ABERDEEN — Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) will hold a groundbreaking and picnic beginning at 2:30 p.m. June 13 on the site of Camp Duncan, its new wilderness camp for girls in Aberdeen. Supporters can come see the camp property during a day of music and family activities.
BCH has helped boys and their families at Cameron Boys Camp since 1980, where campers live outside year round in a highly structured, wilderness environment. Three staff members called “chiefs” supervise each group with the goal to help boys and their families overcome the challenges and obstacles in their lives and reunify the household.
Camp Duncan is named for the late Haskell and Gay Duncan. The Aberdeen residents and longtime BCH supporters made their 576-acre residential property available for a girls camp through their charitable foundation.
“The Duncans saw firsthand how the specialized wilderness services offered at Cameron Boys Camp helped boys overcome immense personal and family challenges,” said BCH President Michael C. Blackwell. “Like many others, they had a desire to see the lives of girls impacted in the same way.”
BCH will utilize the property’s existing facilities, including the Duncan home and two duplexes, for administrative offices, staff quarters, and other camp needs. Much of the work to prepare the facilities and property is by churches and volunteers.
Like Cameron Boys Camp, residential campsites will be created within the wooded areas. BCH will employ qualified female counselors as chiefs for the girls. BCH tentatively plans to accept the first group of girls in the fall.
Potential residents for the camp will come from a variety of sources. Children can be referred by the Department of Social Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, the public school system, churches, and individuals. In fact, anyone who sees a need in their community can make a call of referral to BCH, which will accept girls from across the state.
BCH is seeking donor funds that will trigger a $250,000 match from the Duncan Foundation for start-up and operating costs.
“I tell people that supporting Camp Duncan is about investing in children’s lives,” Blackwell said. “It’s about helping a child rise above the obstacles she faces and achieving success. Camp Duncan is going to help foster that type of success for years to come.”