The History – Camp Cedar

Loyalty. Cooperation. Trust. Consideration. Friendship. Enthusiasm. Independence. Tolerance.

These are the values of camp and community that Cedar was founded upon 66 years ago and are prominently displayed today along the walk to campfire. Jeff and Sue’s parents Bill and Sheila Hacker and uncle Henry Hacker, along with a friend, Henry Lesser, purchased a former girls camp, Sis-o-gee, and together opened Camp Cedar for boys in 1954 with just 37 kids. Working together, they added to the facilities each year, building what they would describe as a true labor of love. Today, Camp Cedar welcomes 270 boys ages 8-15 each summer. We view this as the perfect size – large enough to offer all the options, facilities and diversity of the largest camps, yet small enough to individualize each camper’s day and deliver a common Cedar experience shared by the entire camp.

Camp Cedar has many traditions that have developed over the years and have helped to define what we are all about. It is these very traditions that our kids often write home about and that our alumni remember most when thinking back to their camp days. For instance, each Sunday night the camp comes together for a campfire and with it the tradition of Sue leading the campfire activities, camp songs and having alumni return to share inspirational stories. Every Friday night the entire Cedar community gathers by the lake for a camp-wide meeting that starts with one of the coolest Cedar traditions where a chosen group of campers celebrates an echo over the lake.

From Sue and Jeff reading to the kids at night and making s'mores by the fire, to the challenge of color war with blue vs. grey, the traditions of camp are great. One of the most enduring traditions is the big brother/little brother program, where the youngest, first-time campers are paired with a senior camper who becomes a role model and lifelong friend.