A Brief History of CAMP!

CAMP! was founded in 1991, after the University Affiliated Program at UVM re-prioritized services and discontinued a Vermont Migrant Education Program summer camp.  Several staff members from this camp were committed to providing continuity for the children with whom they had been working, and created Camp Exclamation Point, Inc. as a way to meet that need.

Staff recognized the summer experience made an important difference in these children’s lives, and provided them with opportunities otherwise inaccessible for them and their families.  Our funding began with a donor-advised grant from the Haymarket People’s Fund of $13,000. Each year this grant was reduced until it expired in1996.  David Young was our founding Managing Director, followed by Judy Bush for many years, then Harry Frank, Wendy Shea, John O’Farrell, and currently Scott Moore.

CAMP! continues to be an organization directed and supported by the people who form its core staff.  Most of our Board of Directors are either current camp volunteers or have been in the past.  We have maintained a strong relationship with Vermont Migrant Education, as children from their program make up approximately a third of our camper population.

For 23 summers we were fortunate to hold camp at Aloha Hive on Lake Fairlee.  The Aloha Foundation had new plans for the facility in the winter of 2014, so we looked for a new home.  Thankfully, the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains have given us access to lovely Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, VT, on the shores of 50-acre Lake Abenaki.  It is a wonderful place for our campers to experience CAMP! each summer, and we are grateful for the Girl Scouts’ support of our program.

By encouraging our campers to return each year, making space for siblings, and offering teens leadership opportunities, we have built a strong camp community that supports these children and their families.   We appreciate your donation to help continue to make this possible.

You can read about CAMP! in the pages of Vermont Life and Here in Hanover.  This short film, A Day at CAMP!, was recorded several years back at Aloha Hive.