Camp Albemarle History
It seems as though God has had His hand firmly on Camp Albemarle since its beginning in 1953. On their way to visit a potential site for a camp near Wilmington, a group from the Albemarle Presbytery experienced car trouble while traveling on State Road 24 near Newport. While the men repaired the car, the women decided to take a walk to see Bogue Sound. While near the water, they encountered the property owner, who, on discovering their mission, suggested that they purchase her property for their camp! After some negotiation – the property owner wanted $67,000 and the Presbytery only wanted to pay $66,000 (the owner finally made a $1000 donation to the Presbytery so they could pay her asking price) – the property was purchased and Camp Albemarle came into being!
Original campers will remember spending time in “The Big House”, a great old structure that served as the sleeping quarters for campers and staff. Over the years, additional cabins, a dining hall and a modern bathhouse were constructed along with various program areas. In 1992, the McElmon Lodge was constructed and serves as a great retreat space for our guests as well as for staff housing in the summers.
Since those beginnings, and through several consolidations of Presbyteries, Camp Albemarle has served thousands of children, families, churches and other organizations. In the early 1990’s the Presbytery of New Hope, hired its first full-time Director, and the programs and services really began to grow!
In 2007, the Presbytery of New Hope incorporated the camp separately as an independent 501(c)3 organization, and a new era began for Camp Albemarle. Today, the camp serves over 700 children each summer in residential camping programs and several thousand more individuals throughout the year in our retreat and conference activities.
Over the years, Camp has had and lost several piers to hurricanes. The pier that now serves the camp was completed in 2009. The Alpine Tower, which provides great opportunities for challenge and growth, was completed in 2012.