INDIANAPOLIS — The best kept secret on the city’s west side might just be Jameson Camp. There will be a fundraising breakfast for the non-profit organization from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. May 8 at The Fountains in Carmel.
The camp is a fully accredited summer camp and year-round youth service provider that offers a residential summer camp, a year-round youth leadership program, and an outdoor education and challenge course.
“Jameson Camp was established in 1928 as a fresh air camp for kids with TB (tuberculosis),” Yvonne Matlock, development director for the organization, said. “They thought if you got kids out in the fresh air it would make them healthier. And they were right.”
She said the camp evolved into a nutrition camp for low income children.
The camp specializes in serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those facing minor social, emotional, and behavioral challenges such as autism and attention deficit disorders.
“We are the only camp in Indiana that provides a special session of camp for children impacted by HIV/AIDS,” she said. “And 75 percent of our campers live at or below the poverty level. And we’re growing. We just purchased the property next door and now have 130 acres of property.”
Matlock said the new property had been an eyesore for many years because people had been dumping trash and unwanted items there for years.
“We had a group of volunteers come out and fill a 40-ton dumpster,” she said. “We had people stopping and thanking us for cleaning it up.”
Jameson Camp is at 2001 Bridgeport Road.
“We have seven weeks of camps each summer,” she said.
Campers are treated to a summer camp experience where they do crafts, archery, and all kinds of other outdoor activities.
“There is even a hammock garden,” Matlock said. “We encourage them to read every day and give them time to lay in a hammock in the cool shade. It’s very cool.”