About Us


building character through outdoor adventure

Our Mission & Purpose

Camptown’s mission is to challenge, mentor, and teach youth about life through outdoor adventure and nature programs that help build confidence, character, and hope.

That compelling mountain-top vista. The campsite next to the pristine flowing stream. Earning the view from a challenging hike. Reeling in the catch of the day. Admiring the intricacies of the millipede. Conquering fear to reach for the next handhold. Paddling by the cascading falls. Doing it all with friends, new and old. With caring adults to guide and facilitate.

At Camptown, we use adventures to help youth flourish. Research shows wilderness adventures and outdoor experiences have been proven to be fertile ground for transformative growth. Our expert staff work with youth and leaders to craft outdoor education and adventures to develop leadership, teamwork, confidence and respect.

Children and teens learn about themselves, others, and the world around them through these direct experiences. In the beauty and intensity of wilderness, they must use skills as a team to accomplish their goals. They develop an appreciation for the natural world. They place themselves in a beautiful environment that transcends the landscape of urban streetscapes or suburban life.

Our Core Values

We Help Youth Flourish

We build, shape and pour into youth holistically through purposeful outdoor adventures. Nature is an extraordinary teacher; in it our youth are exposed – often for the first time – to its beauty, harmony, wildness and rigorous challenge. Over time, through immersion in the outdoors with caring adults, we see young people flourish; their character refined, their confidence bolstered and skills developed and honed.  We help cultivate a love for the outdoors while encouraging their potential to change the world. 

Partnerships in Community

Our unique model involves partnering with dozens of organizations from across Central Indiana to reach and serve youth primarily from underserved communities.  We link arms with community organizations, schools and parks departments, offering our adventures to strengthen their programming.  Our work is truly a partnership within and for our community, creating a pathway for access to nature and the outdoors for youth who may otherwise never benefit.

Respect Every Path

Each person’s journey is unique; each child’s story started long before we meet them.  We respect each person’s dignity, where they have come from and where they are now. We invite them into a new way of relating to themselves, other people, God and the world around them.  Every child is full of wonder, hope, curiosities and potential as well as pain, hardship and baggage. Just as we hike or backpack down the trail together, we’ll walk the path with our youth.

Thrive in Nature

We believe that nature and wilderness offer a distinctly powerful setting for people to flourish and develop. The lessons and experiences that our youth encounter during environmental education and immersive wilderness adventures form foundations for them to become thriving, successful adults. Research continues to reinforce the immense benefits of outdoor experiences socially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Youth also develop a deeper sense of environmental stewardship, the importance of protecting Creation and its resources.

We will charge a fair price for our services. With the exception of fundraising events, our charges will reflect our actual costs.

Great, but how does all this work?

We lead youth to a better path through experiential adventure programs in the great outdoors. Most Camptown adventures are arranged in partnership with schools and community-based organizations. We provide a menu of adventure options to choose from based on the desired outcomes of our partners. Camptown can provide everything from skilled outdoor guides, adventure gear, trainings, transportation and food or, a la carte services if preferred. And, we’ll handle all of the logistics and planning if you’d like! To learn more about what’s possible and explore a partnership, head to our program page.

Looking to sign up a child in your life? We also provide occasional series of open-to-the-public workshops and training opportunities including Open Climb sessions in our indoor bouldering gym. For middle and high school students, our Youth Leaders program is available for parents or caregivers to recommend individuals.

Camptown adventures take place primarily on public lands throughout the United States such as state parks, state forests, national parks, national forests, rivers, and occasionally on private properties. Our staff has experience in hundreds of outdoor locations in Central Indiana and far beyond, including dozens of wilderness locations that have been vetted for youth experiential learning. While we are not a camp, we can arrange the use of cabin-style camping experiences in addition to primitive tent camping.

Ready to speak with a Camptown staff member to arrange an adventure? Email us at programs@camptown.org. We instill effective leadership and teamwork skills, healthy interdependence, a vision expanded beyond current life circumstances, responsibility, respect for others, self-confidence, environmental awareness and stewardship.

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