Sangamon believes in the basic good sense and intelligence of children. We believe they can make good decisions if we create a safe, interesting environment for them to decide in. So we create that environment and turn them loose in it. They are in charge of their lives to an unusual extent, making decisions about where they will go, what they will do, and what they will do next. No surprise to us, they do wonderfully. When asked what they love about Sangamon, the first thing most campers answer is: “I get to choose for myself!”
The camp with pioneer spirit
Our pioneer heritage is all around us: in the buildings we build ourselves, at the small farmstead we work, in the pastures and woods we live, learn, and play in. Like the pioneers, we learn to cooperate with the natural world.
We are an intentional community of people who gather each summer to share the wonders of the outdoors, to teach each other new skills, and to celebrate each other’s achievements.
We believe in the essential equality of all persons. We are working to eliminate gender, racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination. We advocate and teach negotiation, compromise, and a tradition of non-violence.
We continue the belief of the founders, that a boy ought to be able: “to learn, as the pioneer did, that everyone must do some work to provide for his keep, to take good care of what things he possesses, to make merriment with what he has at hand, to feel the power of the sunshine, to enjoy the day’s fun and to sleep, oh so soundly, at night.”