Camp Freedom is a year-round adventure camp for disabled veterans, first responders and their families and Gold Star families.
We provide quality hunting opportunities, shooting sports, fishing, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities which remove individuals from clinical settings into the healing environment of the outdoors and nature. We also promote the social wellbeing of the participants by interacting with their peers, their families, and volunteers. Camp Freedom is a unique organization that helps veterans and first responders onto a pathway of recovery and strives to keep families together through outdoor activities at no cost to them.
Camp Freedom focuses on abilities and strengths rather than disabilities. Activities will be led by Camp Freedom’s Staff and experienced volunteers. The camp is mostly wheelchair accessible. Activities are adapted to give every guest the opportunity to participate. Additional activities include outdoor excursions such as nature walks, wildlife tracking and flora identification. Camp Freedom will also provide services to other nonprofits who have a similar mission a collective impact.
The property at Camp Freedom covers 1,800 acres from the river bottom to the top of the mountain. The terrain is abundantly varied from thick mountain laurels to hardwood stands. The outdoor opportunities at Camp Freedom are endless. Our property has populations of whitetail deer, black bear, turkey, grouse, coyote, fox and waterfowl. We have two ponds that provide great fishing opportunities along with 1 ½ miles of access to the Lackawanna River for incredible trout fishing.
There are over four million registered disabled Veterans in our VA system. When you add the disabled veterans who choose not to utilize the VA, the numbers are stunning. Along with physical challenges, PTSD, TBI, and other mental disabilities are massive. With 22+ suicides per day — over 8,000/year — something needs to change.
The same issues that plague so many of our veterans are now plaguing our local, everyday heroes — our first responders. Usually first on the scene, they can witness the unimaginable. As a result, mental struggles and suicides are on the riser among our police, law enforcement, EMS and firefighters. The difference is they have no VA system to help them nor a system that allows them to get help while still protecting their job. Camp Freedom provides a discrete getaway of healing at our outdoor paradise. This is the perfect medicine to help our first responders to get the help they need.
When our patriotic men and women go away to war, they understand the ultimate sacrifice could become a reality. When the unthinkable happened, their families are left with the pain of losing their loved one and the added weight of who will now be there to teach the children life skills. Camp Freedom provides and environment where children can learn backpacking, survival training, shooting, fishing and conservation. The spouses can relax and reconnect with the family. We also offer these getaways to first responder families that lost a loved one.
We have year-round volunteer opportunities for all ages, skill levels and physical abilities. Whether you are an individual, an organization or a corporation, volunteering can help you learn new skills, make new contacts and improve the quality of life for others. As a nonprofit 501c3 organization, we are in need of all types of services and/or equipment from gear for outdoor activities to building supplies and heavy equipment to food services, marketing materials and other professional services. We accept all levels of sponsorship from individuals to large corporations. Naming rights, Adopt an Acre and sponsored hunt programs are also available.
Matt Guedes has more than 20 years of experience in the outdoor industry. His extensive background in this field serves him well as the executive director of Camp Freedom. For more information on the camp, visit www.campfreedompa.org.