Camp Abaco, located a few miles South of Marsh Harbour, often caters to large groups of children, both local and from other islands of the archipelago. These camps are not only for camps held in the summer, but also throughout the year. The Summer Camp starting on July 4 is the longest one, lasting for three weeks, with each age group staying for a week.
Children ages 7 to 9 attended the first week. Older kids in the ten to twelve age group came during the second week, and teenagers attended from July 18 to the 23. During the second week, 77 campers attended.
Activities varied according to the age of the campers, but Bible Studies and Chapel Services were held daily, as well as other activities such as sports, arts and crafts, skits, drama, and even nightly walks with the older campers enjoying “crabbing.”
The camp is organized and overseen by Pastor Stafford Symonette, but coordinators and counselors from other islands and even the United States join in running the camp activities.
Lilamae McPhee, from Grand Bahama, said that she has been coming every year for the first two weeks to act as a coordinator for Pastor Symonette. Brother Albert Bootle “Brother Al,” from Treasure Cay Full Gospel Assembly, also assists Pastor Symonette, acting as a PR person on the camp website and Facebook.
A group from Key West also participated in running some of the activities. Dustin Miles conducted Chapel Services. Miles and his wife, Jennifer, have been coming to Abaco for the last two years. They were accompanied by their son, Caden, and another member of Glad Tidings Tabernacle in Key West, Austin Greenfield.
In between activities, the campers were kept on their toes by the prospect of earning points that would entitle them to certain awards. They could gather points for academics, good behavior, Bible study, or for being outstanding athletes.
Each week, a King and a Queen were elected and counselors, supported by the kitchen staff, elected a camper of the week, chosen for his/her behavior and overall participation. As they arrived at the camp, students who brought their report cards showing the highest GPAs also received an award.