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Hiram House Camp

Hiram House was founded as Ohio’s first settlement house in 1896 by George Bellamy to address the needs of Cleveland’s then burgeoning immigrant and poverty stricken slum dwellers.  An outgrowth of Bellamy’s mission was the establishment of a “fresh air camp” for tenement-bound families and especially their children.  By the turn of the century, The Hiram House moved to its present location and started its highly respected camping and outdoor education program.  The mission of Hiram House is to enrich the lives of children through camping.  We provide the youth of our community with an opportunity to live, play and learn in an environment that is racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse.  Hiram House is committed to promoting family values, building character and opening new horizons for thousands of boys and girls, building character, self esteem and promoting team and group development through hands-on educational programs, outdoor experiences and activities.  These include: archery, canoeing, swimming, wildlife and environmental studies.  Annually over 11,000 children and young people use Hiram House’s facilities and are enriched by its programs.

Throughout its history, Hiram House Camp has subsidized overnight summer camp costs for children living at or below the poverty level and youth in foster care.  This Campership fund has been established to offset their costs of attending a week or two of overnight summer camp.  Over 80% of Hiram House Camp’s overnight campers receive financial assistance through our Campership fund.  The Campership Fund is supported thru local foundations, companies and individual donors who see the benefit of a life enriching summer camp experience.

Camperships allow Hiram House to give the magic of camp that goes far beyond traditional recreation programs.  Overnight camp provides a setting that can result in beneficial changes in participants’ self esteem, interpersonal relationships and feeling of connection with the natural world, as well as stimulating greater interest in future recreation experiences in natural areas.  Hiram House Camp also strives to give children a positive character building experience, helping to increase their self-worth regardless of their current life situation.  Over the course of a summer at Hiram House Camp our goal is to address the following issues: lack of positive adult role models, social/cultural/economic diversity, cooperative learning, leadership skills, respect/responsibility, small/large group experiences and interactions, individual and group learning.

Hiram House Camp specializes in activities and programs that will challenge youth and build confidence, leadership, communication, responsibility and resourcefulness, all essential for success throughout life.  Campers also meet others of diverse backgrounds, make and build friendships.  In the process they learn tolerance and cooperation. Teamwork is fostered through many interactive group activities, programs and facilities include high and low ropes courses, alpine climbing tower, our adventure walk and challenge obstacles.  Furthermore, campers can visit the Reading Cabin filled with books intended to strengthen summer reading skills.  At the Hiram House Double H Ranch, campers groom and care for 11 horses and their stables and get the opportunity to care for other animals housed in our Farmstead Building.  Campers tend and plant a garden and learn about sustainable agriculture and also work and study in our butterfly garden.

2018 summer statistics for children attending overnight camp through our campership fund:

76% received some form of financial assistance to attend camp; 49% are foster youth; 42% are from single parent homes; 55% had an income lower than $19,000; 60% were African American, 27% Caucasian; 13% were from Latino/Hispanic, Multicultural/Ethnic and Native American.  The majority of these children are from urban areas.

Hiram House Camp’s yearly goal is to raise $200,000 for Camperships that will allow roughly 300 children from all over Northeast Ohio to attend overnight summer camp in 2019.



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