Event Category: Sports
The year was 1951 — before cellphones, DVDs, and the Internet — the Connecticut Baptists were long into a search for a campsite of their own. Almost thirty years of programming at the University of Connecticut at Storrs and Camp Hazen in Chester had convinced the group that they wanted their own place. One sunny Tuesday in July of 1951, Frank Hoadley and Ed Clark of the campsite committee, were out visiting possible sites. They had been invited via postcard by Tom Moye of North Stonginton to take a look at property owned by an elderly couple in his church on Billings Lake. Though the drive in did not leave a good impression, that impression changed quickly once on the property… “The lake shimmered in the sunlight of mid-morning, reflecting the blue sky overhead, and with the first glimpse of the lake there was no question in the minds of the two committee members present that this site was worth looking into more thoroughly.”
At the time of the purchase of the camp property the need arose almost immediately for a name for the camp. The name Camp Wightman had been suggested by Dr. Terrell, Executive Secretary of the Convention, for its historic value, since the Wightmans, seven of them, had served as pastors in Baptist churches in Connecticut. Valentine Wightman (1681-1747) was the founder of the First Baptist Church of Groton (Old Mystic) which was the first of the Baptist denomination in Connecticut.
Celebrating 60 years of ministry in 2016, Camp Wightman in Southeast Connecticut continues to offer a place for “challenging and training youth and adult for greater service to God” on behalf of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut (ABCCONN). A strong, growing Christian Summer Camp program for youth, adults with special needs, and families, plus three seasons of retreats, workshops, conferences, and gatherings keep the site busy throughout much of the year, but there’s always room for one more…