Once a turn of the century resort, we now serve guests of all ages through camps and retreats
Doubling Gap Center has been owned by the Eastern Regional Conference of the Churches of God, General Conference since 1946. The owner of the former hotel at the time, Mr. Holbert A. Myers, was hospitalized in Harrisburg. His roommate in the hospital was J. Paul Breneman, an ordained minister of the East Pennsylvania Eldership and a professor at Findlay College. One day in the summer of 1946, Rev. Roy Schreiner visited Rev. Breneman to discuss the youth camping program of the church in which both men were actively involved. Camp YoliJwa's program (operating since 1934 and the Lutheran site, Nawakwa) had no campsite to use for the ensuing summer of 1947. Mr. Myers heard their conversation and mentioned he owned a 100-year-old vacant property kept in repair through the years. The property was investigated and it was determined that the property was just what the Churches of God needed for a summer camp and retreat center. The 150 acres and buildings were purchased on November 8, 1946 for the sum of $29,500. Mr. Myers had been offered a great deal more for this property by other groups, but as a man of faith, he was pleased that his property would be used for the Christian training of youth. Chartered as a non-profit organization in 1957, Doubling Gap Center has been touching lives for over 65 years. Today the historic hotel maintains the charm of former days but with a new purpose. The Center provides a secluded mountain setting for all ages and denominations to retreat, refresh and renew their Christian Faith.
Doubling Gap Center Exists to evangelize, disciple and train within the context of Christian fellowship. The mind, body and soul are served in a natural setting.
Long before it was a camp and retreat center, the Doubling Gap White Sulphur Springs Hotel was a popular tourist destination. The first record of any "hotel" business was a license granted in 1803. Evidence indicates that the original hotel building was located just down the road from the present-day facility. The mineral springs was the big draw for guests as it was thought to have health-giving properties and medicinal value. The reputation for the water increased drawing visitors from all over. One frequent visitor in the early 1800's was a man by the name of David Lewis, better known as "Lewis the Robber." He was something of a Pennsylvania Robin Hood. He died at age 30 in the Centre County Jail, Bellefonte, PA on July 13, 1820 as the result of wounds suffered in the gun battle that led to his final capture.
The hotel changed ownership several times throughout its history. During the more prosperous years of 1848-1912, the owners were able to make a transition from just being noted for the mineral water to a reputable resort full of natural beauty and pleasant entertainment. At its peak, the hotel would accommodate as many as 1,000 guests a season. It attracted such famous guests as John Wanamaker, General Sutter, DuPont and Ulysses S. Grant. At one point the hotel business owned 10,000 acres of land which provided timber for construction as well as firewood for fuel. On September 12, 1935, Mr. Holbert A. Myers purchased the hotel for a second time. Mr. Myers main interest for the purchase was the valuable timber of the grounds. The doors of the hotel business were closed forever
A 90 page historical book is available from Doubling Gap Center. The book features over 100 pictures and is available upon request for $7.00 per book (includes S & H).
In the Gymnatorium we have a hallway called "Heritage Hall" which holds camp photos from 1934 to present day. This popular spot at Camp is a great place to remember the fun had at Camp as well as remember those who helped build it to what it is today. "Heritage Hall" is now online and you can view most of the photos from the comfort of your own home! Click here to take a look and see how God has blessed the ministry of Camp YoliJwa over the past 80 years.