YMCA: Camp Carson

Founded in 1940, YMCA Camp Carson is southern Indiana’s premier overnight outdoor summer camp. The camp’s mission is to develop youth by providing opportunities to experience the outdoors and to develop strong, life-long friendships. With over 5 miles of trails for activities, including horseback, dirt bikes, mountain bikes and hiking, the camp offers challenging programming involving personal goal-seeing and skill development. 

Camp Carson asked TKWA to prepare a long-range site and facility master plan to identify potential phased improvements. A key concern was resolving a lack of overall coherence and unity resulting from years of poorly planned additions to the camp. The camp suffered from poor water quality and algae growth to its on-site lake due to uncontrolled runoff from the location of its horse barns; an issue TKWA resolved through relocation of the barns and through other water management recommendations. 

TKWA created a new ‘Adventure Village’ for specialty camps which allows for a unique identity while maintaining close connections to the main camp. TKWA provided design recommendations for reintroduction of safety-conscious over-water suspension bridges inspired by the delicate swaying bridges that had historically been an important part of camp culture. Among a number of other recommended camp improvements, TKWA identified opportunities for strategically located outdoor shade structures that could be used for classroom activities and as way stations for hikers.


Princeton, IN


230 Acres


Ongoing; Master Plan Completed 2013