Our History

Keewaydin Dunmore, a sleep away camp for boys ages 8-16, is one of the oldest, most venerable camps in the country, with roots tracing back to its founding as a canoe tripping camp in Maine in 1893. Established on beautiful Lake Dunmore in the Green Mountains of Vermont in 1910, Keewaydin has been at the forefront of American camping ever since.  Campers return year after year for the magical Keewaydin experience. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find a Keewaydin camper whose grandfather was a former camper!

Through the 1930’s there were multiple Keewaydin camps, in addition to Keewaydin on Lake Dunmore, with varying missions:  a canoe tripping camp in Canada, a fishing camp in Florida, a riding camp in Montana, a cycling camp, a sailing camp and several girls camps in Vermont.  These camps were all under common ownership but with different directors for each camp.  Through the difficult times of the depression in the 1930’s the common ownership ended with the directors of each purchasing their camp.   Keewaydin Dunmore operated continuously, even during World War II when enrollment was at its lowest and many former staffmen were serving their country. 

In 1945, Alfred "Waboos" Hare, Abbott "Abby" Fenn and Harold "Slim" Curtiss purchased the camp from John "Speedy" Rush.  Under their leadership, the camp thrived.  The ‘50s and ’60s, aided by the baby boom, were years of huge growth for all Keewaydin camps, but as that population boom eased several of the original Keewaydin camps closed due to lack of campers.  A dedicated group of former campers and staff at Keewaydin Dunmore were determined to prevent this from befalling their camp.  They pulled together a grass roots fundraising campaign to create a not- for-profit foundation which would buy the camp from the then owners.  In 1982  the Keewaydin Foundation took over the ownership of Keewaydin Dunmore with Waboos Hare staying on as Camp Director.  Continuity was thereby achieved and continued longevity assured.  Waboos remained Director of Keewaydin Dunmore until 2000 and a presence at camp until his death in 2011.  Waboos’s son Pete Hare is now the Director.

In 1999 the Keewaydin Foundation re-opened the girls' camp Songadeewin on Lake Dunmore.  In 2001 Keewaydin Temagami in Canada, the original Keewaydin camp, was donated to the Keewaydin Foundation.  Keewaydin Temagami, a premier wilderness canoe tripping camp for boys and girls, began in 1894 and has been at its current location on Devil’s Island, Lake Temagami, Ontario Canada, since 1904.  Today Keewaydin families have campers attending or who have attended all three Keewaydin camps.   With a common history dating back to 1894, the Keewaydin Foundation is a leader among camping institutions.

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