FERGUS COUNTY - Nestled way back in the Judith Mountains is Camp Maiden, named after a former gold mining town.
Most of the snowpack is melted up there and is now ready for summer visitors to come see the wilderness it has to offer.
It is described by those who take care of it as a hidden gem of Central Montana. That would be the Fergus County Recreation Association, and they’ve been maintaining it since the 1950’s.
“It’s worth all the efforts we put into it when we get people saying it’s beautiful. We want to come back. It’s challenging but very rewarding,” treasurer Burtie Brown said.
It was started in the 1930s right outside of what used to be the mining town of Maiden.
It sits on a 40-acre plot of land up in the Judith Mountains about 30 minutes northeast of Lewistown.
The camp welcomes visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day as an outdoor getaway.
“The people that come back here year after year are already booked for this year. They book it the next year. They don’t wait. They want their dates and so they make sure we have them,” Brown said.
The camp is run as a nonprofit and all the money that is raised from the summer goes back into it to make Camp Maiden better for years to come.
Board member Dave Phillips says there are several projects they want to tackle in the next few years, mostly renovations of cabins.
They are working on getting new roofing and siding for the cabins. They aren’t exactly sure how many visitors to expect this year but have already gotten calls wanting to reserve the camp.
“Other projects have included refurbishing cabins one at a time. That refurbishing includes new roofs, if necessary, metal siding, and then better windows, better doors. We were able phase out our old washhouse that had been here for 50 years or more about three years ago. We were all very happy to get that project completed,” Phillips said.
The flat rate to stay at Camp Maiden is $100 a day. They are also looking for volunteers and donations to help upkeep the camp.
“We would love to have more volunteers. If they have some time to come help put up tin, those kinds of things, paint, whatever, we’re always looking for volunteers,” Brown said.
To volunteer or reserve the camp, you can contact Bertie Brown at 406-366-2541 or Dave Phillips at 406-366-2750.