Camp Dark Waters provides a fun outdoor camping experience based on the Quaker values of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship. Because we believe that each of us possesses an inner light reflecting our goodness, we respect every individual without regard to the differences between us. We nurture the spirtual, social, physical, and emotional growth of children and young adults as they encounter themselves and each other in cooperative efforts. Here we expect all who come will find a new closeness with each other and with the world around us.
The child-centered philosophy of Camp Dark Waters is the same now as it was in 1928. Here, we believe that contributing to the growth and development of an individual is the greatest single act a person or organization can accomplish. We believe strongly in the value of a cooperative democratic group living experience. In keeping with its Quaker tradition, Camp Dark Waters believes that there is “that of God” in each person.
Our free choice activity program is based on flexible planning, attention to each camper’s needs, and the belief that a child’s summer activities should offer alternatives to the regimentation of most school curricula. Campers are encouraged to develop their own individuality by participation in both activities with which they are familiar and new experiences. Our program provides for large group activities, individual skill development, creative expression in the arts, and participation in a variety of sports and games. We plan activities of interest to the youngest and oldest campers, as well as programs which are enjoyed by all ages. We balance active and competitive programming with quiet and meditative activities in the interest of developing the mind and spirit as well as the body.
Our campers come mostly from the Philadelphia region and South Jersey. Many more come from New York and Washington D.C. In recent years, we’ve had campers from over 20 different States, as well as Russia, Spain, England, Belgium and Germany. We take pride in the diversity of our camper population. At any given time, children from all racial, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds will be in camp. The Dark Waters Scholarship Fund makes tuition possible for many families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a camp experience for their children. Regardless of who our campers are, or where they come from, we consistently teach not just tolerance, but an appreciation and respect of the unique differences each of us brings to our community.