Camp Hanes History

In 1926 Robert M. Hanes gifted 100 acres in the Sauratown Mountains to the YMCA as a memorial to his father, John W. Hanes.  Camp Hanes, established in 1927 consisted of 10 lodges, a combination dining lodge and recreation center and camp headquarters for the director and his family. In addition to these 12 buildings there were cooks quarters, a nine acre lake, five tennis courts, volley ball court and a baseball diamond.

The very first group of campers at Camp Hanes was a group of young girls from the YWCA. From June 14 – August 8, 1927 this group came to camp to experience the great outdoors. On August 8, 1927 a group of boys came for the remainder of the summer and from that day until the early 1970ss Camp Hanes was strictly for boys.

The first director was Mr. Harry W. Long. Long served at the Director of Physical Education at the YMCA and would move to camp with his family for the summer months. His wife was in charge of the dining hall and personally supervised the preparation of all meals.

In 1929 the cost for a session of 10 days was $15.

Over eighty years later, more than 50,000 young boys and girls come have attended and been impacted by YMCA Camp Hanes. At camp, you experience the great outdoors, make lifelong friends and create lasting memories at the “400 Acre Memory Maker.”

While there have been many changes throughout the years, the insight of Charles J. May- Boys’ Work Secretary of the YMCA 1929 still rings true. He said, in speaking of the potential campers at that time, “[He] is irresistibly drawn by the spell of the woods and streams and the wild and beautiful things of nature. He likes to get away from the heat and turmoil of the city into the free, simple life of the out of doors… swim, row a boat, hike, observe the wild creatures of the forest and fields, look up into the starry heavens and feel a feeling of wonder as he locates the various constellations and planets… No boy can take part in the program at Camp Hanes –YMCA Camp without becoming stronger, wiser and better.”

Camp Hanes current facilities boast 18 cabins, a large dining facility, indoor gym and conference center, 8 houses for seasonal and year round staff, an infirmary, office and staff lounge. Camp Hanes also offers program areas to include an alpine tower, 2 zip lines, low ropes area, outdoor pool, outdoor basketball courts, equestrian center, 5 stand shooting clays range and many more traditional camp activities such as archery, riflery, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, arts and craft, athletics and much more.

Camp Hanes is always striving to provide the best experience for its participants through facility upkeep and additions with the intent for camp to run for many years to come.