Sargent Center for Outdoor Education
year history as an educational facility serving
college students, K-12 students and
teachers, families, and workplace groups.
Located in Hancock, New Hampshire, the
site consists of 700 acres of mixed
deciduous and pine forests, ponds, streams,
and wetlands. The central campus is
arranged around the perimeter of a 14-acre
grassy field and includes two large
meeting/dining halls, support buildings, and
residential cabins. The current educational
facilities include a swimming and boating
waterfront, a high ropes course, and a model
Sargent Center was founded in 1912 by Dr. Dudley Allen Sargent (1849-1924), a pioneer in physical education.
Sargent had a long association with Harvard College and established the independent Sargent School of Physical
Training in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1881. In 1912 he established a camp for girls and young women on
former farmland straddling Peterborough and Hancock, New Hampshire. Sargent’s camp provided a rigorous
program of outdoor activities, including swimming, canoeing, tennis, horseback riding, and mountain climbing.
Sargent’s school, now called Sargent College, became part of Boston University in 1928, and the camp was
purchased by the university five years later.
From 1932 to 1969 Boston University provided innovative year-round outdoor educational programs at Sargent
Camp, including college-level programs, school programs and a six-week summer camp for children. The camp was
closed for five years and reopened by Boston University in 1974. The Human Environment Institute provided
programming for BU students and faculty, school groups, teachers, and retreats for organizations.
In 1994 the summer camp programs began to operate again, this time as one- or two-week Adventure Camp
Now called Sargent Center for Outdoor Education, the camp continues to be owned by Boston University with
programming administered by Nature’s Classroom, a nonprofit environmental education organization that utilizes
thirteen camp sites throughout New England and New York.
Friends of Sargent
The impetus for establishing Friends of Sargent was the Sargent Center Centennial Celebration in June 2012. At
that time, alumni and staff gathered to discuss their hopes and dreams for sustaining Sargent Center in its second
In June 2013, a number of individuals met to set an action agenda, which included developing by-laws and
completing and submitting an application to the IRS requesting tax-exempt status.
Friends of Sargent was incorporated in the State of Vermont in the fall of 2013 and was granted its 501(c)3 nonprofit
status by the United States Internal Revenue Service in January 2014.
The first annual meeting occurred at Sargent Center on June 1, 2014 and was attended by approximately 20 people,
many of whom became charter members in the organization.