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Birch Creek Center



Welcome to the Birch Creek Center website!
 

 

HISTORY/OVERVIEW

 

The Birch Creek Outdoor Education and Conference Center is located 22 miles northwest of Dillon Montana within the Beaverhed-Deerlodge National Forest along the eastern slopes of the Pioneer Mountains.

 

The Center was originally constructed in 1935 as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. The CCC was a direct outgrowth of Rosevelt’s “New Deal” program in response to the financial crisis and high unemployment of the Great Depression. In 1939 Camp Birch Creek consisted of 15 permanent buildings which housed 200 men. The seven original structures that remain at the present location represent one of the best examples of a permanent CCC camp that yet remain in the nation. With the start of the Second World War, Camp Birch Creek was abandoned. In 1955 the Evangelical Covenant Church of America operated the site as the “Birch Creek Bible Camp.” In the late 1970’s the site came under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service (USFS). An environmental assessment from 1979 recommended that the site be developed as an educational site.  In 1982 the Birch Creek site was formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

In 1983, The University of Montana Western School of Outreach began operating the Birch Creek Outdoor Education and later, the Bender Conference Center. The Bender, constructed during the mid 1980’s, is a modern building with dining facilities and additional overnight accommodations.

 

Today, the Center provides a place for diverse educational, recreational, and social opportunities for the local and global economy. The Center encourages and supports field-based and group enriching experiences, thus enhancing educational opportunities for the young, traditional, and lifelong learners. These opportunities include K-12 programming, adult training workshops, youth camps, family reunions, and service programs.