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Camp Eder

(10/1) Sitting quietly on Mount Hope Rd., just outside of Fairfield is Camp Eder, a small Christian camp and retreat center serving our community and beyond as an agency of the Southern Pennsylvania District Church of the Brethren.

Established in 1958, Camp Eder sits on over 400 acres of beautifully wooded and orchard property that makes for a perfect and peaceful outdoor experience for all.

Hosting a variety of programs throughout the year, Camp Eder offers Summer Camp programs for children of all ages, Senior Citizenís Days for our wise friends, Scrapbooking Retreats for the creative, and many other activities for folks from a variety of backgrounds. Three main lodges serve as the primary retreat facilities; wagons, cabins, and camp sites are also utilized for groups seeking to get away from the busyness of life. The nearly 40-foot climbing wall, challenge course, swimming pool, hiking trails, and many other facilities offer plenty of recreational opportunity.

In the spring, Camp Eder and Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve join together to offer a wonderful Outdoor Education experience to the students from Waynesboro Elementary Schools. For four weeks in the spring, over 250 fifth graders get the invaluable experience of taking the classroom outside for a time of intense learning and activities.

From early June thru early August, the Camp Eder Summer Camp experience is underway, averaging over 40 campers each week of camp. Camp weeks are generally divided by age group, but many specialty camp experiences are also offered such as; rock climbing, kayaking, biking the C&O towpath, horseback riding at local stables, and many more. In addition to these exciting activities, campers also get to experience basic Bible studies, nature classes, cooking over a fire, arts and crafts, hiking, wall climbing, daily swim time, and plenty of relationship building; forming many friendships which will last a lifetime. During the summer months, Camp Eder also becomes home to a group of Adams County 4H campers and to the annual Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance Conference.

In the winter, Camp Eder continues to be an exciting place with weekend camping programs offered to children of all ages. Mother/daughter retreats and father/son retreats are returning to the program schedule and are expected to be popular ways to help grow families closer together. The twice-a-year womenís scrapbooking retreats continue to be popular and exciting for all who attend. For this event, there is a Creative Memories Consultant on hand, with tools and supplies, to offer advice and to share creative ideas.

Senior Citizen Days are held throughout the year, generally on the last Wednesday of every other month (contact Camp Eder for dates), and often bringing more than 50 individuals for this great time of fellowship and activity, proving that camp is not just for the children among us. The Senior Citizen Days offer a morning program and an afternoon program, one of which is educational in nature, the other is a "hands-on" activity. A light breakfast and lunch are also served to those who attend these enjoyable events.

Although Christian based and Church of the Brethren affiliated, Camp Eder programs and events are offered and welcome to all. Lodges and facilities also offer accessibility to individuals with specific needs.

As a not-for-profit organization, Camp Eder relies heavily upon volunteers and donations to manage the high cost of these events and programs. There are a number of fundraising events that happen throughout the year to help offset these management costs.

Fall Festival is one of the largest and most exciting fundraising events of the year for Camp Eder. This October 15th will be the 33rd Annual Fall Festival for the Camp, complete with a live auction, craft vendors, live bluegrass music, pioneer/heritage demonstrations, childrenís activities, and the ever-popular pit-roasted pork and turkey meal with fixings. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend this exciting community event.

Each spring, Camp Eder hosts an annual Golf Tournament at Mountain View Golf Course and an Open House with a 5k run on Camp Eder property. Many players and runners helped to make these two days very successful and memorable. The Open House is a great time to visit Camp Eder to see what itís all about. Keep an eye open for dates for these events in 2012.

New and exciting activities are being added to the Camp Eder schedule daily. This December, the Camp Eder Staff are excited to invite the community to our 1st Annual Christmas Tree Celebration in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Come this December 16th, 17th, or 18th to see Christmas lights, enjoy cookies, music, and the candlelight services held each night at the live Nativity. Youíll also be able to cast your vote for your favorite Christmas trees, each decorated by different organizations or individuals from within our community.

Itís clear that no matter the age, background, ability, or interest, Camp Eder has something for everyone. Whether spending a week in the summer camp program, or simply spending an afternoon with friends and family at a wedding in the historical chapel atop the mountain, Camp Eder is sure to make an impact on your life.

Consider Camp Eder as you look for activities for you and your family. The camp office is open Monday Ė Friday, 8am-4pm. Call ahead (642-8256) if youíd like more information, or to stop by anytime.