Grace Island which opened in August 2000 is the property of Grace
Island Trust, whose chairman is businessman Fernance Perry. After
owning the property for over 40 years without having done anything
with it, Fernance and his wife Janice discussed and agreed to dedicate
the island to God. As they walked around the island they realised
it could be used for youth camps and other Christian purposes. The
next step was to design and develop the camp. The builders could
create the space, but the people using the camp would create the
place. With a sense of responsibility for the young people who would
attend the camp, and a parallel wish to help young people develop
a sense of responsibility, the Grace Island Trust set out to build
a camp that would be second to none for youth camps. After two years
of construction and landscaping work, it is certainly a success.
Grace Island is definitely not "roughing it". It is very
civilised. High, dry, level concrete pads are the bases for large
spacious tents. The campsite provides sleeping accommodations for
76. Campers can sleep outdoors in tents or indoors in bunk beds.
The main building, Bethany Hall, holds the kitchen and dining areas
as well as large rooms that can be used for multiple purposes and
can be divided to permit several events to take place at once. It
also offers private showers and changing rooms, The airy professional
kitchen is well equipped and designed for easy cleanup. The dining
room has seating for 120. Paths in the main areas are paved. Motion-sensitive
lights illuminate the walkways after "lights out" at 11p.m.
Those who rent the property must agree with the Grace Trust's Statement
of Faith which affirms Christian beliefs. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco
are prohibited and profanity is not allowed. There must be one leader
for every 10 children under 18 years of age. People can use their
boats or arrange boats through the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
Groups from overseas are welcome. Bookings can be made for a day,
a weekend or a week and is a good idea to book in advance.
Excerpts taken from "A State of Grace"
in the May 2001 Heritage issue of The Bermudian