The History of Jameson Camp

For almost 100 years, Jameson Camp has provided thousands of young people with a safe place to grow, make friends, and explore.

Thanks to the investment of the community, the camp continues to be a place where children and teens have the support they need to develop leadership skills for success today and tomorrow.

Julia Jameson

Julia Graydon Jameson

 Born in Indianapolis in 1870, Julia Jameson served as secretary to the Camp Committee of the Marion County Tuberculosis Association from 1928 until her death in 1935.

She worked diligently to stimulate the interest of individuals and organizations within the community to secure contributions for the Building Fund. Her efforts, and those of others, resulted in an anonymous gift of $50,000 for the enlargement of the Camp.

On October 7, 1935, the Association announced the name of the camp in honor of Jameson during the laying of the cornerstone of the first fireproof building on the property. 

“For every brick and stone within this structure, Julia Jameson performed a service, shed a tear or had a hope for someone in need of its healing care. No words of tribute for Mrs. Jameson or monument to her work could be more fitting than an institution which serves others in her name as she served them in her life.”

Russel I. Richardson

1913-1928 A Vision for Healthy Children

In 1925, a committee from the Board of Directors of the Marion County Tuberculosis Association was appointed to select a site for a permanent nutrition camp.

They were determined to maintain high standards and set a goal to provide adequate facilities for 100 children. [1]

In 1926 the Association purchased 82 acres of land in Bridgeport nine west of Indianapolis for a nutrition camp or preventorium.

The camp’s original name was the Julia Jameson Nutrition Camp for Frail Children. The camp accepted undernourished children or those recovering from non-communicable illnesses aged 8–14. Treatment at the camp focused on rest, a generous amount of food, sunshine, and fresh air. The Marion County Tuberculosis Association continued to run the Jameson Nutrition Camp into the 1960s. [2]

On July 5, 1928, the nutrition camp officially opened.

Stella Glasson Kaufman was the first camp director. Twenty-five girls attended during the month of July and twenty-five boys during the month of August.


[1] From the 1997 Tataya Mato Program Handbook (physical archive)

[2] Marion County Tuberculosis Association Records

1929 - 1939

On October 6, 1935, 500 guests gathered for the laying of the cornerstone.

-The sale of Christmas Seals were a key source of funding for the camp. The annual Seal Sale was headed by Eli Lilly, general chairman. In December of, 1935 Dr. Amos asked the community to help raise $32,000 for the camp’s operations.

-The dedication of a new $50,000 health preventorium at the Julia Jameson nutrition camp Bridgeport, took place June 21, 1936.

-The building was made possible through special gifts from individuals and organizations to the Marion County Tuberculosis Association. The camp, which is operated by the tuberculosis association, opened with seventy-five children enrolled. (Published July 4, 1936 – The Journal of The American Medical Association)

Nine years of growth!

On October 1, 1936

 -Indianapolis Times article reported the success of the camp, with children gaining as much as 13 pounds over the summer of 1936 – “the most successful summer of any of the nine held at the nutrition camp.”

1940 - 1949

October 30, 1946 – Shortridge Daily Echo – S.H.S . Teachers To Aid Benefit Skating Party

Mesdames Elizabeth Helm, Louise Steiger, and Rachel Schumacher are among those who are making plans for Alpha Latrelan’s eighteenth annual skating party for the benefit of the Julia Jameson Nutrition Camp at Bridgeport, Indiana. The affair will be held at the Coliseum from eight until ten-thirty o’clock Friday night, November 8. Since the beginning of the camp in 1028, the organization has sponsored a project and made a total contribution of $7,677.62 to the camp’s building and maintenance fund. Mrs. Howard Foltz is in charge of ticket sales.

1969 Separation from MCTA

Due to impending reorganization of the entire tuberculosis movement across the nation, the Julia Jameson Camp legally separated from the MCTA in 1969. The first board meeting for the newly organized Julia Jameson Health Camp for Children, Inc. was held March 6, 1969.

1950 - 1959

• Volunteers converted the original bath house at McQuiddy Cottage into a summer residence for male counselors.
• The Knefler Memorial
     -A gift from Bertha Williams in memory of her grandson, made it possible for modern bath facilities for the McQuiddy Cottage
     -Howard Foltz, father was the architect for the main building, volunteered engineering services for the construction.
     -The first outdoor drinking fountain was installed north of the Boy’s Dorm.

• Mothers Club continued support through fundraising and service projects.
     -They donated the first television to camp in 1952.

• 10 acres of land adjacent to the southwest camp boundary was purchased to create a physical buffer for the future neighborhood development.
     -Land was farmed by the William Kappel family from 1956-1995
• Tuberculosis Association voted to prepare two separate budgets.
     -One for the Camp and one for the Association
• New Program Development
     -Introduction of Camper Progress Report
     -Staff to camper ration was reduced to 1 to 8 to comply with ACA.
     -Jameson received the highest accreditation scores in the state of Indiana from the American Camping Association
     -Shifted towards smaller groups allowing for individual expression, outdoor activities, hiking, and cookouts.
• Miss. Mary was elected the first woman president of the Marion County Tuberculosis Association.

• Mary McClelland
     -Served for 20 years on the Nutrition Camp staff in many important positions.
     -Resigned to devote her vacation time to the McClelland Elementary School’s summer program.
     -She continued her interest in Camp’s activities until her death in 2003.
     -Her outstanding effort in the Camp Emblem Campaign was unequaled.

1960 - 1969

• January 3, 1963, the Planning Committee of the Endowment Program met.
     -Started effort to interest people in naming Camp in their wills.
     -This meeting also was the first announcement of the Camp’s separation from the Marion County Tuberculosis Association.

• New Marion County Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association underwent structural reorganization.
     -Prompted the separation of the two agencies.
     -The incorporation papers of the Julia Jameson Health Camp for Children, Inc. were signed by the Indiana Secretary of State on February 12, 1969.

• Grace Hornbrook Memorial
     -An Activities Room located on girls sun porch
     -Built and dedicated in 1967.

• Camping session was shortened to 7 ½ weeks when school year was lengthened.
     -Cost of camp was $170.00.
• Remodeling of locker rooms provided larger area for clinic and room for counselors adjacent to the boys’ dormitory.
• The farmhouse near the barn was demolished.
     -1928-1968 the tenant farmers served as grounds monitors during the “off season.”
• Julia Jameson Health Camp for Children Inc. was in the amount of $239.827.
     -Camp received $10,000 gift from the estate of Charles N. Thompson
     -Was named as one of the beneficiaries of a perpetual trust established by Mr. Thompson.

• The first Board Meeting of the newly organized Camp was held March 6, 1969, in the English Foundation Building, Indianapolis.
     -Chairman- George A. VanDyke Jr.
     -President- Paul F. Kortepeter
     -Vice President- Mrs. Donald J. White
     -Secretary- Mrs. Maxwell Coppock
     -Treasurer- Claude Otten, M.D.
     -Attorney of Law- Paul F. Kortepeter, first constitution drawn up

1970 - 1979

• Remodeling of the barn gave campers added program areas giving an area for overnights and activates in the barn.
     -Loft area was upgraded.
     -Fire exit with exterior staircase was added.
• Sertoma Club of Speedway donated the first basketball court.

• Summer camp sessions where modified
     -Two 19-day sessions
      -Parent visitation day was eliminated.

• Camp Super Kids established.
     – For children suffering with asthma
      – Was operated in conjunction with the Lung Association
      – Housed at Jameson until 1985

1980 - 1989

• In March of 1985, in keeping with the new image and expanded purpose of the camp, it was renamed Jameson Camp, Inc.

1990 - 1999

• New logo created.
• Expansion of the construction of Hawley Lodge
• The administrative office was moved from the Indiana Interchurch Center to the Camp in December of 1990 and housed in Hawley Lodge.
• Start of Rental Programs-making facilities available for outside groups.

• Expansion of Jessup Lodge
• Compass Course Addition

• Archery Program Addition
• Jameson Camp a member of the United Way of Central Indiana’s family of agencies February 1, 1992.

• Asbestos abatement and the removal of an underground heating oil tank (1992-1993)
• Around the World in Arty Days, a multicultural arts program.

• Camp road resurfacing
• F.U.N. for All-fitness and nutrition program revised.

• Installation of walkways throughout the main area
• Adopted a full Youth Leadership Developmental Assets.

• Expansion of Hornbrook and Meyers Lodges in Spurlock Village
• Tataya Mato- residential camp for children affected by HIV/AIDS startup.

• The south 10-acre buffer was reforested in anticipation of residential housing development.
• Camp Healing Tree- sponsor and location for children’s bereavement program.
• Tataya Mato established.
•The 10-day residential camping program for Indiana children and their families who are impacted by HIV/AIDs was established with the primary goal to give children one of the most memorable and fun-filled experiences of their live.

• New basketball court and goals installed/ replaced from original courts placed in 1970.


2000 - 2009


  • The Adventure Challenge Program, designed to aid the campers in improving self-confidence, communication, and decision-making skills.
  • Low Ropes Course by Brightpoint was constructed with the donation.
  • September 11, 2001, the attacks on airliners, the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon – events that shook – the world had a lasting impact on Jameson Camp.
      •  “The true meaning of ‘Hoosier Hospitality’ was apparent to visitors in Indianapolis last week, but at a heavy cost . . .”  The Westside Flyer Newspaper, 2001
      • Jameson Camp, at the suggestion of Brad Higgins, site manager, and with the help of The American Red Cross, opened its doors to 150 foreign travelers on Mexicana Airlines Flight #881.
      • Few of the passengers spoke English so teachers from the Wayne Township School District and other French and Spanish speaking interrupters were dispatched to assist with communication.


  • In the fall, Julie Marsh left Jameson after 13 years of valued and dedicated service. Upon her departure, the Julie Marsh Continuing Education Fund was established to assist graduating High School Seniors (campers), summer staff, and professional staff with scholarships for continued education endeavors. She continues her involvement in the organization as a volunteer.
  • Long Range Property Development Plan
      • Plan called for the last 2 additional cabins recommended in the 1980’s along with the Peace Center, new or renovated Jameson Center, residence, maintenance center, new road, program center near the barn, pond for canoeing, and a day camp.
      •  First two phases of the plan will be financed through foundation, agency, individual gifts, and the United Way Capital Fund established with a $60,000,000 gift from The Lily Endowment.
      •  The completion of the estimated $12,000,000 capital improvements plan, approximated to take 10-12 years.


  • On July 26, 2003, Jameson Camp celebrated its 75th anniversary!
      •  Included new logo.
      • Groundbreaking for two new cabins
      •  A residence
      • Peace Center
      • Butterfly Release
      • Mrs. Frank (Judy) O’Bannon, the First Lady of Indiana was present with more than 150 other guests.
  • A High Ropes Course was donated to the camp by Experiential Resources, Inc.