Camp Crystal Lake, affectionately known as CCL, was established in 1948 as a traditional residential summer camp for the children of Alachua County. CCL continues to serve the children of Alachua County through its Outdoor Education program during the school year and its widely popular summer camp, which is open to children from all areas, during the months of June, July and August. The camp’s beautiful, rustic facilities are also available to rent on weekends from September through April.
CCL is located in Clay County, Florida, five miles North of Keystone Heights and 29 miles Northeast of Gainesville. Situated on a sprawling 150 acres, the camp with its three lakes was originally part of the Keystone Army Air Corps Base. In 1947, upon the recommendation by Superintendent Howard W. Bishop, the School Board of Alachua County purchased the base from the United States Government for one dollar. Today, the American Camp Association (ACA) regards Camp Crystal as one of the best camps in the Southeast.
Facilities at Camp Crystal Lake
Four of the original buildings (built in 1942) remain part of our camp today. Although the use of the buildings has changed over the years, these relics remind us of our past. The “Rec” Hall has a stage, piano and a sound system for camp dances and rainy day activities. The arts building is where our arts-and-crafts, art on fire, drumming, and guitar classes meet. The director’s house is where Scott, our director, his wife Holly and their children, Bryce & Brooke, live year round.
Our camp houses ten modern cabins. There is a boys’ side of camp and a girls’ side, each with five cabins. Our fully air-conditioned dining hall seats 210 people and has a well-equipped kitchen. Our centrally located clinic is staffed by a nurse for all camper health needs. Pavilions dot the landscape at camp; these covered areas have picnic tables, ceiling fans and lights.
What’s up the hill? Our outdoor archery range, ropes course, mountain biking, arts-and-crafts, field sports, court sports and “Hot Dog Heights”, the primitive camp where our Adventure campers start out their week and our Camp-Craft class enjoys the outdoors.
What’s down the hill? Water skiing, water sports, canoe and kayak, skin-diving, standup paddle boarding, sailing and the “Rec” Hall, where all camp dances are held.