In 2019, we served a total of 764 individual campers, for a total of 1001 camper-weeks. The campers ranged in age from 5 years to 16 years, and the average age of our campers was around 11 years old. About 43% of our campers were male.
In 2020, we ran a much smaller program due to COVID. We had a total of 300 individual campers for a total of 513 camper-weeks. The campers still ranged in age from 5-16 years, and the average age was 11.51 years old. Forty-one percent (41%) of the campers were male.
Our campers come from a wide range of family situations and socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2019, we provided financial aid to 92 campers (nearly 10%), and all of those campers met the state requirements for free or reduced lunch based on income. In 2021 we hope to provide financial aid to 100 or more campers for our 100th anniversary!
The majority of Camp Tannadoonah’s campers come from the Michiana area. That encompasses South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, and southwest lower Michigan. We also have a fairly large group of kids from the Chicago area. In 2019, about 46% of our campers came from St. Joe County, IN, 22% from Cook County, IL, 7% from Elkhart County, IN, and 5% from Cass County, MI. We had campers from 20 U.S. states and 4 countries (United States, France, United Kingdom, and Sweden).
Many of our campers are “legacies” – meaning that they are 2nd or 3rd generation campers. Because Tannadoonah became co-ed in 1978, most of our legacy campers have mothers or grandmothers who attended camp, but only a few have dads who attended! When you wear your Tannadoonah gear around town, you’ll be sure to run into people who say, “Hey, I went there!”
In all of our Camp Fire programs, we want to introduce our participants to the amazing diversity of experiences that the world has to offer. W hire staff from all over the United States and all over the world. In 2019, our staff and volunteers represented 13 different counties and 9 U.S. States. We had staff members and volunteers who lived or studied in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, England, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudia Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, and Tunisia! Our staff collectively spoke more than 8 different languages.
In 2020, we were unable to hire any international staff, but we did have staff and volunteers who represented 6 US States, and one staff member who is a citizen of South Korea but currently living in the US. Because of COVID, we are much more limited this year (like last year) in our hiring process, but still hope to build a diverse staff.
In a typical year, roughly half the staff is made up of returning counselors, and half are new to Camp Tannadoonah. We want to uphold the traditions and things that make Camp T special to our campers and alums, but we also want to bring in new ideas and perspectives to keep our programs fresh and relevant.
Young people want to shape the world.
Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.
In Camp Fire, it begins now.