Allegany Boys Camp is located just outside of Oldtown, Maryland, on the 300 acres of beautiful woodland formerly known as New Dominion School. It began as an expansion of Bald Eagle Boys Camp in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania, when more boys and families were looking for help than Bald Eagle could accommodate. The property was purchased in 2009 and the next two years were spent renovating some of the buildings and re-naturalizing old campsites as well as starting a new one. In September 2011, after being registered as a boarding school, our first two campers arrived! As of January 2014, we have enrolled 37 boys, 12 of whom have successfully graduated. Currently we have three groups of boys, the Woodsmen, the Pioneers, and the Mountaineers.
The concept of camp as we know it began in the 1940’s when a man named Campbell Loughmiller was employed by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas to work with a summer camp for underprivileged children. Some of the children enrolled were severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed. The benefit of working with children displaying hyper-aggressive and frequently anti-social behavior in a natural, outdoor camp setting quickly became clear. When Loughmiller combined his love and extensive knowledge of nature and of human behavior with his years of experience in social sciences, a residential camp program emerged. Over the years, “Chief Lock” and his team worked with over six hundred boys with serious emotional handicaps. From his years of experience and expertise, camp’s program has developed into what it is today. A profound approach that sometimes appears deceptively simple.
Campbell Loughmiller says it best at the beginning of his book, Kids In Trouble, ” I believe every boy wants to grow up in a wholesome, mature way, but needs help with difficulties he doesn’t know how to handle. He does not need motivation; he needs hope and help. We help him at whatever point he has difficulty. We believe that every boy sent to us has enough resources to assume responsibility for himself and lead a satisfactory life, and we fully expect him to do it. One of our main responsibilities is to provide the opportunity, the environment, where his strengths can be discovered and his abilities can find expression.”
The Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association (WRTCA) was established in 1993 to offer support in the form of workshops, consultation, and an annual conference to assist other camps in incorporating the principles of the therapeutic, educational camping and Loughmiller’s philosophy of childcare.
Allegany Boys Camp is pleased to be a member of the Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association.