History

Farmhouse 1962

Wanakee Farmhouse in 1962

Before Wanakee's first summer camp in 1962, New Hampshire Methodists held camp events at rented sites. Meanwhile, some inspired leaders who cared for children and youth searched New Hampshire for a camp site.

Meadowbrook Camp, once a horse camp for girls, was purchased by the New Hampshire Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for $50,000 in 1962. The leaders were so convinced New Hampshire Methodists needed their own camp site, they rounded up enough supporters to secretly pledge to purchase the site if the Annual Conference did not.

The inspiration for the name Wanakee, a Native American term translated “beautiful spiritual place in the hills” came from Harold E. Perkins, then a student in religious education and theology at Boston University. He also served as the first chairperson of the New Hampshire Conference Camp and Conference Committee. Fifty-three charges sent 281 individuals to Wanakee that first summer, the largest number being junior high boys and girls (117). Sixty-one adult volunteers served the campers.1

The farmhouse was built in 1803. The original tents and hogans on the hill were replaced with summer cabins and yurts beginning in the late 1980s and completed in the 1990s.

The Homestead Retreat, an adjacent parcel of land with a log home, was purchased in 1994. This house, now a winterized log cabin, began Wanakee's growth into year-round retreats.

You are accepted at Wanakee! Wanakee is open to all persons regardless of race, color, gender, sex, age, national origin, religion, or disability. For handicapped accessibility and special needs, contact us.


1 Information in this paragraph from God, Grace, and Granite: the history of Methodism in New Hampshire, 1768-1988 by Dr. Charles W. Kern, published for the New Hampshire United Methodist Conference by Phoenix Publishing, Canaan, New Hampshire, 1988.