Summer camp scholarship honors Nath Thompson’s leadership, character

In 1946, Nath Thompson got his first summer camp job. There was a nationwide gas shortage, so he set out on his 50-pound single-speed bike and rode 235 miles from Thomaston, Georgia to the mountains of Western North Carolina. With 55 cents in his pocket, he rode for five days. This adventure began his lifelong career and passion for summer camping.

Mary and Nath Thompson

It is his determination and love of camp that has been so important to his family, Camp Carolina, and the larger camp community. 

There have been many changes since Thompson’s first summer at camp, but Camp Carolina still has one defining mission — to be a valuable factor in a boy’s complete development.

Thompson’s family founded the Nath Thompson Scholarship Endowment in honor of this history and of Thompson’s great leadership. Recipients are hand-selected by a board based on their “True Gentleman” character. Thompson’s family hopes all boys who come through this program return home stronger in body, keener in mind, more appreciative of nature, nobler in character and more confident in themselves.

The Thompson family

Alfred Thompson, Nath’s son, has been the owner and director of Camp Carolina since 1993. He lives on the property with his wife, Mary Eccles, who has been the office manager since 2007. Their children, Bren and Alfred Jr., grew up at camp and are now camp directors, working alongside spouses, Emily and Alex, who serve as accountant/bookkeeper and head of maintenance. 

The Thompson family has more than 100 years of combined experience running a private summer camp and carries on Thompson’s love of Camp Carolina. In 2024 the camp will celebrate its centennial year.