Camp Cale is celebrating its 60th year of operation this year, and director Matt Thomas is enthusiastic about welcoming this year’s campers.
Thomas said the camp is named for the Cale family, who first gave land to the Chowan Baptist Association for a camp six decades ago.
Camp Cale has grown over the years and now includes 86 acres and is located at 377 Camp Cale Road in Hertford, according to Thomas, who lives on the grounds of the camp year-round with his family.
To celebrate the camp’s Diamond Jubilee, Camp Cale held a ribbon cutting for its new bunkhouse facility on April 15. It also plans to hold a fundraiser in September.
When it is not being used as a camp for kids during the summer, Camp Cale’s grounds and facilities can be rented for family reunions, weddings and group retreats.
Thomas said campers can attend Camp Cale and “be in a safe environment, develop friendships and learn about God.”
Thomas said he enjoys being able to witness the camp’s impact on campers, as well as work in nature every day.
“It is the best job I have ever had,” he said.
At Camp Cale, campers can disconnect from technology and the stressors of today’s world and participate in camp activities, Thomas said.
Camp outdoor activities include swimming and water sports like sailing, kayaking and canoeing on the Perquimans River. There is also an archery range and rock wall.
Thomas said campers participate in team-building activities and worship opportunities.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the camp will offer drive-through check-in and checkout procedures for campers.
Thomas said four camp sessions each lasting a week will be offered beginning in June for campers in grades 2-6. There also will be one week-long session for campers in grades 6-12.
The camp has already received “more registrations than we have ever had at this point,” he said.
When asked why more registrations have come earlier this year, Thomas said, “A lot of people are trying to find some normalcy in their life.”
Thomas was born in Miami but has spent most of his life in North Carolina. Thomas said his father was a minister and his brother is currently a pastor.
Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry and a masters of divinity and doctorate degree in ministry from Campbell University. Thomas served as a youth minister and associate pastor at Corinth Baptist Church and was the pastor at Riverside Baptist Church in Elizabeth City before accepting the position as director at Camp Cale.
Besides serving at Camp Cale, Thomas continues to fill in for pastors at area churches on Sunday morning worship services. He also strives to be an active member of the community, serving as the PTA president at Hertford Grammar School and serves on the board of the Perquimans County Chamber of Commerce.
Thomas said he enjoys spending time with his wife, three daughters and one son.
For more information about Camp Cale call (252)264-2513 or visit https://www.campcale.com.