Alpine Camp History

In 1959, Dick O’Ferrall was ready to turn a vision into a reality. Growing up, Dick had learned the value of summer camp, particularly one for boys, and he saw the fruit in combining the adventure and natural beauty of camp with the Christian faith. So, after completing a stint with the US Navy, he set out to start a summer camp that kept Christ at its center. He bought Alpine Lodge Camp for Girls with the help of Coach Rufus Hyde, and thus began Alpine Camp for Boys.

Dick grew up spending summers at Lookout Mountain Camp for Boys in Mentone. His first summer there was in 1947, and he returned for seven more summers as a camper and counselor. On numerous occasions during his counselor summers, he would daydream about camp life, and wish he could spend the rest of his summers in camp. He entered Ole Miss, where he was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2021, and majored in General Business.

After a few years, Coach Hyde sold his interest in Alpine to Dick, and “Mr. O” continued to build up the camp infrastructure and mission. When first purchased, the property was very run down, not a blade of grass in sight, and the entire camp was about to wash into the river. Over time, Mr. O continued to expand and renovate the camp, becoming a fixture of the Mentone community. Several local residents played a hand in camp’s success, and among those was Mrs. Bea Crow, who had run the kitchen for the girls’ camp for 12 years prior to the purchase. She joined the team, and continued to run the kitchen for the next 47 summers until she turned it over to her oldest daughter, Ms. Gail Collins.

Alpinecamp 41.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

In September of 1972, Dick married Alice Gandy from Jackson, MS. Alice had spent eight summers at Camp DeSoto in Mentone, and she brought many skills and a love for camping to the partnership. Through prayer, faith, and God’s providence, what started as 2 four week sessions of 50-60 campers steadily grew to the Alpine we know today. Dick always attributed the success of Alpine to God’s faithfulness to raise up a group of Christian counselors each summer. He is often quoted as saying that with the right staff in place, you could run Alpine in a parking lot.

7da.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Dick and Alice had two daughters, Toy and Carter. Carter married Glenn Breazeale,and the two took over as Directors in 2006. Glenn and his brother grew up as campers at Alpine, as did their father, Don Breazeale. Glenn’s mother, Missye Rhee Breazeale, was one of Alpine’s strongest recruiters as a camp representative in the Jackson, MS area. Alpine has continued to flourish under Glenn’s and Carter’s leadership, and they have continued to expand the camp facility and take enrollment to new heights. They have identical twin daughters, Caroline and Gigi Breazeale.

In May of 2022 Mr. O went to be with the Lord. His legacy continues as Alpine regularly welcomes the third generation of Alpine campers to Lookout Mountain.