Camp Burton, an American Baptist Camp, is over 100 years old. Established in 1909, it has touched many lives throughout the generations who have come to Burton. It continues to be a place of respite and reflection.
Camp Burton was purchased in 1905 with the intent of providing an opportunity for people to grow in their faith in a camp setting. Burton is one of the oldest church-owned sites in Washington. The facility, originally known as Burton Baptist Assembly Grounds, was a rustic place with tents used for housing and eating facilities. Each family brought their own equipment and did their own cooking. During the early ‘20’s, some buildings were constructed for better accommodations and most are still in use today.
Major expansion and upgrading of the facilities at Burton began in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Renovations and improvements to Camp Burton continue today.
In the early 60’s, there was a movement to sell Camp Burton and locate the camp elsewhere. Staunch Burton friends could not see selling for the suggested price of $25,000.00. This movement met with much disapproval and was thankfully defeated. Not long after, Washington Baptist Convention saw the need to improve their camps and started a campaign known as the Camp and Conference Development Program. The mission was to generate funds to help the camps with finances to improve and expand their facilities. Except for this program, Camp Burton has been mostly self-supporting. Burton’s self-sufficiency has been made possible by rental and summer camp fees, and especially by the efforts of many dedicated people who have supported the camp with generous donations of time, money, and thousands of hours of labor for construction and maintenance projects.
The foresight of the Board Members over the years has provided direction and has seen to Burton’s growth into the place it was intended to be. Comparing Burton in the 1950’s with a suggested selling price of $25,000.00 and Burton in the late 1990’s with a price of over $4,000,000.00, it has been good foresight indeed.
Many of the buildings you see at Camp Burton are named in honor of people who have embodied the mission of Burton and who labored to make sure it was here for those who need it.