Since its founding in 1903 along the shores of Little Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire, Wachusett has been in continuous operation every summer—save for three years during World War II.
In 1986 the camp moved to a new site along Lake Hortonia, a 450-acre lake in Hubbardton, Vermont; the site had been a girls' camp into the early 1980's and is a beautiful setting, with splendid accommodations and facilities.
The Rev. Lorin Webster, Headmaster of the Holderness School in central New Hampshire, was Wachusett's "Founding Father." There were approximately fifteen boys during the camp's inaugural season. James Henderson was the head counselor that first summer. Years later he served as a chaplain, teacher, and coach with St. Albans School in Washington, DC; and each summer the camp continues to recognize our most outstanding youngster with the Henderson Trophy. From the late 1930's to the late 1970's, the ownership and leadership of Camp Wachusett were in the extraordinary hands of Bill Triplett, a marvelous man with an exuberant personality and infectious spirit. Over that period of time Bill was with the Landon School, a boys' school outside Washington, and served in various capacities—among them Admissions Director, Head of the Lower School, and Assistant Headmaster. We celebrate his remarkable qualities with the Triplett Award for Camp Spirit, and the award goes to one deserving Junior, one Intermediate, and one Senior.
Camp remained under the ownership and direction of Jim and Maria Weiss until the end of the 2016 season. Jim first went to Wachusett as a cabin and activities counselor in 1966, and Maria arrived the following year as the camp’s registered nurse. For eight years, from 1978 to 1985, they rented the camp’s original site in New Hampshire. In early 1986 they purchased the 40-acre property along Lake Hortonia, and the camp began operating in its new location that summer. The Weisses have two children and six grandchildren, five of them boys whose camper days are just beginning! The Weiss Award for Citizenship complements the Triplett Award and is presented to three boys, one in each division.
As summer turned to fall in 2016, Camp management transitioned into the hands of Matt and Jessie Pescatore. Matt's story at Camp Wachusett begain as a Kiowan in 1996, and lead to many years on the staff. Jessie brings tremendous experience as a camper, counselor, and director in her home state of Minnesota.
Please visit our transition page to read letters from the Weisses and Pescatores.
Year after year the Wachusett staff has been a truly remarkable group! Most of our counselors are students and teachers who have enjoyed long associations with the camp—often as campers, Counselors-in-Training, Staff Interns, and Junior Counselors. They are a talented group indeed and reflect a common interest in the healthy development of the boys, an enormous affection for the camp, impressive dedication and commitment, and a substantial capacity for hard work.
There have been changes over the years—a change in location, modest changes in emphasis, and changes in sessions, for example. The values that have been characteristic of Wachusett for decades, however, endure: a remarkable enthusiasm that pervades every aspect of camp, a spirit of fun and humor, a special caring and attention to each boy, and a friendliness and sense of community that impact every camper and counselor.