Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Annual Fall Festival at Camp Eder

Alan Patterson

(10/1) Bundle up and bring the kids! The 37th Annual Fall Festival at Camp Eder is happening October 17th from 9am – 4pm. This event features all the trimmings of a good family-friendly festival: live music, craft & small business vendors, a renowned pit-roasted pork & turkey meal, children’s activities, heritage demonstrations, and a live auction at 9:00am. The children’s area is expanding more and more each year – and 2015 is no exception - featuring a dozen games, a giant inflatable slide, a bounce house, hands on activities, and a show-stage just for the young ones.

This year’s children’s shows will include Puppet & Story Works (puppet/ventriloquist show), The Animals of Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, the Fairfield High School Show Choir, and a presentation from the PA Apple Queen and princesses. This year’s main stage will headline international touring band Drymill Road who’s music includes high energy and heartfelt original material, along with a good mix of traditional music and "not so" traditional takes on Led Zeppelin, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles…to name a few.

Camp Eder is located on Mount Hope Road just outside of Fairfield and serves the local community along with maintaining deep roots in the Church of the Brethren – the denomination which founded the Camp in 1958 and helped to establish it as a corporation of its own in 1989. It is named for the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany, site of the first baptisms of the Church of the Brethren denomination. Though rooted in Christian outdoor ministry, Camp Eder provides space and lodging for any individual, family, or group seeking a serene environment for camping, retreat, weddings, reunions, small and large group gatherings, daytime events and nature experiences.

A variety of lodging options are offered, in addition to meal and program services. The historic Miller Meetinghouse is a small Chapel that sits atop the orchard hill and is a beautiful setting for worship gatherings and formal events. There is also a picnic pavilion, warm-weather swimming pool, and meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of many sizes.

The Camp was established in 1958 and occupies more than 400 acres of woods, vineyards, and orchards. It hosts a variety of events year-round that are open to the public. Camp Eder Senior Days feature programs and activities in the camp atmosphere geared toward mature adults and include snacks and a substantial meal. Many gather regularly for scrapbooking retreats. Camp Eder partners with their neighbors at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve for an Outdoor School program for students from Waynesboro, Fairfield, and a private school from Pittsburg – at which time over 500 fifth and sixth graders take learning outside the classroom. Camp Eder also serves as the home of the annual Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance Conference, and the Adams County 4-H Camp Program.

Summer Camp runs from June to August and offers age-related and specialty camps to children and teens; Horse Camp, Farm Camp, Swim Camp, and other special interest camps are featured, as well as general camping experiences for Kids, Juniors, and Youth, as well as a week especially programmed to accommodate able teens and adults with developmental delays or other special needs. During the summer camp season, campers participate in Christian worship, Bible study, swimming, rock wall climbing, hiking, nature, crafts, games, campfires and forging lifelong friendships.

In the winter, look forward to Cookie Camp, followed by an annual Christmas Tree Festival, where vendors are encouraged to create themed trees in a decorating contest (and all those Cookie Camp cookies can be enjoyed!). The Christmas Tree Festival was established in 2011. Celebrate the birth of Jesus with your neighbors, and enjoy a spectacular Christmas tree lights display, vote for your favorite Christmas tree, listen to your favorite Christmas songs, peruse over 100 nativity sets, and enjoy a candlelight service around a campfire accessible to everyone.

No matter the age, background, level of ability, or special interest, Camp Eder has something to offer everyone. Whether spending a week in the summer camp program or an afternoon with friends and family, Camp Eder is sure to make a positive impact on the lives of everyone who has the privilege to visit this special place. For additional information on Fall Festival, or to inquire about any number of questions you might have about Camp Eder, call 717-642-8256 or visit Camp Eder can also be found on Facebook.

Read other articles about Fairfield