New Hampshire State Elks Association State Project

About Copper Cannon Camp

The mission of Copper Cannon Camp is to enrich the lives of under-served youth of New Hampshire by providing a quality, tuition-free camp experience.

Copper Cannon Camp is unique in that it is the only completely tuition-free summer camp experience for children living in New Hampshire. Our founder, Hamilton Ford, overcame an underprivileged childhood and was changed by a summer camp experience he and his family had. He decided then and there that summer camp was something that every child, regardless of background or financial status, deserved to experience. And 50 years and 20,000 campers later, we uphold that same belief to this day.>

Our campers come from all over the state and are accepted regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, orientation or handicapping conditions. Our only requirements are that campers fall within the particular age group they are applying for, and that they meet the financial income requirements to receive the free camp experience. A week at Copper Cannon provides so much more than just games and activities.

A week at Copper Cannon is a chance to make friendships and memories that can last a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to get great, healthy meals and learn about nutrition and family mealtime dynamics. It’s a chance to find out that things that are educational can also be fun as we seek to reduce summer learning loss while still showing kids the time of their lives. And a week of camp can be a chance for children to try new things, to gain confidence in themselves, to learn new skills and to get out of their comfort zone. It’s a chance to escape the pressures of school and society, and the grip of technology and have fun the way people at camp have been having fun for many years: playing sports with their bodies on an actual field, not with their thumbs in front of a TV screen.

Our mission at Copper Cannon is not only to provide a camp experience to New Hampshire youth who deserve it, but to provide a high-quality camp experience. The activities, meals, staff, facilities and everything else associated with our camp is every bit as high quality as other New England camps where campers pay a tuition fee to sign up for the week. Holding ourselves to this high of a standard is part of our belief that even children who wouldn’t normally be able to afford a high quality traditional camp experience still receive a week of camp that is every bit as good as a camp they would normally pay a large amount for.

There are life-changing opportunities available at camp that we believe are unique to a summer camp setting – things that otherwise might not be experienced, learned or realized at home or at school. Summer camp is more than just a week of simple activities or a place to go for kids while their parents work in the summer. There is a reason that summer camps have traditions that transcend generations, even though the rest of the world tries to move on without it.

A “free” camp does cost money. The cost for a week of camp is $600 per child. Each year it is a challenge to balance the budget, but the board of directors is firmly behind the mission of Copper Cannon Camp. With many families struggling to meet their basic necessities, the thought of summer camp is only a dream. Copper Cannon’s role in child development is essential for these children. Fundraising receipts come from four primary activities – including our annual auction, membership drive, raffle, and the Sponsor a Kid appeal – amounting to 60 percent of total revenues. Our lead donor, the New Hampshire Elks, has over the past 39 years consistently contributed approximately 13 percent of our required annual income, with the balance coming from foundation grants, dividends, state food subsidies and general donations.

At Copper Cannon Camp, we are proud to uphold those traditions and continue putting our mission into practice. Summer of 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Copper Cannon Camp, and we are excited to put our principles into practice as we move into our next 50 years.

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Comments? Questions? Contact Camp Director Peter Christnacht at: Call him @ 1-603-823-8107

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