Extraordinary. Outdoor. Education.

Gardner Camp, founded in 2012, is a not-for-profit, private foundation established by the generosity of the late John Willis “Jack” Gardner, II.

Gardner Camp consists of 540 acres of land located in the Mississippi River valley near Hull in Pike County, Illinois. The Camp has multiple lakes and is setup with water control systems to allow habitat maintenance and preservation of the wetlands.  Therefore, it is a natural stopping place for many migrating birds and holds plentiful deer and other wildlife.

The Camp property had been owned by members of the Gardner family for many years and was a popular recreation spot for multiple generations of local waterfowl hunters.

Who Was Jack Gardner?

Jack Gardner entrusted the Camp to State Street Bank & Trust Co. for development and maintenance to allow utilization by youth not-for-profit organizations serving the Adams and Pike County areas of Illinois and surrounding counties. It was Gardner’s desire that the primary emphasis of the Camp would be in providing access to youth programs in recreational and educational endeavors.

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More Information on Trust Management

Beginning in 2012, we went to work right away developing a legacy camp that would bring Jack’s vision to life and provide a ‘WOW’ experience for area youth and not-for-profit programs.  Take a look at our historical timeline:

Gardner Camp Development

  • 2012

    Gardner Camp Established

    State Street Bank & Trust Co. named as Trustee

  • 2013-2015

    Advisory Board Established

    Site & Habitat Improvements:
    Wells, Levees, Canals
    Water Control Systems
    Goose Pit Waterfowl Blind
    Five Deer Stands Added
    Trap Range

    First Youth Hunts Held

  • 2016

    Grand Opening of Gardner Hall

    Hired First Executive Director

  • 2017-2018

    Began Year-Round Events

    Enhanced Programs with Specialized Facilities:
    Restored Original Barn
    Activity Pavilions
    3D Archery Range
    Trap Shooting Range
    High Powered Telescope
    Wetland Study Docks
    Broad Apron North & South
    Duck Blinds

  • 2019-2020

    Constructed Fishing Pond

    Through Pin Oak Foundation Added:
    Accessible Passenger Trailer
    StarLab Planetarium
    Second Telescope


hours – average time spent outside


outdoor educational experiences


kids – average group size – small groups create quality learning


community partners & program affiliates


total grants awarded  -- program support and capacity building – StarLab planetarium, accessible passenger trailer, marketing consulting services, and field trip transportation

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Our Mission

The mission of Gardner Camp is the promotion of outdoor recreational and educational activities with its primary emphasis on youth programs.

Our Vision

Gardner Camp will become a recognized program of the highest quality for providing mentored youth hunting with outdoor educational opportunities to area youth.

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Advisory Board

Nick Ingalls, Camp Point, IL, Chair

Jason Allen, Quincy, IL, Vice Chair

Daloris Picone, Nebo, IL

Andy Sprague, Barry, IL

Brady Genenbacher, Quincy IL

Robin Colgrove, Kinderhook IL

Kailee Flesch, Quincy IL

Ex-Officio Members

Laurie Brinkman, State Street Bank

John Snyder, State Street Bank


Lisa Pemberton, Interim Director

Nicole Taylor, Assistant Director of Programming

Brandon Rollins, Assistant Director of Hunting