Camp History

Our History

Nearly one century ago, the founding structures of Camp Albemarle found a home in the woods alongside Moorman’s River. 6.8 acres of dedicated land grew into something special as Americans braved the adversity of World War II. Sponsored by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and financed by the generosity of the county, WPA, and Albemarle Terracing Association, the camp arose from a united community and their hope in a brighter future.

Camp Albemarle’s early days established an accessible experience of fun and fellowship designed for youth members of 4-H programs. Unforgettable memories — from answering an early morning’s bugle call to performing in talent shows — provided the opportunity for campers, counselors, and everyone in the community to love the outdoors and make friends in the process. Since 1941, this inspiring retreat missed only three years of summer experiences, despite facing many obstacles along the way. Fires and flooding, vandals, and rapid foxes … Camp Albemarle has seen (and persevered through) a bit of everything.

The ups and downs of Camp Albemarle’s history have only proved to strengthen its spirit. Rebuilt in the early 1980’s, a legacy of 4-H programming thrives along with a wide range of additional activities. Educational initiatives from schools across the region spark environmental learning moments at every turn. Musical groups choose the camp as an ideal concert venue. Families celebrate anniversaries, historians host re-enactments, filmmakers create art … the possibilities are endless at this magical place known and loved by many.

These days, the rapid urbanization of surrounding landscapes threatens Camp Albemarle’s future like never before. But just as we’ve overcome difficulties in the past, we’ll fight today for our camp family and all the stories left to be told. Are you ready to tell yours?

Come join the crew at Camp Albemarle and find the adventure waiting for you.

Hamner Lodge Plaque

Dr. Charles Hamner was Associate Vice President of the University of Virginia and later President of the North Carolina Center for Biotechnology

“In nature, nothing is perfect and

everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and

they’re still beautiful."

Alice Walker

1977 Burned lodge

Camp Albemarle Fire of 1977

In October 1977, vandals entered the unattended Camp and burned its main lodge to the ground. In the early 1980's, a former camper, Dr. Charles Hamner, (then Associate Vice President of the University of Virginia and later President of the North Carolina Center for Biotechnology), envisioned a new and better main lodge. Under his astute leadership, dedicated volunteers and generous financial supporters rebuilt a bigger, modernly equipped and impressive lodge around the original fireplace constructed by CCC workers over fifty years earlier.

The Board of Directors have operated and conscientiously maintained the facility since, keeping its fees to a minimum —among the lowest in the area. Thousands of campers have enjoyed the camp in the ensuing years.

Camp Albemarle, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, has provided a tranquil natural setting to connect with nature, self, and community while preserving it as a resource to benefit future generations. You can make a donation that will ensure that our Camp facilities will continue to provide welcome shelter for future campers.