History

In the beginning, the camp consisted of a Methodist Chapel, a parsonage, and a row of horse sheds. The first name was the “Robbins Memorial Health Camp.” In 1931 Rev. Anderson renamed it “Camp Beth,” the name shortened from the Biblical Bethsaida of Galilee, the native home of Philip, Peter, and Andrew, and the place where Christ fed the five thousand.

Rev. Dixon in the kitchen.

Under the direction of Rev. Anderson, the Rev. Herbert Dixon of Leverett, and the Rev. Gifford Towle of Southampton opened the first organized camp in 1933. In the fall of 1938 and the next summer, misfortune struck Camp Beth. The September 1938 New England hurricane knocked to the ground the dining section of the camp and felled many of the pines. The greater tragedy was the death of Rev. William Anderson in July 1939.

In succeeding months, after thinking over how much Camp Beth meant to Rev. Anderson, Rev. Dixon decided to reconstruct the camp. In honor of its founder it became Camp Anderson in 1940. In 1962, the Franklin County Child Evangelism Fellowship started Good News Camp. For seven years they used the Child Evangelism Fellowship Camp in Charlestown, New Hampshire. In 1969 Good News Camp started using Camp Anderson’s facility to run their program. Good News Camp was associated with Child Evangelism Fellowship out of Boston.

In 1986, a fire burned down Dixon Hall, Camp Anderson’s main meeting hall. This devastating fire, and Camp Anderson’s struggling program, made the Board of Trustees decide to sign over the facility to a new Board of Trustees made up of Christian men, many of whom were involved with Good News Camp. The Good News Camp program was growing and the trustees felt the camp would grow under new leadership.

In 1992 the board of Trustees decided to separate their program from Child Evangelism Fellowship. They kept the name Good News Camp until the spring of 1994 when a new name was chosen for the camp. This decision was made with the plan of becoming a year round facility with year round programs. The name Pine Brook Camp and Conference Center, Camp Anderson Foundation, Inc. was chosen.