Throughout the 1940s Baptist children and youth in northwestern Pennsylvania who wished to have a experience Christian camping would either attend a non-denominational camp like Camp Caledon near Erie, or drive to Camp Corbly, the Baptist camp in Clearfield County.
In 1948 Baptist pastors and laymen from the Oil Creek and French Creek Baptist Associations formed a committee to locate and establish a camp in Erie or Crawford County. The committee visited many potential sites, and explored nearly every suitable tract of along the lake shore between Erie and the Ohio state line.
The only building on the 100 acre parcel that became Camp Judson was the lodge, which had been built in 1910 as a hotel and which over the years had fallen into great disrepair. A neighboring farmer had several feet of grain stored in the building.
The asking price for the property was $20,000. Without any funds the committee prayed for guidance and sought advice from two prominent businessmen, Mr. E. H. Mack of Erie’s Boston Store, and Mr. L.D. Shreve, a Union City banker. The two men donated the entire purchase price.
Dedication of the new camp was held on September 11, 1949. Throughout that fall and the spring of 1950 hundreds of volunteer hours were spent preparing for the first camping season.
Throughout the years since then as the facilities and programs have developed, and as ministry opportunities have flourished, the prayers, labor, and support of Christians in northwestern Pennsylvania have maintained Camp Judson as a place where children, youth, and adults can come to meet Jesus Christ, to gain a new vision of what He can mean in their lives, and to fellowship with friends new and old.