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100th Anniversary Summer of College Settlement Camp Greets Final 2 Weeks with 200-plus Campers from Philadelphia

College Settlement celebrates the 100th anniversary of their summer camp programs in 2022.

Hundreds of children from Philadelphia's West Philly and North Philly neighborhoods got closer to the farm animals this summer at College Settlement Camp.

Swimming, and swimming lessons, are the most popular activity for Philadelphia kids attending College Settlement Camp this summer.

Over the past 100 years, we’ve created a culture at College Settlement Camp where young kids from the inner city neighborhoods of Philadelphia are happy and safe.”
— Terry Dougherty, Executive Director of College Settlement of Philadelphia
HORSHAM, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, August 2, 2022 / -- The final group of 200-plus campers in both day and overnight camps has arrived at College Settlement Camp, in the midst of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Horsham campgrounds serving generations of children and families from Philadelphia.

On Monday, August 1, approximately 101 kids arrived for the final two-week session of College Settlement’s Day Camp, while approximately 91 kids arrived for the final two-week session of the Overnight Camp. All told, well over 500 children from North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia attended the Day Camp sessions that began on June 20th and conclude next Friday, August 12th. The Overnight Camps began that same day, and end next Friday, and were attended by over 400 children from those same neighborhoods.

“Over the past 100 years, we’ve created a culture at College Settlement Camp where young kids from the inner city neighborhoods of Philadelphia are happy and safe,” said Terry Dougherty, Executive Director of College Settlement. “With all the challenges in Philly socially and economically in the neighborhoods, coupled with the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we do everything we can to make the children realize that this is their camp, and everyone is welcome.

“A big thing we do is break down stereotypes,” Dougherty added. “And you do that being in a swimming pool together, tipping a canoe together and spending the night around the campfire together. It's been done here for a long time. College Settlement really tries to make kids feel welcome. No matter who, no matter what background they’re from. We want to make them feel like they belong. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the kids enjoying themselves and watching them learn new things. We give them great memories.”

Opened by College Settlement of Philadelphia, one of Philly’s historic settlement houses then based in South Philadelphia, in the summer of 1922 in the aftermath of the Spanish Flu epidemic as a way for inner city children from Philly to get out to the country and away from the congested neighborhoods. Fresh air, outdoor activities, education and more, have been offered to generations of children and families in Philadelphia ever since. It’s even more important today, in light of our COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

There are over 60 camp counselors working at College Settlement this summer, including include young adults from over 13 countries – including Spain, Poland, Finland, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Brazil and the United Kingdom – as well as from the United States. They are key to giving College Settlement Camp kids the most affordable and enjoyable summer camp program possible.

One way that College Settlement gives Philly’s most at-risk and underprivileged kids and their families a chance at a great summer is camp is through scholarships, with $38,872 in total scholarship funding this summer, and 124 grants (to 91 households) of SCOPE grants.

The most popular activity so far this summer has been swimming and swimming lessons in the just-renovated Elliott Pool, as well as fishing in the ponds at the Horsham campgrounds, and using the new “Robin’s Nest” climbing tower. Always popular are the animal and environmental experiences, including meeting the farm animals – chickens, goats, ducks, and more – challenge courses, sports, arts & crafts, and special occasions like “Pirate Day.”

In addition, this summer College Settlement partnered with the Temple University Police Department this summer, with officers coming to the camp every week to speak to the campers about bike safety and wearing helmets. The award-winning College Settlement bike training program now features lessons in bike safety and bike repair through Temple Police’s new Urban Bike Team, and each week two officers go with the campers on the “off-camp” bike rides.

Once the summer camps conclude, College Settlement will “re-set” for the fall with the Outdoor School program geared towards Philadelphia-area schools bringing students to Horsham to take part in a day of camp activities. Additional activities are in the planning stages for the fall, including a community celebration of 100 Years of College Settlement Camp on Saturday, September 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and an Alumni / Reunion weekend October 14-16 that includes the 10th Annual Acorns to Oaks gala dinner.

About College Settlement:
The mission of College Settlement Day and Overnight Camps and the Outdoor School in Horsham is to provide environmental education and camping programs to young people from the greater Philadelphia area - especially those who are economically disadvantaged - in order to foster personal growth and prepare them to make a positive impact on the world. College Settlement now manages 235 acres in Horsham (and over 75 acres in the Poconos north of Bloomsburg) that include over 35 structures, a lake, two swimming pools, an environmental center, a community based farm, and our adventure challenge course – an activity that designed to encourage leadership, communication skills, and social development within a group. Additional information is available at

Jim DeLorenzo
Jim DeLorenzo Public Relations
+1 215-266-5943
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