Camptown celebrated 20 years of serving Central Indiana Youth on March 20, 2011. During the past 20 years Camptown has provided outdoor adventure programs to more than 10,000 Central Indiana kids. Camptown is the only organization of its kind in Central Indiana and is well-recognized for its efforts. Camptown received Best Nature Outdoor Program in 2000 from the National Park and Recreation Association and received the Indiana Achievement Award in 2010 for exemplary non-profit management.
Camptown introduces area kids to the outdoors who might not have had opportunities to connect with nature. The typical participant is 11-13 years old, lives in a single-parent household and is in poverty. Programming is paid for through donations and makes an impact that is felt by the entire community. Camptown’s Pathfinder Program for troubled youth has a recidivism rate of only 19 percent.
Outdoor programs like those Camptown provides are desperately needed. Today 10 percent of children play in the wilderness, compared to 40 percent 30 years ago. Instead of being outdoors, our children average more than 7.5 hours per day using some sort of electronic screen, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
We will be marking our 20th anniversary with a series of events this year. The first is a breakfast on May 6 at Oak Hill Mansion in Carmel. President and CEO of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee Allison Melangton will be the featured speaker.