In 1948, the Superintendent of Talladega County Schools, Mr. E.A. McBride, founded Camp Mac because of his conviction that not everything children need to know to become successful, productive adults can be taught in a classroom.
Since that time, our family has seen firsthand the benefits children derive year after year as they grow up as part of the “Camp Mac Family”. We have found that “Mr. Mac” was right in his belief that “Camp is good for kids”, and share in his belief that every child should have the opportunity to attend summer camp. Of course, we realize that all camps are different, and every camp is likely to be better suited for some children than others.
From the beginning, Camp Mac has been a “learning camp”. Over the years, we have carefully developed a program that appeals to children who are active, curious, welcome challenges and enjoy the out-of-doors.
As an independent, privately owned camp, Camp Mac has had the latitude and resources to make decisions, develop programs and facilities, and recruit and train staff that supports our philosophy and mission to make a positive difference in the life of each camper. Our program has been designed to give our campers’ guidance and support, help them feel secure, give them a sense of belonging and help them develop new interests while building a wide array of skills.
Although boys and girls have always attended Camp Mac at the same time, instructional activities are conducted in single-sex classes. Boys and girls are given the opportunity to mix with each other within their own age groups during evening recreation and other non-instructional times of day. This unique structure provides an instructional program like that of an all-boys or all-girls camp, while allowing brothers and sisters to attend camp together. It also gives boys and girls the opportunity to live in the same community – just as they will for the rest of their lives.
Camp Mac offers both two and four week programs, but our 2-Week Term is designed to serve as an introduction to camp for children who have not been away from home before, and as a “stepping stone” to the more advanced and complete program available to campers in our four-week sessions.
Our 4-week terms are not simply back to back 2-week terms, but rather consist of a carefully planned progression in which campers participate in a wide variety of activities and move from one skill level to the next – day-to-day, week-to-week and year-to-year.
Each summer, more than 85 to 90 percent of our 4-week term campers were Camp Mac campers the year before. Over 95 percent of our staff members have been campers and/or counselors at Camp Mac during previous years. Not only does this experience greatly benefit our camp and campers, it allows these campers and counselors to build on their own experiences at camp and to learn and grow in ways that would not otherwise be possible.