About Us

Swamp Camp is a year-round overnight camp facility hosting retreats, special events and, during the summer, week-long overnight Christian camps for children from 9-18 years of age. The camp is located in a rural setting in Penfield, Georgia just two hours east of Atlanta and 45 minutes south of Athens on 188 acres of wooded land and open fields, where campers enjoy a variety of activities such as basketball, soccer, Laser Tag, Ultimate Frisbee, swimming, fishing, 300' Slip N Slide, 12' pool slide, paddle boating, Low Ropes Course, ping-pong, arts and crafts, hayrides, and more. Unforgettable memories are made during cabin challenges, night activities, devotionals and Bible classes.

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Our Mission / Vision

A Little Slice of Heaven: Partnering with God to create
a safe, spiritual space for belonging and learning through play, connection, community, and wonder.

Swamp Camp Logo

How do we create the "my-second-home" camp culture? It is through living our Core Values:


Everyone (parents, volunteers, counselors, and campers) has to feel mentally, physically, and emotionally safe in order for the spiritual self to be realized. Set an environment of respect; deal with bullies of all kinds, and create a culture of love. (Imagine an atmosphere where last names weren’t important; thus you were known for who you are and not all the ties to your parents, brother, sister, money, position, etc.) Thus our motto: “The Safest Place on the Planet, Besides Your Home.”


Celebrate differences!  Whether you are an athlete, scholar, musician, or domino expert, your color, talents, interests, and quirks are accepted and celebrated…each tremendously adds to the cultural tapestry; then the words of Desmond Tutu come alive, “Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people.”


The food needs to be good.  People—especially kids—will remember the food one way or another…and talk about it.


Everyone needs to have FUN! If it is not fun, no one will want to come back.  The cooks, nurses, campers, counselors all need to have a great time. Allow camp to host a wide age range, like 9-18 for summer camp. You will be amazed at the results and live the words of Dr. Seuss, "Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”


Pour all the resources you have into making a perennial camp…one that allows for generations to experience. If you give half your resources, you will get 50% of the results. If you only focus on one year, you may forego the next decade.


The rules need to be clear and few with someone who is in charge to enforce them.  They must be enforced or everything will spin out of control and no one will have much fun.


Everyone from the directors to the volunteers to the campers to the head dishwasher has to feel valued; each has the right to feel like somebody.  The culture of the camp is to make everyone feel like he or she is important.


Everyone needs to know his or her role, being defined and understood by all parties. If so, then each person will know if he is fulfilling it or not. Each can feel the success of fulfilling it and personal accountability if not.


Have a spiritual camp, not a religious camp.  There is a huge difference between the two. Trust God to work on the young hearts that are open.  If great sermons and convicting preachers always converted people, all of our kids would be disciples. Trust the process and the Spirit.


God, Jehovah, has to be made real.  We need to forget trying to indoctrinate kids into the church; let God reveal himself through the stars, the people, the Bible, nature, relationships, and through the spiritual culture that is created; the rest will follow.


Our Staff

Swamp Camp Erwin Clark

Erwin has been with the camp since 2003 and serves as the Facility Manager overseeing all physical assets with full responsibility for the maintenance, upkeep and improvements of the 188 acres. Prior to Swamp Camp he was a successful business owner in the construction and cable business. He is an amazing care-taker and believes that all his previous experiences have led and prepared him for this position, which he treats not as a job but as an extension of his vast knowledge and love for children.
Swamp Camp Debbie Clark
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Swamp Camp Rachele Gibson

Rachele grew up going to camp in northern Michigan and was excited to volunteer for Swamp Camp as a counselor the summer of 1993. She has volunteered in middle school and teen ministries, worked full time in adult ministries, volunteered at camp in the kitchen, and introduced her adult daughters to family camp when they were each five years old. She has been practicing child welfare law for the last 20 years and serves on the boards of local non-profits focused on caring and advocating for the most vulnerable in her community. She also has served on the church's board for the last 10 years having not yet been discovered by the music ministry. Rachele will partner with Steve in the oversight of summer camp operations and Swamp-hosted retreats as well as continue her law practice.
Swamp Camp Steve Gibson

Steve’s first camp experience was as a counselor in 1993. That’s also how he first met Rachele (at counselor training)! They have been consistently involved with camp ever since, along with their daughters. Steve oversees the year-round operations of all property-based events and activities conducted at and related to the Camp location in Georgia. Steve has been a full-time minister and youth leader in Atlanta and Athens, and now also serves as an Elder in the Athens Church of Christ.
Swamp Camp Jeff Rorabaugh

Jeff comes to Swamp Camp with over 30 years of service, working with youth of all ages. He has been involved in the planning and leadership of Swamp Camp for most of those years. He has been a full-time and volunteer youth minister and has worked with kids in the Greater Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City and Athens areas. He holds a Bachelor degree in Chemistry from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Science in Operations Management from Georgia State University. Jeff has worked with the likes of The Coca-Cola Company, Scientific Atlanta, Atlanta Church of Christ, Frito-Lay, and Power Partners holding various operations management positions and comes to Swamp Camp with much needed project management, train-the-trainer, budgeting, and leadership skills. His passion is to see the world made a better place by working with tomorrow's leaders today.

Our Board of Directors

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Megan Famodun, President, was born and raised in Marietta, GA. She attended college in Boston, MA for two years but then transferred and finished her degree in Sociology and Leadership at Kennesaw State University.  After graduating, Megan began serving in the Youth and Family ministry and soon after that, she married her husband Adeoye, they have been married now for four and a half years. Together, they served in the Youth and Family ministry at North River for a little over four years. During that time, they spent several weeks out at Swamp Camp, which was such a great opportunity for them since they did not get to experience it when they were growing up. Now, Megan is the HR & Finance Manager at North River. She is enjoying her new role and excited to be able to build new skills and use her talents to help with the administration of the church.

Megan Famodun
North River Church of Christ
320 Austin Avenue, NE
Marietta, Georgia 30060

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Dan Ankrom, Vice President. Dan Ankrom was born and raised near Rochester, New York.  He attended Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and later earned a Master’s degree in Physics Education at SUNY College at Buffalo.  Dan has worked in both education and engineering, and has lived in the Atlanta area since 2005.  He lives in Alpharetta with his wife Alaina, and their two children, Pierce and Waverly (who both LOVE attending camp at Swamp Camp!).  Dan works for Trenton Systems in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

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Jamie Parker, Secretary

Faith: Jamie was baptized in 2000 in the ACOCG ministry. He played nearly every Sunday on stage for the better part of 13 years as part of the band and now helps with the music ministry at Cornerstone church and leads a men's life group.

Professionally: Jamie Parker, a 3x ICON agent with Exp Realty, brings over 14 years of experience in helping his clients sell, buy or invest in real estate. Prior to real estate, he taught orchestra and general music for Gwinnett/Dekalb county schools for more than 17 years and has three degrees in education from Georgia State and UGA.  As a real estate agent, Jamie has been a member of the Agent Leadership Council while at Keller Williams and is now and ICON agent, trainer and mentor agent with EXP Realty. He ranks in the top 1% of all real estate agents in the state of Georgia. 

He recently also purchased Atlanta Strings Violin Shop in Downtown Lawrenceville and is aiming to create a foundation to allow children to reach their maximum potential through music.

He also publishes a community magazine called Brookwood Family Living which goes to 3500 of the most affluent homes in the Brookwood High School District.

Why SWAMP CAMP: Jamie is a single dad and has two kids ages 15 and 13 who are huge fans of SWAMP CAMP. He has fond memories of the magic marker makeover his daughter did on his face in a daddy/daughter retreat. SWAMP CAMP has the huge power to change lives for Christ.

Jamie Parker
1620 Benhill Dr
Snellville, GA 30078

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Dan Stehr, Treasurer. Dan and his wife, Cathi, live in the Lilburn area of Gwinnett Country(Metro Atlanta). Dan is from Kansas(go Jayhawks!) but moved to Atlanta in 1989, shortly after was converted in the Atlanta Church of Christ, and met Cathi(from Texas) in the Singles Ministry.  After marrying in 1992, Olivia and Caroline were born and came through the Youth and Family Ministry and became disciples as teens.  Olivia graduated from Georgia Tech where she participated in the Campus Ministry, after which she married Brandon Lennon. She and Brandon live in Atlanta and volunteer with the Teens at North River.  Caroline graduated from the University of South Carolina where she was part of the Campus Ministry. Caroline is now a member of the church in Asheville.

After some time in Georgia, Dan was able to finish his education at Georgia Tech(1998), with a BS in Computer Science, which has led to work as a Computer Programmer over the last 24 years, currently at InTown Suites.  Cathi works in the Gwinnett County Public Schools.  Dan and family enjoy time together and travel, especially to our National Parks, as well as golf for Dan.

Dan and Cathi have long been big supporters of Swamp Camp, with Cathi working in the Kitchen several years.  Olivia and Caroline spent many summers at the Swamp, as Campers, Workers and Counselors. Dan is a Deacon with the Atlanta Church of Christ in Gwinnett and represents the congregation on the Board of Directors.

Dan Stehr
5093 Arbor Lane
Lilburn, Georgia 30047

2023 Swamp Camp Services (SCS) Advisory Board

Development Committee

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Rick grew up living in Manila, Hong Kong and Jakarta before moving to South Bend, IN to study Computer Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. His first job took him to Chicago, IL as an IT Consultant and Software Engineer, developing GPS Navigations for automobiles that are now used on mobile devices. During this time, Rick grew in his knowledge and passion for God. This led him to accept a full-time position in the ministry with the Chicago Church of Christ alongside his wife Heather, whom he met in the church. Later, the Bernardo family, including daughter Gigi and son Jonathan, moved to Charlotte, NC to be closer to family.

Rick continued to serve God by volunteering with the Campus, Singles and Family ministries with the Charlotte Church of Christ, while also pursuing efforts to manufacture and ship pharmaceuticals to areas of Africa in need. In 2019, the Bernardo family received a dream opportunity to move to the beach and become a part of the Greater Wilmington Church where Rick currently serves as an Elder. With a vibrant teen ministry in Wilmington, Rick was introduced to Swamp Camp where he currently serves as a board member.

Rick Bernardo
8226 Lakeview Drive
Wilmington, NC 28412
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Vanessa Byers lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband, John, and four kids. She is a graduate from The University of Georgia with her Bachelors of Science in Recreational Therapy. She attended Camp Woodmont for the first time at the age of 12 in 1993—the second year camp was held—and as a camper, she watched camp grow into what it is today. Camp is where she first fell in love with God. Her dad spent many months helping to build Swamp Camp. As UGA students, both Vanessa and John spent their summers counseling and lifeguarding. The gifts of camp has continued throughout her life as she has watched her own kids be impacted by their summers at The Swamp. Vanessa’s first time volunteering in the kitchen was the summer of 2023 and she is thrilled to get back. She has a dream for Camp to continue for generations to come as it provides a sacred place for kids to experience God and have fun.

Vanessa Byers
2026 Valleybrook Drive
Brentwood, TN 37027
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Dan Lile became a Christian in 1980. He has served as a Youth Director and as a youth volunteer for over 25 years. Dan is married with three boys, all who have been eternally impacted by Swamp Camp. His favorite week of the year is when he and his wife gets to work in the kitchen! Dan is an Elder in the Charleston Church of Christ and works as a Regional Software Sales Manager.

Dan Lile
121 King Charles Circle
Summerville, SC 29485
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Tiful (Tif) McLaughlin is an Account Manager in the biomedical division of the American Red Cross. She is responsible for the growth and expansion of hundreds of blood programs in the Greater Carolinas Region. Her passion meets purpose in her career and other forms of community service. She has been active in serving the public school district in her area through fundraising and mentoring students in the Change a Life Mentoring Program. Tif and her husband, Todd, of 21 years served as Family Dynamics marriage facilitators for over a decade. They are both passionate about supporting Swamp Camp with Todd serving as a medical advisor, Tif serving on the Board, and their three children attending summer camp for the past 10 years.

Tiful McLaughlin
176 Lockerbie Lane
Mooresville, NC 28115
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I became a Christian in: 1995 as a college student at the University of Georgia.

I am passionate about Swamp Camp because: When I graduated college I heard about this project to build a camp for children. I had no idea what it was all about at the time, but I volunteered to help build it. I worked out at camp hauling lumber, breaking up concrete frames on the dining hall, digging trenches and roofing cabins. Little did I know that I was helping build something that would make a tremendous impact on my children’s lives 20 years later. My oldest daughter, Elliot, studied the bible and was baptized out at the Swamp and she says that the Swamp was one of the main reasons that she found Jesus.

My wife and I have been working in the kitchen for about 10 years. It is one of the highlights of our year. We feel so full when we leave. It truly is a little slice of heaven!

My family: Julie and I met in the campus ministry and were married in 1999. We have lived in Athens ever since.

I work for a living doing:

Owner Company Name Armond’s Plastics Location Athens, Georgia
Plastic injection manufacturing company. We produce and distribute plastic oral care products across the country.

Owner Velocity Technology Partners Location Athens, Georgia
As Founder and Co Owner of Velocity Technology Partners, Joe has helped take this company from an idea on paper and grown it into one of the most successful companies in the state of Georgia. Velocity has been recognized in several business articles and was ranked # 7 in the Terry College of Business Bulldog 100 for the 100 fastest growing companies owned by UGA alumni.

Vice President/ Co-Owner Company Name Athens Capital Partners Location Athens, Georgia
Athens Capital Partners' purpose is to fund, acquire or launch small businesses. ACP is committed to fueling high quality, successful entrepreneurial ventures. ACP currently owns 4 commercial real estate entities.

Joe Moon
2251 Bent Tree Lane
Watkinsville, GA 30677
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Justin (far right in picture) and his wife, Betty, currently live in the northeast Atlanta metro area. Justin grew up in north Florida where he and Betty met. They got married and began a family in Orlando, FL, and then moved to the Atlanta metro area in 1996 and became members of the Atlanta Church of Christ. They have two sons, Cameron and Kyle. Cameron is married to Madison, and Kyle is getting married to Abigail in July. Currently, Justin and Betty are members of the Athens Church of Christ in Watkinsville, GA.

Justin earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees (Healthcare Administration, Masters in Healthcare Administration) from the University of West Florida. He has more than 18 years in the healthcare industry and is an Associate Director for Guidehouse (formerly Navigant). Betty is a first grade teacher in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Justin and his family enjoy many outdoor activities.

Justin and Betty have volunteered at Swamp Camp since its inception in 1998 with both Cameron and Kyle spending many of their summers at camp. Justin is a board member for the Athens Church of Christ and also part of the Advisory board member for Swamp Camp under the Development Committee.

Justin Roepe
1624 Mapmaker Drive
Dacula, GA 30019

Operations Committee

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A Native of Fayetteville NC, Frank earned undergraduate degrees in both Economics and Business Management from NC State University in 1994.

A few years later, Frank became a Christian in December 1997 and married his lovely wife, Angela in 2000 while they were a part of Triangle Church.

They moved to Fayetteville in 2003 and joined the fellowship of the recent Fayetteville Church planting the Triangle Church had help to come to fruition. They have been in Fayetteville ever since, raising their three (3) kids, Evan (17), and twin girls, Julianna & Isabella (15). Frank's manages his own real estate investment firm while also overseeing the finances for their local congregation as well as volunteering as a high school varsity basketball and track and field coach. His wife, Angela has served as a medical volunteer for camp when her schedule allows, and all three kids love camp and the relationships they've built are life-long for them all!

Frank Bailey
3326 Lake Bend Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28311 910-670-2149
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Galileu Carvalho was born in Recife, Brazil. In the early 90’s moved to Atlanta, GA to attend Georgia State University where he obtained a BBA in Management and later a master’s degree in Accounting. Galileu and his wife Michelle Carvalho have been married for over 22 years. In the late 90’s, they moved to Brazil and worked as missionaries in different states for several years before returning to the US in 2004. They are part of the Atlanta Church of Christ in Gwinnett, Georgia and have served in the Youth & Family Ministry for more than 10 years. They have one son, Galileu II (14). According to him, his favorite place on earth is Swamp Camp. Since 2011, we as family enjoy spending time at Swamp Camp, creating special memories while attending the various retreats that are offered throughout the year, and supporting this vital ministry. Galileu works as a Financial Planning & Analysis Manager for Emory Healthcare System.

Galileu Carvalho
4179 Palm Drive
Snellville, Georgia 30039

Bio forthcoming.
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Chris grew up in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, after which he relocated to Gauteng Province to further his studies and career.

In his later years, Chris completed his Bachelor of Accounting Sciences Degree (Cum Laude) through the University of South Africa and achieved two professional designations – “Professional Accountant (SA)” and “Professional Tax Practitioner (SA)” through the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA). Chris’s career spans almost 30 years in Senior Finance positions of the Gold Mining and Manufacturing Industries in South Africa.

He is married to Karen and they have two daughters, who unfortunately missed the camp experience, as SWAMP only launched in Johannesburg when they were adults.

Baptised in 1997, Chris and Karen together led the Children’s Ministry in the Johannesburg Church of Christ for approx. 10 years. Karen was instrumental during the SWAMP launch, with Chris becoming “hands on” a couple years later, assisting with administration and loving being behind the camera taking the “candid snaps”. Having a heart for camp, they also served with the launch of SWAMP Zimbabwe, assisting with administration and training.

Chris and Karen served for a number of years as Family Group Leaders in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, with Chris also recently serving on the Advisory Board of Trustees as treasurer, for the Port Elizabeth Church of Christ.

Chris hopes to add value, through his financial knowledge and insight, to compliment the already experienced and dedicated Board.

Chris Todd
Professional Accountant (SA) / Professional Tax Practitioner (SA)
Jeffreys Bay
South Africa
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Angelica first experienced Swamp Camp Services (SCS) as a counselor in Swamp Camp in the summer of 1998. Her husband was a camper and counselor and her 3 children (18,17 and 12) have been attending camp since they were little. After a Swamp Corps trip with her oldest daughter in 2019, her love for Swamp Camp Services (SCS) only deepened from seeing God through Swamp Camps around the world. Her entire family has now been to two Swamp Corps trips: Honduras and Taiwan and hope to join in more future trips. Her family loves Swamp Camp Services and the inspiration and encouragement that it provides her family (individually and together) to living the Spirit-filled life as a disciple of Jesus.

In 2020, Angelica began serving on the SCS Advisory Board and stepped in as Chair of the Communications Committee in 2021. In her current role, she builds internal and external communication strategies that will allow messaging to be consistent and impactful for staff, the Camp community, and its stakeholders. It’s her goal to spread awareness of and support for Swamp Camp’s mission, inspire service, and ensure that camp will continue for generations to come.

Angelica graduated from Emory University with a Master’s in Public Health focused on Behavioral Science and Health Education. Prior to joining SCS, she worked a little over a decade at the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc – a nonprofit in Atlanta aimed at serving the Asian immigrant and refugee community in Georgia. As Director of Resource Development and Human Services, she was a grant writer and established various culturally and linguistically competent community programs throughout metro-Atlanta. She also spearheaded the creation of the Georgia Asian American Pacific Islander Community Coalition (GAAPIC), a coalition of various communities and organizations in Georgia before she left the nonprofit sector to focus solely on family.

Angelica Yim
1470 Land O'Lakes Drive
Roswell, GA 30075

Strategy Committee


Bio forthcoming.
Payne Family

Crystal, a native of Georgia, attended Emory University and The University of Georgia School of Law. She practiced administrative law for several years before joining the HOPE for Children, Inc. staff in 1996. She then began a life-long love of service to children around the world. She began aiding development of HOPE's international adoption arm becoming Program Director, International Programs Director, and finally serving as Interim Executive Director before her retirement to private practice and motherhood. Crystal has also served the State of Georgia in the child support recovery program under the Special State Attorney General's office. In addition, she has maintained her own private practice specializing in private international and domestic adoption. She is wife of Kevin Payne and together they have 3 children, Chandler, Carter and Ashley, all three who love and treasure their experiences at camp.

Crystal Payne
177 Rocky Creek Trail
Woodstock, GA 30188
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Taylor earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. He spent three of his four college summers serving as a full-time counselor at Swamp Camp, quickly developing a passion for the camp. Taylor works for AT&T on their Corporate Strategy team, evaluating strategic projects that set the direction for AT&T’s Mobility & Entertainment business. Taylor is honored to serve with a group of men and women focused on increasing Swamp Camp's impact around the world. His family includes his wife Marilisa, his two-year old daughter Naomi and a second daughter due in August.

Taylor Schachinger
395 Edwards Dr NE
Marietta, GA 30060
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Ron grew as a “military brat” to a career Army intelligence non-commissioned officer, living in 4 US states, as well as Japan and Okinawa, before attending college at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, then meeting his future wife, Kim, while he was attending Southern Illinois Law School. Ron is a Managing Principal at Sullivan Cotter and Associates, a leading healthcare consulting firm. Ron works with community health systems, academic medical centers, physician organizations and faculty practice plans throughout the country on strategic affiliation, provider compensation planning, and related valuation services. Ron and Kim have been married for 34 years and have four children: Hunter (29); Taylor (26); Maddie (23); and Morgan (21). They have been active in adult and children’s ministries in St. Louis, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Atlanta, including adoption and foster care. They have fallen in love with the power and impact of the Swamp Camp since moving to Atlanta in 1996 – with all of their children participating and serving at Camp and three in multiple Swamp Corps trips from childhood to their college years. Aside from prior Executive Committee and current Advisory Board involvement with the Swamp Camp, Ron has also served on multiple Boards of Directors (including HOPE for Children, the Atlanta Church of Christ, and the Cornerstone Church of Christ). Ron is currently a member of the Leadership Team at Cornerstone.

Ron Vance
1382 Sever Creek Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Swamp Camp is a 501(c)3, Publication 78 listed organization under the name of Swamp Camp Services, Inc.

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Swamp Camp Pavilion Activity
Swamp Camp Q&A Fact Sheet

Swamp Camp Q &A Fact Sheet

At Swamp Camp, we have a long-standing commitment to our families and friends to be “the safest place on the planet.” A lot goes into living up to that standard, so as a part of this commitment we want to ensure each of you understand as much as possible about the camp and its management. With this in mind, we have put together this Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) document as an easy to reference guide to some of the not-so-obvious-and-curious topics. May it increase your knowledge and comfort to our commitment to indeed make Swamp Camp “the safest place on the planet, besides your home.”


Our History


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
Swamp Camp Dining Hall Being Built


After searching for almost two years, the right property was found in Penfield, Georgia and construction began. It rained so much 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.


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