In 1928 William F. Howe helped to arrange for the Hampshire County 4-H to start a camp in a location that is now the Quabin Reservoir. During this year William Howe passed away and for the next summer season the Hampshire County 4-H Camp was billed as Camp Howe to honor this man who was loved and respected by 4-H members and leaders alike.
After these first few years of operation, Camp Howe moved around from place to place and finally, in 1935, settled in Goshen, Massachusetts. Over the years the camp has developed and grown into the wonderful 4-H camp it is today.
Camp Howe has become known for the exceptional community created in which youth feel a sense of belonging and an active part of a community focused on the acceptance of difference of others and personal growth. The program is the only program in the entire country that has been recognized with the Eleanor P. Eels Award for program excellence twice by the American Camp Association
Camp Howe goes beyond the realm of teaching skills such as kicking a soccer ball, learning a new swim stroke or making a masterpiece in arts and crafts. In all honesty, I don’t believe we catapult any child in gaining any of these skills to any lever of mastery. What we excel at is having each child learn to accept themselves just as they are – strengths and weakness and build their confidence and esteem that helps them build on these strengths and weaknesses alike. Learning to genuinely value those around them and appreciate them “just as they are” gives them confidence to break outside their own comfort social zone and engage in meaningful interactions with individuals very different from themselves, both in and outside of camp, to open up a new world for them. We believe that camp is more than summer child care but rather, is a community that helps make the greater world a better place through understanding, acceptance and appreciation of the barriers that typically exist.
Situated along the shores of the beautiful Lower Highland Lake, Camp Howe features rustic cabins, private beach, outdoor amphitheater, a large multipurpose recreation hall, and a full service kitchen facility. Camp Howe's dining hall seats 175 and features a cathedral ceiling, and bathrooms. Other facilities include a classroom, riding stable, crafts studio, and wooded nature trail.
Camp Howe consists of 40 buildings spread out within a 52-acre area surrounded by 1700 acres of DAR State Forest. Wheelchair accessible buildings currently include the office, dining hall, classroom, camper cabins, and bathrooms.