Shelter Neck UU Camp
An Invitation: Come discover Shelter Neck Unitarian Universalist
Camp: participate in its past, present, and future. Enjoy an
inter-generational event; bring your family for a relaxing week-end;
explore creeks in a canoe; or just rock on the porch like you did at
Grandma's. Shelter Neck is more than just a place -- it's a "special
The Past: For over a century, Shelter Neck has been a
meeting place for Unitarian Universalists. Located in rural
southeastern North Carolina, Shelter Neck originated as a school for
children who otherwise would not have had access to education or
broad cultural experiences. The National Alliance of Unitarian Women
established the school in 1902 and provided students with studies in
literature, languages, and fine arts along with the "3-Rs". The
students returned the favor by providing Southern hospitality and
devotion to their teachers and their school. Together, they shared a
certain warmth which is still experienced today and permeates the
atmosphere of the campus. In addition, the experimental farming at
Shelter Neck was a forerunner of the state's agricultural experiment
After good roads and bridges were built, public school
transportation was available to the rural children, so there was no
longer a need for the school at Shelter Neck. According to legend,
the Unitarians sold the school to the Universalist Convention
of NC for $1.00 and a handshake.
(A wonderful resource in Pender County is the W.
Dallas Herring Carolina Heritage Research Collection.
It houses the
complete genealogical and
historical collections of Dallas Herring, noted Duplin County
native and historian).
The Present: Though available public education has long
since changed the purpose of Shelter Neck, nothing has changed
regarding its mission as a "SPECIAL PLACE." Over the years, local
Universalist churches have preserved the physical site as well as
many of the experiential facets of Shelter Neck. Generations of UU
children have "grown up" at Shelter Neck, participating in camps and
conferences and giving of their time and energy to its well-being.
Intergenerational activities and special conferences have expanded
the Shelter Neck experience, and groups from all over the state have
begun to enjoy Shelter Neck as well. The one-time boarding school is
still a place for "city" and "country," for adults and children, for
learning and teaching, for sharing and fellowship.
The Future: A former lifelong participant of activities at
Shelter Neck left her estate for improvements of Shelter Neck.
Several others have willed smaller amounts. These funds plus
proceeds from the sale of timber from the property have been
utilized for making extensive renovations. A Wilmington consulting
firm has worked with a UCONCI
committee in formulating long-range plans for future construction to
include campsites, playground, bathhouse/restroom facilities,
volleyball and tennis courts, meditation and nature trails. Shelter
Neck is truly becoming what its founders envisioned it to be.
YOU, TOO, CAN FEEL THE SPIRIT, CAN BREATHE THE AIR, AND EXPERIENCE
THE LOVE AND FELLOWSHIP BY BECOMING A PARTICIPANT OF ACTIVITIES AT
THAT SPECIAL PLACE -- SHELTER NECK!
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