The Beginning

Swamp Camp got its name in 1998 when the camp property was purchased and construction began; some say it earned the name because it rained so much and the ground became "swampy," while others say it was the influence of some University of Florida fans. Either way, the name stuck like the mud on the bottom of the volunteers' boots--but the vision for this camp began long before that.

Read the story and see the timeline of milestones below.

The Dream

Swamp Camp was founded by Sonny and Carolyn Sessions (pictured above L to R) who dreamed for many years of running a camp and serving youth and families. You see, Carolyn grew up going to camp since she was a small girl; she will spend hours telling you how inspiring camp was in her life and how many relationships she made during her time there. She and Sonny attended the same college, and at that time the college leadership decided it was time to start a camp. They handed the job to the coach of the school's basketball team, Coach Kirk, and he began to create a plan and assemble a team of counselors whom he could entrust with the job of creating a loving and safe camp environment. Sonny and Carolyn were two of those counselors, eventually becoming head counselors and learning many of the foundations of a successful camp culture during this time.

Sonny and Carolyn dreamed of making such a camp experience available for other children, even decades later. The dream never dissipated; they just needed the opportunity. Then, in the early 1990’s, that opportunity presented itself in the form of the Atlanta Church of Christ, whose congregation included over 1,800 children aged 18 and younger. Steve and Kim Sapp, leaders of the church, decided to back the Sessions' dream, and camp began with its first week in the summer of 1992. It grew rapidly and word got out all over the southeastern United States.  In the fourth year, it was time to search for property and begin to build a permanent camp. Swamp Camp was completed in 1998 and has been in operation ever since on its present 180-acre location in Penfield, Georgia, just two hours east of Atlanta and 45 minutes south of Athens.

Since the inaugural summer, thousands have come to enjoy the safe, spiritual and nurturing environment known as Swamp Camp...thanks to the dreams and hard work of Sonny and Carolyn.

Our History

FIRST WEEK

Our first week of summer camp at Camp Woodmont saw 64 campers from around the southeast get to taste what would become the Swamp camp culture.

First Week Camp Woodmont
1992
Swamp Camp Dining Hall Being Built

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

After searching for almost two years, the right property was found in Penfield, Georgia and construction began. It rained so much that materials had to be hand carried to the site because the trucks couldn't make it. To see a complete set of construction pictures click here.

1998

RECORD REGISTRATIONS

In the 10th year of camp, and the 5th year at Swamp Camp, the number of campers registered for the summer hit an all time high of 1,624.

Swamp Camp Boys Cabin
2002
Swamp Camp Path

RECORD NUMBER of WEEKS

In the 11th year of camp, and the 6th year at Swamp Camp, we hit an all time high for consecutive weeks of camp: 10. Wow, that's a lot food, energy, counselors...lot of everything.

2003
Jamacia 2010

INAUGURAL SWAMP CORPS TRIP

Beginning as a desire to serve others, 43 people travel to Jamaica and meet 76 campers for the first-ever Swamp Camp outside the U.S. The rest is history with multiple camps in 4 continents. Learn more...

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July 1, 2010
Jeff and Jennifer Rorabaugh

NEW DIRECTORS

After an amazing 20 years of serving thousands of kids, Sonny & Carolyn Sessions retire passing the baton to Jeff & Jennifer Rorabaugh whom they have trained for 15 years. See Jeff's dream for Swamp Camp here.

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January 1, 2012
Sonny and Carolyn Sessions

SONNY CAROLYN SESSIONS RETIRE

40 years to a dream, 20 years serving, over 20,000 campers, 1,800 counselors and many more volunteers. This is the legacy of Sonny and Carolyn, founders of Swamp Camp. Watch the service here.

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September 8, 2012
Swamp Camp 25th Anniversary

SWAMP CELEBRATES 25 YEARS!

After renting for 6 years, opening our own facility in 1998, thousands of campers and counselors, Swamp Camp Services puts on a party attending by hundreds from all across the globe. What memories and joy!

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October 29, 2017
Swamp Corps Locations

10 YEARS OF SWAMP CORPS

With a little dream after the inaugural trip to Jamaica, Swamp has now started 15 camps on 4 continents. Each location was initiated with an invitation as Swamp Corps does not advertise itself so we are confident this is where the Spirit wants us. amazing! Watch from the beginning here.

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January 1, 2020
Swamp Virtual Camp Logo

VIRTUAL CAMP INTRODUCED

Who was expecting COVID?! Once the decision was made that camp was not opening, Swamp Camp decided to try a new venture: Virtual Camp. Hosting 9 weeks with 4 hours per day Monday - Friday, Swamp Virtual Camp hosted 1,103 campers from 36 countries and partnered with HOPE for Kids for 2 weeks with teens from all over the United States.

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June 1, 2020
Steve & Rachele Gibsons
Brianna Bryant

SWAMP IS GROWING

After being two full-time and three part-time employees for 2.5 decades, Swamp Camp adds several people as a result of a growing ministry. Welcome to our new directors, Steve & Rachele Gibson and Brianna Bryant as Operations Support.

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January 1, 2022
Swamp Camp Board

SWAMP IS 30!

What?! 30! Amazing. Who would have thought the little camp that could. We thank and honor God for all he has done via Swamp Camp: the thousands of campers, the hundreds of counselors and volunteers, the churches and families served. See the dream for the next 30 years here.

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February 25, 2022

What is #swampcamp30plus30?

 

Swamp Camp Services
1380 Maxeys Road
Union Point, GA 30669
+01.706.352.4451
swampinfo at campswamp.com
Tax ID: 58-2381032

Get a Charge out of Camp!

Swamp Camp Going Green

Swamp Camp now offers electric vehicle hookup.
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