For almost 90 years, Jameson Camp has been impacting the lives of young people through our award winning camp experience, designed to develop self-respect and confidence, and respect for others and the world around us.
Our programs serve a common purpose: to “Get Outside and Grow Inside.” Each year we touch the lives of over 7,000 students and campers in a meaningful and lasting way. We rely on community support and facility rentals to help children – who normally would not have the ability to attend camp – to have the opportunity to do so. We believe every child deserves to go to summer camp, and we’re dedicated to making sure every parent can afford it.
To enrich the lives of Indiana youth by inspiring them to discover their strengths.
Get Outside. Grow Inside.
Every child should have the opportunity to develop the internal strength to navigate life’s complexities. We will create an emotionally safe place for children to engage in the self-discovery necessary to identify their inner strengths. We will strive to be a resource to children and their families to assist in the development of life skills necessary for successful, productive futures. We will endeavor to teach appreciation and respect for self and others and nature.
“I just wanted to let you know we had a FABULOUS time at camp! All of the kids LOVED it and the parents and teachers were SO impressed. We will definitely be coming back!”
– 4th grade teacher, Eastbrook Elementary
“Three of my students began to cry when you said, ‘Let’s walk into the forest.’ They do not understand that term, except what they have seen from TV/movies. They were afraid. My students, who literally live RIGHT down the street, made comments like, ‘Thank you for letting us see trails in the woods. I’ve never seen that before.'”
– 2nd grade teacher, Garden City Elementary
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. (READ MORE/LESS)
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 development.
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 program.
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 Indiana.
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 summer.
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.