Camp Good News
165 Camp Good News Rd, Charlestown
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With a long history of great memories dating back to the 1950's, Camp Good News was an active summer camp until 2016. Under current ownership since 1961, the camp consists of 151.88 acres, with land and improvements on the easterly and westerly sides of its quiet gravel road. As a matter of reference, Bascom’s Maple Farms, Inc. owns a good amount of the abutting land, its thousands of maples tapped. The Bascom family farm encompasses over 2,200 local acres they have been producing maple syrup since 1853. Over seven generations the farm has grown to include large maple groves, a major dairy, and other agricultural operations
The majority of the structures at Camp Good News are seasonal and are clustered in areas closest to the quiet lane to access water and sewage disposal systems. Life at camp is centered around the outdoors with recreational activities including two pools, one gunite and the other a 75’ x 150’, 12’ deep “natural” pool fed by a fresh stream. Other activities include a zip line, ropes course, archery, soccer field and a wilderness camp for those back-to-nature campers. Horseback riding was introduced in the late 1990s and was a hit out of the gate!
In an effort to show the camp’s features, the major buildings will be described here along with links to maps and layouts to give you grasp on the features. Keep in mind that the majority of the buildings are not heated so the ones that are will say so.
Dining Hall/Lodge (shown above)
This wonderful historic barn was “built” somewhere around 1950 but the post and beam building with original hand hewn beams was a former dairy barn dating back to about 1838. It was rebuilt for the camp as a dining and recreation hall with a shop, post office and bank on the lower level and a camp kitchen built at the rear. The building has board and batten siding and standing seam roof was installed in 2006. The interior of the dining hall, which seats 196, is mainly open with ceiling fans, a few built-in cabinets and a big, functioning fieldstone fireplace which is the only source of heat. The floors and walls are wood and the ceiling is acoustic tile. The full-service commercial kitchen has a 12 burner gas range, grill and griddle, refrigerators, cooler, freezers, cabinetry, and shelving that convey with the property. An 8’ garage door at dock height makes it convenient to receive deliveries. The kitchen has painted wood floors, painted concrete block walls and is open to the roof. There is a half bath located in the silo. The lower level of the barn is made up of a game room, office, storage, and utility room. The floors are concrete and there is minimal finish.
The midsection of the lower level of this structure was dug out in 2003/2004 and poured concrete floors were added. Under the kitchen is crawl space with a dirt floor and concrete block walls. The utility room has electric heat to keep the water lines from freezing.
The farmhouse built in 1845 and is, no doubt, the original building to the property. In 1940 it was modernized and an addition was added on the rear. More recently, the basement walls are now concrete and the wiring has been updated. The first floor has two offices, living room, dining room, kitchen and three-quarter bath. At the rear of the building there are two small rooms that were used as an infirmary for the camp. The second floor consists of four bedrooms, a laundry and an updated three-quarter bath. Presently, heat is supplied by a wood stove located in the basement.
The ground level of this 1994 building is two-bay garage, currently used as a maintenance shop. There is a small office down here as well. Upstairs is a very nice 2 bedroom residential, perhaps for a caretaker and family. The roof on this building is metal and was replaced in 2017. There’s a big kitchen with ceramic tile floors, nice living room, two bedrooms with wood floors and a full bath with ceramic tile floor and tub surround. Heat is supplied by a two-zone propane forced hot air heating system. There is also a woodstove hookup in the ground level office.
Originally used as an office and in nice condition, in 2016 the building was converted into three separate, insulated housing units, each with a private bath. The roof is a rolled composite and the exterior walls are vertical siding. The three three-fixture baths are new with vinyl flooring and tongue and groove walls. A propane furnace is here but not hooked up.
Camp Staff Cabins
Two cabins were built in 2011 and 2012. They were built on piers, the siding is T-111 and the roof is metal. The interior is open to the walls and roof. They have electricity and water with each cabin having a half bath.
There are fourteen sleeping cabins of various styles, age and condition. All of the seasonal cabins are built on piers and have electricity with many having 8-10 beds. Three of the newer cabins were built in 2014 and 2015 and have metal roofs and T-111 siding. The interior is open to the wall and roof studs. Floors are plywood.
Town records indicate the Fellowship Hall or chapel was built in 1969. This building was rehabbed about twenty years ago, the building was insulated in 2002/2003 and the metal roof was replaced in 2015 and the windows are newer. The floor is poured concrete, the walls are masonry with the exterior walls stained board and batten. The interior is mainly open to the ceiling with two finished storage rooms. Heat ducts are in place but there is no furnace.
This building was built in 1950 per the tax card. It is built on a concrete slab, the exterior walls are wood siding and the roof is metal. The interior is open space to the wall and roof studs. It has electricity and water. No heat.
This is a former garage that has been converted to store use for the camp. The wood-frame structure was built on a concrete slab. The roof is metal and the exterior is wood siding. It has electricity.
The 10 stall horse barn, with water and electricity, was built in 1997. The roof is metal and the siding is batten on board. There are feed and tack rooms and a full loft up. A 4-acre paddock that opens to the barn was cleared in 2014. From here there is access to over 19 miles of trails. Two schooling rings sit near the barn.
A variety of uses is possible for Camp Good News and thinking out of the box might be the way to create the next outdoor adventure craze or perhaps your organization is looking for a retreat center for employees or another church camp for children. What about a trail riding, back-to-nature AirBnB?
Access to the camp…
Good News Camp Rd is via two-lane state roads, local paved roads and finally, a gravel road into the campground’s land. Routes 10 & 12 further connect to I-91 in Vermont, accessed by the Cheshire Toll Bridge in the center of Charlestown. Massachusetts can be accessed via Route 63 off Route 12 in Westmoreland. Local airports that service the area are located in Claremont, Swanzey and Jaffrey. Commercial service is found in Lebanon and Manchester, New Hampshire. It is about 12 minutes into Charlestown, a community of 5,000+ residents and the college town of Keene if approximately 40 minutes away to the south. To the north, Claremont and Newport are within 30 minutes.
Trail System Buildings Tax Map