It was founded in 1921 by the late Dr. William N. DeBerry, and is one of the oldest camps of its kind in the country. It was named in honor of Dr. David Fisher Atwater, whose daughter Mary donated substantially to the camp. The camp is located on beautiful Lake Lashaway in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. This magnificent waterfront property includes 75 acres of land with 40 buildings as well as a 3-acre island just off the camp's main land. The camp is owned and operated by the Urban League of Springfield and is equipped to house, feed and service up to 160 campers at any given time. Campers and staff come from various cities across the United States and several foreign countries. The equipment is modern, and the plant is arranged carefully to accommodate a variety of camper activities. Camp Atwater is listed on The National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Camp Association.

The trained and capable staff, who understand and model the behavior necessary for the campers' personal growth and development, contribute to our unique camping experience.

Camp Atwater's mission is to assist in the academic and social growth and development of youth by offering a quality residential camp experience within a safe, nurturing and Afrocentric environment.

The camp's goal is to create experiences that will equip youth with the skills to become happy, healthy, successful contributing adults.

The leadership development experience is a process of combining philosophy, content and methods from the fields of Education, Recreation and Culture. 0ur intent is to facilitate the process of youth encountering themselves and their environment in an intensive, perceptive and experiential manner. The program utilizes natural ways to arouse sensitivity, shape values and strengthen personalities. The result is campers will expand their cognitive understandings about their responsibilities and contributions to these social, economic and ecological dimensions of our world.


National Advisory Committee:

Dennis F. Hightower, Co-Chairperson
Alma Arrington Brown, Co-Chairperson
Rev. Calvin Butts
Kendall Flowers
Allyson Gouzounis
Yolandó Russell
Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Elizabeth Yancy

Camp Atwater Committee:

Henry M. Thomas, III, President
John Davis, Chairperson
Jesse M. Lanier, Sr.
John Murphy
Cynthia Tucker Curtis