Camp Bethel is an interdenominational Christian campground located on the scenic banks of the Connecticut River in Haddam, Connecticut. The Campgrounds are owned by the Camp Bethel Association, Inc., a non-profit organization. We are committed to maintaining a campground suitable for religious services and to fostering the spirit of Christian fellowship among all people.
The Camp Bethel Association holds a nine-day annual conference during the month of August. The conference offers spiritual and recreational programs featuring outstanding speakers, Bible teachers and musicians through our adult program, Vacation Bible School for pre-teens, and YPI -- our overnight Christian camping experience for teens. Our facilities are also available to other Christian organizations to rent.
We invite you to explore our website and learn more about us – better yet, come visit us in person!
Camp Bethel was established in 1878 on this site by the Life and Advent Union, a small American Protestant denomination. There were times in the early years that as many as 10,000 people would gather on this property for a couple of weeks in the summertime to have worship services, classes and cultural enrichment, as they discovered practical applications of the Christian faith. They came from as far away as Maine to the Carolinas by boat, train and horse drawn wagons. They stayed in tents and later built small cottages on the camp sites. Some of the current cottages were built in the 1890’s and early twentieth century in the typical Victorian style of the period.
Today the Camp Association has members from twenty different Christian denominations, both Protestant and Roman Catholics. A ten day Campmeeting is held in early August each year. The Camp is rented to different religious and educational groups for retreats, Conferences and workshops. None of the cottages are year-round, but are occupied from a week to several months between April and October. The public is welcome to visit the grounds and participate in the services and group activities. An annual Youth Camp is conducted, also.
Camp Bethel is listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the National Directory of Historic Places. For over 130 years Camp Bethel has been helping strengthen churches in Connecticut and beyond. It is a charming and inspirational place to visit with a beautiful view of the Connecticut River.
Rev. Lee Welkley, Presiding Elder