DENTON, Md. — Friday will mark the start of the 2022 Denton Family Camp, a worship-based meeting first held in 1897.
Similar to Carey’s Camp, near Millsboro, Delaware, the 10-day gathering features daily worship services, crafts, weekday Bible study, a nursery and youth programming. It’s located at 424 E. Wesley Circle.
Speakers include the Rev. Ethan Linder from Friday through Aug. 2 and Dr. Laurel D. Buckingham from Aug. 3-7.
Worship will be led by the Cullen family every night except for Aug. 3, when a concert will be performed by the Rick Webb Family, a popular group in southern gospel circles, said camp director Holly Sorrells.
Research shows that the Family Camp began in 1897, not 1898, as was originally believed.
Record-keeping 125 years (ago) was a little iffy,” said Ms. Sorrells. “The more we have dug, the more we have found, and 1897 is the actual date. So we are celebrating our 125th birthday this year of our camp. We are Wesleyan in heritage.”
Two years after the camp opened, a tabernacle was built. At first, canvas tents housed the campers. Then, one by one, cottages were built.
Over the years, numerous amenities have been added — a modern dining hall and kitchen, updated cottages and recreational areas. A newer tabernacle constructed several decades ago has flooring that enables it to double as a gym.
There are about 80 cabins. “People have bought them for generations with their families or built them and passed them on as time goes on,” said Ms. Sorrells.
That mirrors Carey’s Camp, which opens Wednesday and runs through Aug. 10. The Millsboro meeting is celebrating its 132nd year.
“In some senses, it is similar, and, in some senses, we are a lot different. Our (cabins) are more like little houses. They more modernized with bathroom facilities, and some are like little homes, with kitchens and that kind of thing. Ours are more air-conditioned buildings,” Ms. Sorrells added.
While Denton’s annual Family Camp highlights the season, its facilities are used all year for various Christian activities.
Among them is the Heritage at Denton Camp Gathering, a first-of-its-kind event Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 that caters to the older generation.