There was a girl who grew up on the streets of Philadelphia and yet managed to spend all of her free time in a tree that her family was fortunate enough to have on their lawn. From that tree grew a love for nature that made her different from her city counterparts. When she received a brochure at 9 years old she was shown a world she belonged in. A world that had life, nature, and fun intertwined.
This was the world of summer camp. At summer camp this girl was able to explore, not just one tree, but acres of land. She was able to become friends with people who didn’t look or act anything like herself. They were people from different economic, racial and religious backgrounds. It taught her that the only thing that matters is how you treat other people. The positive experiences that she had with nature and those people shaped the person she was becoming in such a way that she returned to that camp until she was 18.
Sadly, after the summer of 2005, the summer camp she had grown to love was sold to another owner. This meant that all of her friends and people who had become like family to her were forced to give up their little piece of heaven. This broke the girl’s heart, but it also started a dream. A dream that one day she would be able to give the experiences she had as a camper to other children.
Camp Jamison believes that summer camp changes lives!
We believe that every child should get to experience sleeping in a cabin, hiking through the woods, and roasting marshmallows with friends.
This dream was put on the back burner of her mind as she went through college. Then as she was trying to finish up her last few credits she met a professor who inspired her to bring that idea to life. She told him that it was just a silly idea that she couldn’t really make happen and he asked, “why not?”
This simple question led the girl to begin her quest of creating a summer camp. A camp that would give children access to the same experience she had as a child. She started by writing an editorial and naming her dream, “Camp Jamison.” Jamison was the name of the town that her camp had once been located, so she believed that it was a way to help keep that legacy alive. When her editorial was published the support of her community was overwhelming. Many people agreed with this girl’s belief that our children needed to experience nature and interact with people different than themselves. She began to form a Board of Directors and advisers that eventually led her to the creation of the Camp Jamison Corporation in October of 2009. In June of 2010 they were granted tax exempt status from the IRS.
This once far off dream is now a reality as Camp Jamison plans for their 12th summer of camp!