Thanksgiving Take Out!

OverPage-0 20

Make Holiday Meal Prep Easier - Order From The Don Lee Kitchen!

This Thanksgiving we are offering a very special Sunday Dinner opportunity - three of our favorite Camp Don Lee 'sides' will be available to take home, just in time for your Thanksgiving lunch or dinner!

Available For Pre-Order:
-Macaroni & Cheese (9-inch pan, $10.00)
-Collards (1 quart, $12.00)
-Shrimp Bisque (1 quart, $12.00)

All orders will be pre-order and pre-pay only, with quantities limited to 300 total units sold, so please place your order early. Products will be refrigerated and can be frozen with heating directions on the label.

PICK-UP IS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd BETWEEN 8:00am and 10:00am

All proceeds benefit Camperships at Camp Don Lee. This need-based fund provides financial aid so every child can have the opportunity to experience our Summer Camp ministry.


Or, contact Missy at 252.249.1106, ext. 21 to place your order.


First Sail Experience at Camp Don Lee!

Amy and Elizaa 2

Public Service Announcement/Press Release

Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center will offer US Sailing’s First Sail experience on Wednesdays during September and October.

The First Sail Experience is a two-hour lesson offered to anyone. The unique opportunity offers beginners an introduction to sailing in a casual setting and is designed to provide a memorable experience that will motivate newcomers to continue sailing.

Don Lee will offer the experience on these days:

September 16, September 23, September 30, October 7, October 14, October 21, October 28

from 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Rain dates each week are Thursdays. All equipment, including lifejackets, is provided to participants.

Registration is from September 16, 2020 to October 21, 2020. Cost is $25.00 for adults, $15.00 for children. Registration is limited to 12 people each week. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.


Participants will get out on the water with an instructor in a sailboat provided by Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center. The First Sail Experience features basic hands-on learning on board a sailboat covering topics such as: how a sail works, parts of the sailboat, points of sail, and important safety guidelines.

Additionally, all First Sail participants will have access to chapter one of Basic Keelboat Online, a US Sailing online training course designed to prepare beginners for their first time on the water.

First Sail is a nationwide initiative developed by US Sailing to educate the public on the benefits of sailing as a fun and exciting recreational activity for people of all ages and abilities, and to connect them with opportunities to get involved.

Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center has offered residential summer camp and group retreats year round for more than 70 years. It is located on the Neuse River estuary at 315 Camp Don Lee Road, Arapahoe, NC, about 40 minutes from New Bern and easily accessible by the Cherry Branch Ferry for Carteret and Craven county residents. For more information, call 252.249.1106, ext. 21 or 31 or email


Camp Don Lee Summer 2020 – Theme Weeks!

Camp Don Lee Summer 2020 season is here! To help you prepare your camper for each session check out the recreational Theme Weeks below.

We will have fun activities centered around each week so send your camper with clothing items or costumes that will fit the fun theme! (no toy guns/weapons please)

✓ Week 2 (June 14 - 20): Cowboys v. Aliens

✓ Week 3 (June 21 - 27): Superheroes

✓ Week 4 (June 28 - July 3): America

✓ Week 5 (July 5 - 11): Pirates of the Neuse

✓ Week 6 (July 12 - 18): Safari

✓ Week 7 (July 19 - 25): Christmas In July

✓ Week 8 (July 26 - August 1): Space

✓ Week 9 (August 2 - 8): Wild Wild West

Summer Camp 2020 Special Message

OverProject 24

Special Family Preparations for Summer 2020

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we prepare for camp.  At Don Lee our top priority is the health and safety of our campers and staff. We want to make sure we are following the guidelines set forth by the American Camp Association (ACA) and their partnered organization, Environmental Health & Engineering Inc. (EH&A), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and our state and local government and health officials.  In order to achieve this, we need your help. Below is a chart that lays out what we need families to do in order to keep camp safe this summer.

Camp Don Lee - COVID-19 - Family Preparations
Now: If you have a child at a higher-risk of severe illness:

  • Speak with your child’s medical provider to assess their risk - Higher risk individuals as defined by the CDC: CLICK HERE
Two weeks before camper arrives at camp:
  • Monitor your camper’s health daily including symptoms and temperatures
  • CLICK HERE for the 14 Day Pre-Camp Health Screening Form. Bring this completed form to camp on opening day
  • Limit trips to highly populated areas
  • Practice social distancing, mask wearing, and wash hands frequently
When it’s time to pack: General camp packing list can be found HERE

  • Pack your campers items in under the bed storage bins (see here) and other easy to carry containers that can be wiped down
  • Pack two sets of bedding (in addition to sleeping bags)
  • Pack at least two face coverings (masks)
  • Pack all toiletries in a caddy or container (example here)
Upon arrival: 
  • Wait to arrive at camp until it is your designated check-in time
  • Stay in your vehicle and camp staff will check your family in
  • Participate in more detailed initial camper health screenings
  • Turn in the two week pre-screening form
  • Campers will place and keep their items only in designated area in their cabin
  • Be available to answer phone calls from camp

Camp Don Lee COVID-19 Procedures 

Camp Don Lee will follow the Field Guide for Camps set forth by the American Camp Association (ACA) and their partner organization, Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&A.). This guide uses the protocols outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO.)  We are also in communication with our state and local government and health officials. As always, our highest priority is the health and safety of our campers and staff. Healthy campers are Happy Campers! 

Here are some of the new things we’ll be doing this summer to help prevent the spread of germs at camp:

  • Bathhouses will be cleaned multiple times a day
  • Cabins and buildings will be cleaned by trained adult staff members 
  • Cleaning products used will be those recommended by the EPA
    • The recommended amounts of cleaning supplies and PPE for the number of staff and campers that will be present this summer have been ordered
  • Posters and signage will be in all bath houses and buildings as friendly daily reminders for campers and staff
  • Don Lee has always practiced small group camping and will continue to do so
    • As recommended by ACA and EH&E there will be only 1 small group in each cabin
    • Each of these small groups will travel and participate in activities together and not with another group
    • Campers will participate in activities outside as much as possible and campers and staff will be required to use face coverings when indoors as necessary
  • Campers and staff will bring appropriate face covers to camp and Camp Don Lee will provide additional face covers
  • Staff will lead small group demonstrations on the best practices to prevent spread (hand-washing and sanitizing, social distancing, coughing etiquette and camps COVID-19 policies) 
  • Campers will undergo daily screening to check temperatures and symptoms presented due to any illness 
    • A separate medical building has been set aside for any campers or staff who exhibit any symptoms of illness
  • Assigned Drop-off and Pick-up times for each camper (scheduled by Don Lee staff)

For further questions or information please explore the following links:

COVID-19 Info


Coronavirus Update 05-23-2020

OverProject 11

Dear Don Lee Families,

We are thrilled the NC Governor has ordered the start of Phase II of the reopening of the state, which includes day and overnight camps. Our minds are focused on options for Summer Camp as we review the guidance from the CDC, the American Camp Association and other expert recommendations to determine our best way forward for the summer.

We also know that camp is on your mind, and we cannot thank you enough for all the support. While some families have already informed us they cannot be at camp this summer due to health concerns or financial reasons, the vast majority of families still have registrations with us. We appreciate you waiting with us.

While we are finalizing our plans and will be sharing them with you soon, I want to give you an update. Here are some things we do know and want you to consider. Camp will be different this summer, but we are committed to offering a variety of camp experiences to as many campers as possible. We intend to offer the traditional Don Lee experience - sailing, swimming, faith formation, friendships and more - but with modifications needed due to COVID-19. Here are a few items we want to share so you can begin thinking more about summer and discussing it with your camper:

  • There will be increased cleaning procedures prior to camp and daily at camp completed by staff, not campers. Campers and staff will be required to wash their hands many times daily and use hand sanitizer frequently at the various program areas.
  • We will do as many activities outdoors as possible, so increased sun and insect protection will be suggested, including sun protective clothing, insect repellent and rain gear. Campers and staff will wear masks on the rare occasions we have to be indoors for extended periods of time, except when sleeping.
  • As many of you know, Don Lee provides a small group camp experience and has for more than 70 years. Campers will be required to stay with their group at all times and social distance from other camper groups at camp.
  • Parents will need to agree to and be available to pick up their camper from camp should they run a fever or display symptoms of any illness. As in past summers, we will have an RN or physician on site and have adequate resources to safely isolate a symptomatic camper or staff member and appropriate PPE for our staff. We will share more details on our procedures soon.
As a reminder, final payments are not due until June 7th. This has been a very challenging time for all of us and we ask for your continued patience and grace as we work to respond to questions, answer emails and phone calls, and issue refunds. We are a small full-time staff handling more than 1,000 camper families registered this summer. We have more seasonal help arriving in the coming weeks and our response times will improve.
We expect to share more definitive plans with all of you sometime next week. We know that, especially in these times of uncertainty and exhilaration, we can offer camp, Jesus walks with us. Join us in our joyfulness that we have opportunities to provide our ministry this summer.

Grace and Peace,

Kate Cooper Metts, Director
Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center

He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.
-Deuteronomy 31:8