CAMP SANGAMON

Camp Community

Our community is made up of 90 campers, 45 staff, and 30 counselors-in-training. We represent a diverse group of races, nationalities, religions, and economic backgrounds. In a typical year we come from at least twenty states and ten countries. Camper ages range from 9 to 15 years. We live in cabin groups of eight to ten campers, and three staff leaders. The staff are often joined by an Intern, the term we use for the third year of our counselor-in-training program.

Food is important, and ours is good. We grow some of our own, and buy quality meats and produce, organic when we can. Most meals are cooked from scratch, and we offer a full vegetarian option every meal.

Sangamon is built on a picturesque Vermont hill farm. We own 200 acres of sunny pastures and cool woods, and swim happily in our spring-fed 20-acre lake. The heart of the camp is a renovated early 19th century farmhouse which houses the dining room, kitchen, and camp office and a nearby barn of similar vintage that houses our woodshop. Campers live in simple pine board cabins with fieldstone fireplaces, without electricity but with modern portable LED lanterns as a concession to the times.

CAMP WITH THE PIONEER SPIRIT

Philosophy

Sangamon believes in the basic good sense and intelligence of children. We believe that if we create a safe, interesting environment for them our campers will learn to make good decisions. Our goal is to build that environment, couple it with a strong sense of community and kindness, and let the children choose their own individual adventure. They are in charge of their lives to an unusual extent, making decisions about where they will go, what they will do, and who they will do it with. Most children thrive with us, and when asked what they love most about Sangamon, the first thing many campers answer is: “I get to choose for myself!”

The camp with pioneer spirit

Our pioneer heritage is all around us: in the buildings that we build ourselves, at the small farm and garden that we work, in the pastures and woods where we live, learn, and play. Like the pioneers, we learn to cooperate with the natural world, and use the tools available to us to live in unison with our environment.

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. Our bonds go beyond each summer, though, and the friendships forged at camp are lifelong for most of us.

We believe in the essential equality of all persons. We recognize that working to eliminate gender, racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination is an ongoing process, and we are committed to it. We advocate and teach negotiation and compromise amidst a culture and tradition of kindness, acceptance, and non-violence.

We continue the in the belief of our 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.”

Every Day Is Difference

A Day at Sangamon

  • 7:50am

    Wake-up, optional dip at the lake, help cook breakfast
  • 8:30am

    Breakfast, morning chores, cabin clean-up
  • 9:45am & 10:45am

    Instructional activities and trip program
  • 11:15am

    Short free swim; instructional activities continue
  • 11:45am

    Free time, Competitive Tournaments
  • 12:15pm -

    Lunch
  • 1:30pm

    Rest hour: rest, read, quiet games at the cabin
  • 2:30pm - 4:30pm

    Instructional activities and trip program
  • 3:45pm

    Long free swim, soccer instruction at the field, activities continue
  • 4:30pm

    Free time, “Anyone plays” soccer game, Competitive Tournaments
  • 5:30pm

    Supper
  • 6:30pm

    Evening program: pick-up team sports, crafts, quiet games, special events & all-camp games, Competitive Tournaments
  • Bedtime

    (time varies by age) - reading aloud, stories by firelight

BENEFITS


Your son will benefit from our program in several ways. The most obvious one is that children who are given this kind of opportunity to make their own choices become good at deciding. When they need to decide, they no longer hesitate or wait to be told what to do. They consider the possibilities, make up their minds, and then act. Underlying this new found decision-making ability is a sense the boys gain of themselves as individuals. Since campers are deciding for themselves, each one quickly outgrows dependence on peers and adults. Finally, your son will develop a high degree of confidence in his own abilities. Campers achieve a good level of success in their self-selected program simply because they are always doing things they have chosen to do. Once they’ve gained confidence, they branch out and diversify. We observe that if campers aren’t threatened with being locked into things they dislike doing, they begin to regain interest in trying new things.

The Vermont Campership Fund

Camp Sangamon works with the Vermont Campership Fund, formerly known as the General Breed Fund. It is a camp scholarship (Campership in their parlance) fund established in 1970 to help children with limited economic resources attend summer camps in Vermont.

Camp Sangamon believes that a camp experience should be within the reach of all children, and is committed to using tuition discounts and funds from the VCF to help underprivileged children of all ages, races, creeds, religions, and national origins to attend camp. The Vermont Campership Fund is a 501(c)3 organization. Please keep in mind that many employers offer to match donations to non-profits and explore that possibility on behalf of the kids who’ll benefit!

To make a 100% tax deductible donation, please visit them on the web at http://vtcampership.org.

Other Donations

Camp Sangamon has found that every donation matters, and that many of you are interested in making non-deductible donations. Donations can be made via Paypal or Venmo. Simply click on the button below that suits your donation preference.

Alumni

Camp Sangamon has a vibrant and enthusiastic alumni component to our community, made up of both former campers and former leaders. If you are interested in joining one of our social media groups or hearing more about alumni opportunities, please contact Jed Byrom at jed@campsangamon.com. Please note that all those wishing to visit camp should be in touch with Jed prior to arrival.