Across the country there are thousands of day and residential camps. There are countless more non-profit organizations, foundations, and for-profit companies. Each one has a name, and each name has a meaning, but not every name has a personality. Not every name has an idea behind it, and not every name moves us to do and want deeper and better things from ourselves. Hawkeye is one name that does. From the pages of Cooper’s famous Leatherstocking Tales series, the moniker, “Hawkeye,” describes a true woodsman and frontier hero.
In 1823, James Fenimore Cooper published his 2nd book, The Pioneers; this was the first in what grew to be his most famous series, the Leatherstocking Tales. The main character was an orphan, Nathaniel “Natty” Bumppo, who came to be known by a variety of nicknames including Hawkeye, Deerslayer, La Longue Carabine, Leatherstocking, and Pathfinder. The archetype of the early American frontier hero Bumppo was portrayed as a simple living, good natured, loyal, moral, and friendly scout whose closest friends were his Indian companions. He lived on the fringe of “American” society, choosing instead to walk, camp, and live in, and off, of the woods he loved so much. He was completely at ease in this natural habitat and felt kinship with the natural world around him. His awe of the majesty of the woods and trees inspired me as a young reader and continues to inspire me today.
Cooper romanticizes Bumppo’s life in the wild based upon his own experiences growing up in what is now rural and central New York State. Bumppo's character embraced the respect for the environment and knowledge of the natural world that Camp Hawkeye seeks to promote through simple community living and participation on wilderness adventure trips.
Founded in 2005 by Garrett Colgan-Snyder Camp Hawkeye is run by a small and dedicated staff led by Garrett and his wife Jessica. Hawkeye is a different camp experience and an extremely close knit community. The intentionality of the community is built upon Garrett & Jessica's love of camping and the outdoors and there fervent belief in the power of the camp experience. The power of camp is found in the magic of community and at Hawkeye; magic abounds.