Camp Frances is named in honor of Frances Moore Hasemeier Gates for her unwavering efforts to create a camp for girls. Mrs. Gates led the fundraising that permitted the construction of the first camp building. Although it was subsequently destroyed by a fire, a more modern facility was built on the same site. The cabin features a full kitchen, meeting area, fireplace and indoor restroom.
Although the City leased the land upon which the Camp Frances cabin is built, City ordinance prevented expending any public funds on the site. The board of directors of the Charlotte Recreation Camp, as with many small nonprofit groups, faced the ongoing challenge of raising funds for the upkeep of the facility.
In late 2008, a process was set in motion that would result in the creation of a municipal nonprofit corporation as a successor to the Charlotte Recreation Camp. This nonprofit, the Camp Frances Educational and Recreational Center, was established by the Charlotte City Council and the former nonprofit was dissolved, turning its assets over the new organization. In order to provide for a smooth transition, many of the directors were appointed to the new board.
The Camp Frances Educational and Recreational Center provides a high quality, safe and secure facility for environmental education and recreation programs and activities. The facility serves to enrich the quality of life for all residents and visitors to Bennett Park.