Burry Heights camp and Retreat center is owned and operated by the East District, Newfoundland and Labrador Conference, United Church of Canada.
Burry Heights began as the work and vision of one person - Dr. Stella Burry. Over the years, others have taken on her vision as their own so that today there are many people who work together in order to create a camping and retreat center that runs smoothly and fulfills its intended purpose. The members of the Board of Directors dedicate many hours to the camp's mission as it takes months of planning and preperation to make a week of camping a memorable one.
A Brief History
Stella Burry dedicated her life to the work of the church. She was born in 1897 in Greenspond - a small commuinity on Newfoundland's northeast coast. As a child, Stella was greatly influenced by the missionaries that visited her hometown and after a few years of teaching, she decided to go to the Methodist National Training School in Toronto in order to become a deaconess. She majored in social work and studied counselling and children's needs. Eventually she answered the call for a "woman social worker" and moved back to Newfoundland where she is still remembered for her tireless dedication to women and children in need. To many children, Stella's biggest contribution may be the establishment of summer camps, beginning with a summer school camp in Western Bay called Jackson-Walsh Memorial Camp. Stella put great effort into such camps and later obtained a permit to establish a permanent campground at Shoe Cove, near St. John's. This was the original Burry Heights. The camp remained here for 30 years unil it was finally decided that a larger site was necessary to accomodate all of the children that wished to attend. It was decided that a location west of St. John's would best serve the camp.
The present site is located on the Salmonier Line (Route 90) off the Trans Canada Highway. Built in 1981, it was officially opened in 1982 and many changes have occured since this time. It has expanded from one building to include an adjacent building with additional units and outdoor recreational areas. Today, many children (and adults) return each year to have fun and simply enjoy the experience of being at Burry Heights.