunities, but chose not to sell the camp property for development. In 2010-2011, there was a hiatus from Camp Pinnacle being operated as a summer camp program. During that time, Mary Kussrow Lanier operated the camp as retreat and events facility. However, the family has since decided to lease the property to have it return to its role as a functioning summer camp.
In 2011, two of the nation’s most innovative founding camp owners, Adventure Treks’ John Dockendorf and Camp Champions’ Steve Baskin—who serves as a national board member for the American Camping Association—met on a snowy January day to walk the Camp Pinnacle property. The two were inspired by what they saw, which resulted in a partnership to reinvigorate one of the country’s best traditional and historical camps. With the experience of building their camps from scratch, the two are excited to be extending the legacy of Camp Pinnacle to its alumni while giving a new generation of children the opportunity for an incredible camp experience.
The Camp Pinnacle grand reopening press conference and ribbon cutting was held in September 2011. The event crowd included camp directors, former Camp Pinnacle campers and counselors, and members of the local community. The event was followed by a special reunion in October bringing alumni together again in support of the NEW Camp Pinnacle.
Camp Pinnacle 1941
Camp Pinnacle had a busy fall in 2011, hosting numerous outdoor educational programs for schools as well as the Southern Appalachian Science School Program. Camp is undergoing a continuous and aggressive remodeling as it prepares for the next 85 years!
In July 2012, Camp Pinnacle officially reopened for two sessions and had an incredibly successful summer, exceeding all enrollment goals. Most of the campers from summer 2012 have already signed up for Summer 2013. Since reopening, Camp Pinnacle has also hosted numerous family reunions, weddings and fundraising events. Camp Pinnacle was chosen as the site for the new film "Secrets of the Fall" due for release Spring 2013.