Friday, May 5, 2023

Nonprofit Spotlight: Gander Brook Christian Camp

At Gander Brook Christian Camp in Raymond, a summer adventure and rustic camping experience awaits children ages 8 to 18 in a safe, fun, joyful and encouraging setting.

Gander Brook Christian Camp still has openings for campers
ages 8 to 18 this summer in Raymond. The camp has been in
Raymond since 1959 and offers weekly overnight sessions
filled with a variety of activities. SUBMITTED PHOTO 
Owned and operated by the Churches of Christ in New England, Gander Brook Christian Camp is located at the corner of Ledge Hill Road and North Raymond Road and sits on 222 acres as well as additional waterfront property on Raymond Pond. Sessions are overnight and conducted weekly, running from the last week of June through the first week of August.

The camp is non-denominational, open to all children, and Gander Brook Christian Camp can accommodate up to 120 campers per session.

“Campers bunk in cabins with kids their own age for their week stay,” said Linda King of Gander Brook Christian Camp. “The daily schedule includes, meals, Bible classes, earning merit badges, such as basket weaving, archery, paintball, photography, sign language and more, afternoon sports and swimming/kayaking, cabin challenge games, evening activities such as skit nights, Crazy Olympics, scavenger hunts, nature classes, bonfires, and cookouts.”

The camp has been operating in Raymond since 1959 and is guided by a Board of Directors of 20 people from around New England. It is staffed by two directors, a staff of 16 to 20 camp counselors and an activities director. Volunteers staff the kitchen, the camp canteen and camp laundry, and there are also merit badge instructors, nurses, and Bible instructors.

“We provide a good, healthy environment away from the chaotic stresses that can often surround our kids,” King said. “Gander Brook provides a good place to unplug and connect with people and nature and kids wanting to have fun. It's a place where lifelong friendships have been formed. The friendships, and the people are what make this camp so special.”

She said that the quality of Gander Brook shines in the people who volunteer and serve the camp.

“The children are loved, cared for, encouraged and placed in an environment of making each one feel special and respected,” King said. “It becomes family.”

The Gander Brook site itself is one of Maine’s historic properties. On the site, the Wilson Hotel and Spring Company, with its centerpiece inn known as “The Wilson” was built in 1890. In a newspaper ad from 1892, promoters of this impressive structure touted its “Spring of Wonderful Purity and Curative Properties.” Guests coming to “The Wilson” would only be able to enjoy those ‘curative’ waters for five years though, because it burned to the ground in 1895.

Later, the Noraco Inn was built on the site about 1929 on the berms seen in the Wilson Hotel pictures, and which still surrounds the lodge today at Gander Brook. The Noraco Inn was owned by Joseph Dellamano and the property in its heyday was a getaway vacation retreat for summer vacationers from urban areas of New England and New York. Promotional literature from the Noraco Inn enticed the guests to visit “Maine’s Log Cabin Resort” and stay in the “well furnished” cabins and eat at the lodge in the spacious “Sunset Dining Room.” Water was pumped throughout the camp from the “famous Raymond Spring” in the valley 175 feet below the lodge where the camp’s lower well house still resides. At one time the property even had a small golf course, and the remnants of three greens remained when the camp site was purchased in 1959. The lodge sat upon the site where the magnificent Wilson Hotel once stood.

When the Dellamano’s closed the inn around 1950, the property was vacant for nine years. The Churches of Christ in New England saw a need for summer camping, so it organized a Board of Directors which found the property in Raymond. The property was purchased in 1959 and has been operating a summer camp program each summer since then.

Openings for children in Windham and Raymond are available this year and campers will find a new dormitory on site this year.

“Our prices remain competitive to similar camping experiences, and we provide as an overnight camping opportunity,” King said. “It is just $500 for a one-week session and first-time campers are now being offered $50 off for a one-week session.”

To sign up, call 207-998-4369 after June 18 or 501-827-7432 for the registrar all year.

For more information about Gander Brook Christian Camp, visit or find them on Facebook under Gander Brook Christian Camp. <

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