North Carolina Baptists joined forces in July 1962 to cultivate a powerful new tool to help churches reach and disciple more people: Camp Caraway. Now, decades later, the camp continues to serve N.C. Baptists and will celebrate its 60th summer this July.
Situated on more than 1,100 acres of land near Asheboro, Camp Caraway has served over a million people with an average of about 21,000 attendees every year. Beginning as Royal Ambassadors Boys Camp, the camp has served youth, ministry leaders, church groups, nonprofits and more.
Jimmy Huffman, Caraway’s director, has served on staff for the past 23 years. He is passionate about his role and greatly believes in the power and purpose of camp.
“Our mission is to support North Carolina Baptist churches,” said Huffman. “We want to be a tool that churches can use to help their children, youth and adults become better disciples, help reach them for Christ and use it to grow their own congregations.”
To commemorate the anniversary, Camp Caraway is inviting previous staff members, camp counselors, campers and all other Caraway fans to celebrate God’s faithfulness on July 16.
“This year we’re looking back at folks who have served on our staff. We want to really celebrate what God has done through our staff over the years,” said Huffman. “Although the summer staff is now coed, for 52 years we hired around 26 young men. Now, many of them are pastors around North Carolina. Some staff have gone on to the mission field both domestically and internationally. We want to celebrate that.”
Registration is required for Caraway’s anniversary celebration, but the program and lunch are free. The camp will also be open that day for attendees to enjoy the pool, lakes and grounds while catching up with former staff and friends.
Mark Moore, children’s program director and previous Caraway camper, said the heart of the event will be to “…celebrate what God has done through our camp ministry, reminisce a little bit about how camp was in the past, and also help the former alumni see that God is still moving here.”
As for the future of the camp, Huffman desires to see Caraway continue to grow in its ability to serve North Carolina Baptists. “We don’t exist for ourselves; we exist for the convention and the members of the Baptist State Convention to use for the growth of their congregations.”
“Camp, whether people are at the conference center or at one of our camp events, creates a community where people can come together face-to-face and learn about each other and about God. Camp creates that community where relationships can happen and people can grow in their faith. That’s what it’s all about.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Makayla Riggs is a senior communications specialist who contributes to Baptist State Convention of North Carolina media as well as The Summit Church social media.)