Help the Other Fellow

Our Motto: “Help the Other Fellow”

Camp Abnaki was founded by Byron “Dad” Clark in 1901 to provide boys with a safe place to grow and learn how to become better people. The core values of YMCA philosophy — Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility — were the foundation on which camp was built.

Dad Clark selected the camp motto, “Help the Other Fellow,” to reinforce these ideas and the idea that part of being a good person is to give selflessly to others. So how does this translate to today? With over 123 years in operation, Camp Abnaki is still in the business of helping young folks become better people. Camp Abnaki provides opportunities for kids to step out of their comfort zone, try new skills, be themselves, make new friends, embrace a sense of belonging, and develop confidence through these experiences at camp.

A counselor and a group of boys rowing in a kayak

Additionally, Camp Abnaki’s philosophy is understanding the process of achievement. Often the process of achievement is just as important as the achievement itself. It is important for our campers and staff to learn how to grow through taking risks, trying new things, and doing their best.

Camp Abnaki philosophy is based upon the belief that the many important lessons of camp are also learned through small groups and one-on-one interactions. The give and take of daily living, working together to resolve conflict in healthy ways, and group problem solving help provide young people with skills they can use throughout the rest of their lives. Among those skills are empathy, understanding, and building meaningful social connections — all of which are also natural outcomes when you live by the “Help the Other Fellow” motto. These experiences will help them form healthy relationships with peers. Counselors provide diverse programs, with activities designed to meet the needs and interests of their campers. More than any other task, counselors can help campers learn how to deal well with many diverse situations they may face in life.

Achievement, the broader camp philosophy, and the overarching motto to “Help the Other Fellow” all drive toward the same goal of helping young boys become better people. This approach has been tested and affirmed at Abnaki for over a century. When implemented effectively by talented, caring staff members, it can prove a powerful experience that will change the life of a camper.

Our Mission

To provide young people with an opportunity for social, spiritual, mental, and physical growth through participation in a community located in a natural setting and characterized by leadership that creates a climate  of cooperation, a concern for the individual, and the opportunity for interracial, intercultural, and interfaith experience.