Camp House was the dream of the County camping team, but it was Mrs Shafto, Rosa Edith Marguarite Duncombe Shafto (descendant of the famous seafarer Bobby Shaftoe) who made it a reality by leasing us the land on which it now stands, for a nominal rent.
The house was opened on 3rd April 1965 by Mrs Shafto’s grandson Robert. It rapidly became an important feature of Girlguiding in the County with its facilities for day and residential trainings, conferences and meetings as well as its role as a holiday house for the girls.
In April of 2007, the freehold of the house and surrounding Church Wood,a bluebell wood, was purchased.
The woodland had been untouched for over 40 years but our supporters, adult volunteers, and girls have done much to make the woodland safe, having dangerous trees removed, felling Spruce and replanting 423 native trees. We now have a woodland management plan in place to ensure the development of the woodland and habitat of the wildlife i.e. squirrels, rabbits, owls, wild deer and badgers.
In November 2011, the ‘Shafto Trustees’ gifted to us the remaining land that was leased for a nominal rent, (the field downhill from Camp House).
Durham Camp House is owned by Durham North and Durham South Girlguiding and is run by a joint management committee from both Counties.