The camp has a long and great history and even though it is over 100 years of age, the camp philosophy, campus and traditions, for the most part, have remained untouched. We like to think of Echo Hill as a bubble from the outside world, such as it was 100 years ago when children enjoyed their summers without cell phones and shoes. They preferred bathing suits as opposed to expensive jeans, and were more concerned with their daily activities rather than what was thought of them. Today hundreds of campers enjoy these same time honored traditions and have a chance to escape back to a simpler time and place. A place of "Contentment, beauty, and friendship".
Echo Hill started as Montessori Camp in Bucks County, PA. This camp and school was run by Anna Paist who was personally trained by Maria Montessori, the godmother of the curriculum of the many schools that bear her name. Originally, Echo Hill was a camp for senior boys. They lived in large platform tents similar to the tents at Echo Hill today. By the 1940’s the camp became co-ed and Echo Hill Camp was officially born!
In 1952, Echo Hill Camp moved to its current location on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland. Peter and Terry Rice attended camp here in 1955-1957! The property was leased to Echo Hill Camp by the Harris Family Trust who have owned the land for hundreds of years and still do to this day. The property itself has had many purposes prior to Echo Hill. It was a Turkey Farm, Peach Orchard, Tomato Farm and even part of the US Army Base in 1943. Our Art Center building used to be the Army Base mess hall! Though the valuable property could have been used for many more profitable industries, the Harris Family decided that nothing was as rewarding as helping children grow in the natural environment. That was a decision that 1000's of children have personally been impacted by and has changed many lives for the better.
In 1966, the Peter P. Rice, Sr., family purchased Echo Hill Camp. Peter Rice, Sr., had directed the day camp at Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC for over 25 years and had always wanted to run a sleep-away camp. It was a family affair with Pauline Rice tutoring and Peter and Terry working as counselors. Though the owners changed when Peter and Pauline bought the camp, many of the philosophies stayed the same and little has changed since that transition today.