History & Tradition
In August of 1900, thirty members of the Appalachian Mountain Club set up camp on Three Mile Island, at the northern end of Lake Winnipesaukee, on land donated to the AMC by the Eastman family of Concord, New Hampshire. Now, over 100 years later, Three Mile Island Camp seems untouched by time, a place apart from the modern world. Longtime campers and new members of the Three Mile family enjoy the camp’s traditions: Simplicity, Community, Sustainability, and Volunteerism.
A Tradition of Simplicity
Rosewell Bigelow Lawrence, who wrote an account of the first visit by AMC members, would have no trouble recognizing the place. Three Mile remains a haven of voluntary simplicity, insulated from the frenzied demands of day-to-day life, where the only obligation is to set one's own pace in harmony with nature. Three Mile Island Camp is dedicated to the ongoing goal of living "as close to nature as...reasonable regard for comfort will allow.” Campers agree to keep electronic devices in their own cabins, freeing themselves to enjoy nature, good food and great company.
A Tradition of Community
The camp provides campers recreational opportunity and spiritual renewal. Families and friends of all generations swim, canoe, sail, walk the island's tranquil paths, hike in nearby mountains—or simply sit on a porch, chatting, reading, or reflecting. Camp traditions dating back generations include a group sing on Sunday evenings, a raucous camper-vs. “Croo” volleyball game, and a square dance each Friday night. Campers wait for a bugle to welcome them to sit down to enjoy meals together on an open porch overlooking the woods and the lake.
A Tradition of Sustainability
In keeping with the mission of the AMC, Three Mile Island Camp is a leader in experiential and place-based environmental education. Camp living teaches campers to live lightly on the land, both at camp and at home. Through careful stewardship, the Camp has remained a haven where families and individuals can experience the natural world together. The Camp partners with the local community to preserve and protect the Lakes Region.
A Tradition of Volunteerism
The Camp’s long history of volunteerism has helped to preserve and sustain the island. An engaged volunteer committee is actively responsible for the well-being of the island’s natural and human environment, many people volunteer to maintain the camp property, and all who visit the island are invited to engage in its success, guaranteeing a stable and healthy future.