Brief history of Camp Good New NH
History of property #264 – Formerly known as Toltec Hills Boy’s Camp on Lot #11 in the 8th range from 1955 to 2012.
The manager of Toltec Hills Boy’s Camp, who lived in New York, passed away in 1955 and the camp was left vacated for 6 years. Child Evangelism Fellowship of New Hampshire (CEF of NH), a non-profit 501-C3 organization, had been seeking property in NH to run their own camp programs for boys and girls. In the summer of 1961, Steven Annis, a youngster of Charlestown, was fishing up the Great Brook when he happened upon the 75’ x 150’ swimming pool built across the bed of the brook by Mr. Wiggins. Perceiving that this was indeed a swimming pool and not a pond, he began to explore the property. He discovered the barn with the dining hall and kitchen. He also found the cabins on the hill and recognized that this property was a summer camp. Upon arriving home, he alerted Walter Eshelman, who was connected with CEF of NH, about the summer camp he had found. After some difficulty, Mr. Eshelman, a resident of Charlestown, was able to find and then check out the property as well. CEF of NH contacted the owner, whose wish it was that the property remain a summer camp for children. In November of 1961, working through the Foundation for Bible Research and Preservation of Primitive Christianity in Charlestown, NH, CEF of NH was able to purchase the property, which consisted of 238 acres.
The name of the camp was changed to Camp Good News (CGN), which was a trademark name owned by Child Evangelism Fellowship, Inc., with a purpose to evangelize boys and girls with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish them in the Word of God and a local church for Christian living.
Since the first summer of camp was planned for 1962, there was a great deal of work to do to get the summer camp ready. Five new cabins and some privies were built in a wooded area 250 yards west of the dining hall to accommodate the boys. The girls would utilize the original cabins on the hill northwest of the dining hall once repairs had been made. Although the name of the summer camp changed, the Native American Indian names of the cabins remained the same. The new cabins built for the boys also took on Native American Indian names as well. The dining hall was named the Big Brown Teepee, because it was big and brown. However, everyone used the abbreviated version, BBT, when talking about it. That first summer camp there were 2 weeks of camp with 175 children, between the ages of 7 and 12, in attendance.
CGN continued to grow so that there were 6 to 7 weeks of camp each summer with training weeks for staff and summer missionaries with CEF of NH. One week was added each summer just for teenagers to attend camp. A residence for the camp director was built along the road that travels by Bascom’s at the south end of the property along the Great Brook. A new chapel was built in 1969 to hold the number of campers, staff and volunteers that attended each week. An outpost camp was built in the 70’s, near the northwest corner of the property, to teach wilderness survival skills to older children. In 1997, a horseback riding program was added. This meant the building of a barn to stable horses, along with paddocks and two riding rings. Also that spring a ropes course, climbing tower and zip line were added to enhance the wilderness adventure program. During the summer of 1999, the pool built on the brook bed could only be used for 1 week due to a drought. Because the pool was such a vital part of the program, the funds were raised and a new chemically treated pool was built in 2001. In 2006, the cabin names were changed from Native American Indian names to the names of biblical characters to more reflect the purpose of the camp ministry.
During the summer of 2012, CGN celebrated 50 years of camp ministry for God’s glory. Over the 50 years there were nine different directors and many other staff changes, but the ministry focus remained the same. CGN continues to seek God’s wisdom, direction and blessing in all they do in the future.