Ministry of the North American Division
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Camp Hawthorne
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Conference Contact
Prince Lewis, Camp Director
Southeastern Conference
1701 Robi Avenue
Mount Dora, FL  32757
Phone: (352) 735-3142 Ext. 110
Fax: (352) 735-3562
  Camp Contact
Devon Blackwood, Camp Manager
1771 Highway 20 East
Hawthorne, FL  32640
Phone: (352) 481-3087
Fax: (352) 481-5009

Camp History
    The Southeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists was created out of the South Atlantic Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and officially opened its doors on January 1, 1981.      Among the original assets distributed to Southeastern Conference upon is organization was the campground in Putnam County, just east of Hawthorne, Florida, on State Road 20.  These 40 acres had been purchased in 1951 for a sum of $10,000. 
    The campground was then one continuous piece, not divided by what is now Florida State Road 20.  At that time two houses on the north side of the property served as dwellings for the Conference officers, while large tents served as dormitories, cafeteria and pavilion.  Subsequently, other buildings were added, and shortly after the original purchase, another twenty-acre tract of land was purchased across Highway 20. 
    For a number of years, Campmeeting services were held under large tents used as pavilions for both youth and adults.  Between 1960 and 1970 more than 200 family cabins were constructed on the grounds in the area of the lake.  In 1975 the first permanent pavilion was built under Elder R. L. Woodfork’s leadership.  Between 1970 and 1980 three motel buildings, the campground store, the bookstore, the ranger’s house, the warehouse, and a new kitchen were built, and the cafeteria was enlarged.  To keep up with growth, a trailer park was opened and concrete slabs were poured for 60 family tents.  When Southeastern Conference began operations in 1981, the camp site was shared by both Southeastern and South Atlantic.  In 1983 the Conferences agreed that Southeastern would continue to operate this campground, and that South Atlantic would establish a campground within its territory.
    Under the leadership of Elder J. A. Edgecombe, a new bathhouse and medical center were built.  When Elder J. M. Doggett became president, improvements at the campgrounds continued.  The roads on the grounds were paved and more modern electrical service was brought to the family cabins.
    In 1994 Elder R.R. Brown became the third president of Southern Conference.  He set immediately to improve the quality of life and service on the campgrounds.  Five additional acres were acquired, including three usable dwellings and 600 feet of frontage on an adjoining lake.  Under Elder Brown’s leadership, the old Sumpter house was restored.  The cabins along Lakeshore Drive were renovated with lowered ceilings, windows, and insulation.  A new recreational area was built for the children.  In order to replace the youth recreational facilities, a new basketball court, a tennis court, shuffleboard, volleyball, ad other sports activities are in place on the newly acquired five-acre tract.
    Construction on the air-conditioned Conference Center began in August 1997 and officially opened on June 20, 1998.  This 4,000-seat center includes a balcony, baptistery and choir and rehearsal area capable of seating 125.  Video and audio capabilities are included.  Throughout the Conference Center are offices, expanded restroom facilities, meeting rooms, and recreational features.
    Under the leadership of W.L. Taylor, living conditions continued to improve.  Over 200 family cabins were upgraded with air conditioning and new windows and the Youth Pavilion was air-conditioned.

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