Seabrook's secret gem of a summer camp celebrates 75 years

By Stefanie

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- The ringing of a wake-up bell, kids worshipping together daily in chapel and waves crashing on the beach are all part of the daily routine at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center run by the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

"I think when people come here they sense that they are stepping back into something that is very different from what's all around us," said the Executive Director of the camp, Father Bob Lawrence. "If we were able to test people's heart rate and breathing rate I think we would find that when they step onto this property there is a calmness that comes over them."

The secret escape for many has been a summer oasis since 1938. It's simply a place where kids get to be kids.

"I love how there is a beach and I love the ocean. It's just a lot of fun here," said 9-year-old camper Eliza Gaillard.

The Lowcountry's most pristine natural environment offers kids the chance to sail, swim, and play -- all while learning about the God.

"A lot of kids they really like it here because they can worship and do fun things like play outside and play on the beach," said 10-year-old camper Mae Dickinson.

Father Lawrence says a whopping 14,000 kids walk the boardwalks of the camp every year.

Looking forward to the next 75 years, Father Lawrence says they are just the right size for what they want to be and that the camp has no plans to change.

"I think our Seabrook residents appreciate the fact that these 314 acres are part of their neighborhood that allows the natural wildlife and fauna to continue to flourish in a way that's undisturbed by overgrowth," Father Lawrence said.

Students who have completed the 2nd grade up to 12th grade can come to the summer camp for week-long sessions. Younger campers can participate in the Buddy Camp program.

The camp is open to everyone, not just members of the Diocese.