Camp Verley





Camp Verley is one of the essential feature points of the Spring Garden area. It is owned and operated by the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Jamaica and is primarily used as their national campsite. It comes alive each year during the summer as various Adventist youth from across the island gather together for camp activities. The property was originally owned by Mr. Clyde Verley and was donated by him to the church through Mr. Balfour Hurst who at one time, worked for Mr. Verley and was also said to have been an Adventist. As a result, the camp site was subsequently named after Mr. Verley. It is not clear who owned the property prior to the Verleys but ongoing research may reveal this.

It is also said that Mr. Hurst had Jewish roots but became a member of the Christian religion at some point and subsequently an Adventist. As the years ensued he saw it a fitting legacy and therefore donated the property for the benefit of the church. Today, the auditorium named the “Balfour Hurst auditorium” in his honor.


The property, in addition to being a campsite, is also home to the legendary Spring Garden Bath which is sourced from a natural spring and was originally the residence of Mr. Vincent Verley (Clyde’s father). The area had a guest house which was frequented by visitors of the Verleys, and in its time, was a location for many of their social activities. The house (now destroyed) was a large brick and wood structure and some of its remains are still present. The property originally had features of a botanical garden as seen by the many surviving species of exotic vegetation still there today.


Spring village was previously named Pot House Pen but was later changed by the Verleys, who in their own “British” way, wanted the village to have a more refined name. In fact, it is because of Spring Garden why the Village got its current name.




The Camp Grounds


The grounds of Camp Verley are lush with vegetation and have many features including the auditorium, dorms, pool and other camp related facilities.


The Auditorium is a large open steel frame with one end enclosed as a back drop. It is used mainly to congregate or host special indoor activities. The building was started over fifteen years ago with a smaller structure but has been enlarged over the years. There are over 10 double dorms on the property and these are used by the different campers which attend. The sessions are grouped according to the various ages and normally last for about one week.


To add the ambience of the grounds, a water tower was built within the last few years to add to the charm of the area. It is located on the right side of the property on entering and is opposite to the auditorium. Its presence helps to bring balance to the property and therefore becomes an appropriate addition for the open space which was bare for so many years.


The tower is about 12 feet high and about 10 feet in diameter at the base. It is mainly constructed with concrete and stone and is crowned with decorative concrete blocks at the top rim. It runs constantly and provides another option for cooling off on excessively hot days.

The main feature is of course is the pool, often referred to by locals as “Bath”. It constantly draws visitors to the area and is always the sight of much frolicking.


Besides the facilities of the main area, the mango trees around the campus and deeper within the nearby woods are constantly visited by campers. These host a reasonable variety of mangoes like Stringy, Blackie, Number 11 and other juicy components of the forest. Besides mango trees, the young visitors would also pass several Guineppe trees heavily weighed down with their tantalizing offerings. Just the mere sight of these, becons a resounding “mmmmmm!” from deep within.


In addition to fruit trees, visitors frequently encounter various birds and other small wildlife within the area. At times, many doves and other small birds can be seen sailing through the trees. It is also not unusual to see a mongoose or other small rodents within these woods.




The Pool

As noted, one cannot enjoy the full experience of Camp Verley without taking timeout to sample the refreshing waters of the pool. From the picture above, it as a favorite spot for the many young visitors as they enjoy its waters. Set in the backdrop of immense greenery, the pool is the star attraction of the property. It not only defines the area but is an integral part of its history. The waters flow from a natural spring, which throughout the years, was the chief source of water for domestic and irrigation for Spring Village.

The water from the pool now runs off into the Innswood Sugar plantation located within its vicinity, but further up, it still flows to the village through large pipes as was done for many generations.


The pool, set in a lush backdrop is surrounded by various trees such as Mango, Breadfruit and other various fruits including banana and sugar cane. It is also prominently graced by two large palms of which are vestiges of its past.


As seen, a huge tree, which became a casualty from a recent storm fell along the far side of the pool. It narrowly missed it but serves as a reminder for us not to take such beauty for granted.


The campgrounds of Camp Verly is one which leaves its visitors with lasting memories and for every visit, it beckons their return, if not in the near future, then somewhere in their dreams.






Information for further reading:

Spring Village Seventh Day Adventist Church

Thetford Great House          National Heritage Trust web site

The Verley Family Tree        Family Tree Website 

Search for Family Names      Jamaica Family search site

Search for Old Almanacs      Jamaica Almanacs search site

Jamaica Sugar Estates 1900’s, Resources

Property owners in 1800’s    Bromfeild family Research Site

Genealogy Research            Bromfeild family Research Site



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