The story of Copper Cannon Camp is about giving back more than 20,000 times over its 50-year history.
The founder of Copper cannon Camp, Hamilton Ford, overcame an underprivileged childhood of his own. When he was young, Ham received the opportunity to go to a summer camp, just as children at Copper Cannon Camp get to do today. While he was attending the camp for families, Ham noticed several things that had a permanent impact on his life. He said that while he and his family were at camp, it was the first time he saw his mother truly smile. Also, it was the first time he knew for sure he would receive three proper meals a day, every day. Finally, the camp experience was one of the most fun, educational and impactful times of his young life, and he decided that every kid deserved the same experience.
Ham decided that if he ever was able to, he would pay the experience forward and give back for what he had received as a child. Years later, in 1963, he finally got that opportunity. Ham had a ski lodge and started bringing in children from local orphanages during the summer months to provide them with a summer camp experience. That random act of kindness quickly grew into an established organization.
In 1976, the organization moved from its location south of Franconia to its present location, a 128-acre plot of land next to the White Mountain National Forest between Franconia and Bethlehem, renting the property from the town of Franconia. In 2009, the camp purchased the same plot of land and now owns it.
Although the location changed, the mission has always remained the same. Copper Cannon remains unique in that it’s the only camp in New Hampshire to provide a completely free traditional summer camp experience to all children who deserve it. Summer of 2013 will represent the 50th anniversary of Copper Cannon Camp, and it is going stronger than ever. We look forward to continued growth and to serving more New Hampshire youth than ever as we venture into our next 50 years.