Tom Lehman founded Camptown in 1991. Camptown is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit company as designated by the IRS and the Internal Revenue Code.
In February of 1993, Tom left the business world to work full time for Camptown. The driving force was to make a positive difference in the lives of youth. Tom wanted to give youth from all backgrounds an opportunity to expand their views beyond their current environment. Tom’s goal was that the Camptown experience would enrich the lives of the youth and give them a positive life-changing experience. Camptown is not a traditional camp and concentrates more on developing leadership and life skills that each student can use all of their life. Camptown, along with the youth they serve, plan wilderness outings centered on backpacking trips along mountain trails. Besides leadership and life skills, Camptown teaches teamwork, develops a positive self-image, builds confidence and teaches good moral behavior. Camptown’s beliefs are based on Christian principles and encourage youth to get involved with local churches.
Since 1993, Camptown has grown to 5 employees with the same dedication and goals that Tom brought when he founded the program. Sadly, Tom passed away in 2003.
Camptown has served the following unduplicated youth:
|1993 – 60||1994 – 97||1995 – 150||1996 – 200|
|1997 – 225||1998 – 300||1999 – 320||2000 – 400|
|2001 – 417||2002 – 194||2003 – 178||2004 – 174|
|2005 – 254||2006 – 569||2007 – 444||2008 – 1,102|
|2009 – 2,228||2010 – 2,956||2011 – 3,085||2012 – 3,406|
|2013 – 3,357||2014-3,203||2015-3,538||2016- 2,953|
|2017- 3,594||2018- 3,447||2019- 3,519||2020- 1,211|
Distinguished Hoosier Award
July, 2021 – Don Schafer was recognized by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb with the Distinguished Hoosier Award for his 17 years of leading Camptown. The award is one of the highest civilian honors reserved for individuals who have led lives of exemplary service and character.
Quality Improvement Award – MCCOY (Marion County Commission on Youth)
December, 2010 – The Quality Improvement Award is presented to organizations that have committed to not only completing the Youth Program Quality Improvement process, but who did so with diligence and creativity and who subsequen6ly set the standard for other organizations what will follow them in the quest for quality programming for youth.
Indiana Achievement Awards
October, 201o – The Indiana Achievement Awards (IAA), hosted by the IUPUI Solution Center, recognized Camptown for exemplary practices and demonstrated effectiveness.
Hoosier Hero for Children
Camptown founder Tom Lehman received the Central Indiana Hoosier Hero for Children award presented by Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.
Daily Points of Life Award
May, 2002 – Camptown received a Daily Point of Light award from the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network.
Best Nature/Outdoor Program
November, 2000 – Camptown’s Parent/Child trip was awarded “Best Nature/Outdoor Program” at the “Programming Our World” conference in Cincinnati by the National Park and Recreation Association.