Get Outside. Grow Inside.
Mission and History
If you want to learn more about us, you’re in the right place.
Jameson Camp History
Beginning as a “fresh air” camp in 1928, Jameson
Camp has a rich history of serving children. From our first decades when
“frail” boys and girls learned about good nutrition to our present
focus on children’s social, behavioral and emotional challenges, our
commitment has been unchanging: making a difference in the lives of boys
and girls and equipping them for productive, responsible lives.
Responding to a nation-wide concern for children’s health and the
fear of TB in the 1920s, Indianapolis leaders and health care workers
envisioned a “fresh air” camp. In 1928 the Tuberculosis Association
Fresh Air Camp served its first 50 children. Julia Jameson was the main
proponent of the camp and because of her endless passion for the camp,
upon her death in 1935, the camp was renamed Julia Jameson Nutrition
Camp for Frail Children.
In 1969, the camp separated from the American Lung Association and
became an independent nonprofit organization. The organization
maintained its focus on serving disadvantaged children and wellness but
began to expand its programming to put a greater emphasis on character
In 1985 the camp officially changed its name to Jameson, Inc. From
1986 to this day, the camp began offering a year round Youth Leadership
program for older campers. This program has proven to be a
transformational for many of the teens who have participated in the
In the early 1990’s we launched our special summer camp session,
Tataya Mato, for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. To this day it remains
the only residential camp available to these special children in
In the early 2000’s we began offering high and low-ropes Challenge
Course to youth and corporate groups as a means for developing trust and
team building within a group. And in the past ten years, the
Environmental Education program was launched and has proven hugely
popular with school groups and others.
True to its origins, Jameson continues to serve children with health
needs. Responding to an increasing concern for childhood obesity and
wellness, we launched a Wellness Camp in 2006, a creative program that
utilizes camp to teach healthy choices in fitness and nutrition. Also in
2006, we replaced our original headquarters with a beautiful new dining
hall, main office, lodge, health center, and a nature and arts and
crafts center. In addition to providing enhanced program facilities,
these buildings provide new opportunities for facility rental, with all
the proceeds benefiting the youth we serve.
Jameson’s 130 acres of meadows, woods and streams are a sanctuary and
outdoor classroom in the midst of the city. Our Environmental Education
program assists over 5,000 school children each year in learning about
nature and the environment in a natural setting, meeting state science
standards while experiencing a ‘taste of camp’.
More recently, in 2014, Jameson Camp expanded our Youth Leadership
program for teens by adding a 1:1 mentoring component. We also began
serving younger children by beginning a Day Camp program over the
The last twenty years has seen Jameson Camp continue to evolve to
meet the needs of kids and families in the Indianapolis area. Grateful
for our heritage and excited about our future, we are committed to being
the best camp and community partner possible. We will continue to
evaluate and enhance our programming so that children will have a great
and enriching experience.
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