St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on Seabrook Island has just been blessed to be able to celebrate the milestone achievement of reaching 75 years of ministry and service. This celebration was marked with a three-day event that was widely supported by past and present supporters of St. Christopher from throughout the lowcountry and beyond. As a ministry of the Diocese of South Carolina, “Camp St. Christopher” began as a summer camp program for underprivileged children. Through the years it added a year round full service conference center in 1971 and its heralded Barrier Island Environmental Education program in 1981.
Throughout the three-day celebration we were privileged to welcome any and all visitors to an Open House to explore St. Christopher’s property, visit a history exhibit, and participate in special activities and events. The events began Saturday morning, June 22 with a 5K Run/Hike that covered the whole of St. Christopher’s property. Over 150 runners, including great participation for local running clubs and Seabrook Island residents participated in this inaugural 5K, which we hope to continue on an annual basis. This was followed by the closing ceremonies of the Senior High session of our ongoing summer camp program in which all were invited to participate. On Sunday, June 23, a worship service was held in the historic Chapel of the Palms with an overflowing standing room only crowd of worshippers from throughout the Seabrook Island community and the Diocese. A BBQ picnic and the Annual Summer Staff Regatta followed. The Regatta utilized St. Christopher’s fleet of Sunfish sailboats with all participants having qualified by having served at some time as Summer Camp staff. Mrs. Sally Renters Young, summer staff of 1976-78, was this year’s winner. Sunday evening was marked by an invitation only appreciation dinner for contributors, donors, sponsors and diocesan officials. Ann Caldwell and members of the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals provided storied entertainment with a purpose to the gathered group of 120 under a tent on the lawn of the Rectory.
Following another full day of Open House activities, the weekend was capped on Monday evening, June 24 with a Pelican Gala. This themed 1938 garden party held under a large tent on the grassy knoll by the ponds was well attended with over 300 participants. Made possible only by the generous contributions of sponsors and donors, it was an unqualified success that will continue to bless St. Christopher for many years to come. While there are simply too many people, businesses, churches and organizations to mention here, all can know that their love, support and interests in the ministries of St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center leave it poised to continue its ministry of service in bearing Christ Jesus for many years yet to come.
The Rev. Robert S. Lawrence