A Camp Based Upon Respect

Want to know more about our camp? Below, check out a letter from our camp directors, read our camp philosophy, or learn more about our history. 

Camper on challenge course

To Our Campers

Dear Campers and Families,

We’re excited to welcome you to Camp Massasoit at Springfield College and to our 82nd summer of fun-filled camp activities. We hope that you’ll join us for our next great year as we launch into another adventure with our campers and families on the shores of Lake Massasoit.  Don’t let these chilly days fool you—camp is right around the corner and we’re excited as we prepare for the arrival of the staff and campers alike!

Camp Massasoit embraces the mission of Springfield College—educating students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others—through its focus on education, development of the whole person, and understanding of respect for yourself, your counselors, your peers, and the environment.

For 82 years, Camp Massasoit, which is fully accredited by the American Camp Association, has remained true to the vision of those who founded the experiential-based camp, and we continue to support this exceptional model through our programs and the talented and creative staff who serve our campers.

Summer days at Camp Massasoit are filled with activities that have an educational component to them so our campers learn valuable life lessons through experiential opportunities, hands-on activities, and peer relationships without realizing it. Shh! Don’t let them know that. They just want to have fun! Whether it’s in our adventure-based programs, family fun nights, all-camp days, or theme days, our campers are presented with the opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth.

We’re looking forward to another great summer at Camp Massasoit. We can’t wait to see our returning campers and families and meet our new campers and families.

Angela Veatch and Ben Taylor
Camp Directors

Our Camp Philosophy

Camp Massasoit provides campers ages five to 16 with programs that are developmentally appropriate for each stage of their physical and cognitive growth. Striving to maintain a balance between skill development and sheer enjoyment, campers learn about the four areas of respect. The theme of respect is discussed every morning in opening ceremonies and is practiced throughout the camp day by our staff.

Respect Yourself
The staff guides the campers in positive decision-making while promoting self-discovery and self-appreciation across physical, cognitive, and social areas.

Respect Your Counselors
The essence of this goal is for campers to appreciate the guidance of individuals who have been professionally trained and are genuinely interested in the camper’s personal development, whether it is here at camp or back in the classroom.

Respect Your Peers
Counselors utilize the Challenge Course, cooperative games, and other team-based ventures to emphasize the value of diversity, trust, and peer leadership.

Respect The Environment
Through learning about the natural environment around them, campers learn how important protection and conservation are to the future use of the land. A variety of outdoor educational activities offer children experiences that enhance their understanding of and commitment to the environment.

Our History

Originally known as Springfield College Day Camp, the first summer session of what is today called Camp Massasoit was held in 1934. At that point, camp ran for two one-week sessions, cost $3.50 per week, and initially included 190 boys, ranging in age from 9 to 14 years old, and eight staff members. W.M. Grimshaw was the camp’s first director. Located where East Campus of Springfield College is today, the camp buildings included Pukwana Lodge—built in 1931 and destroyed by fire in 1964—and the Pueblo of the Seven Fires—built in 1932 and still erect today.

Since that first season, the camp has been in operation each summer, with the exception of 1944. In that year, the Sunday Republican reported that “the area was taken over by the Navy for recreational purposes.”

The camp proved to be so popular that the 1935 season was extended to six weeks, and the 1936 season ran for seven weeks. In 1966, the program was extended to eight weeks, with four two-week periods of camping.

Springfield College Day Camp added a program for girls in 1937 that began after the boys’ session ended. The success of the girls’ program led to the establishment of a coed camping program the following year, with boys and girls in separate units. The director of the boys’ unit was Mr. B. Sargeant; his wife was the girls’ program director. The Sargeants directed the camp until 1942, when Springfield College Professor L.K. Hall took over as director for two years.

In 1944, Howard MacMullen became the camp director, a position he held until 1966. In 1948, MacMullen invited campers and their parents to a reunion on March 6 that featured singing, movies, a volleyball game in West Gym, and a trip to the newly constructed Memorial Field House on the Springfield College campus. The cost of the reunion party was fifty cents.

In 1949, Springfield College President Paul Limbert appointed Professor Charles F. Weckwerth as chairman of the camp’s board, noting that the camp would “serve as a laboratory” for Springfield College students who were majoring in recreation and camping.

The camp celebrated its 50th anniversary season in 1984. Then-director Paul Katz remarked at the time that the season would be “like one big birthday party” and would feature a number of events, including camp mascot C.M. Ant blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, the burial of a time capsule on the campgrounds, and the launch of a Real World Science camping experience program.