Camp E-Ma-Etu An Eckerd Youth Alterna...

Camp E-Ma-Etu An Eckerd Youth Alternatives camp in Boomer, in Wilkes County

There are 249 comments on the The Charlotte Observer story from Mar 17, 2007, titled Camp E-Ma-Etu An Eckerd Youth Alternatives camp in Boomer, in Wilkes County. In it, The Charlotte Observer reports that:

“I used to yell at my parents, but now I see that it's so petty and stupid, I hate it ... I can't really say whether I'm going to slip up. But I hope to change myself all the way. That's what I came here to do.”


It's one of seven wilderness camps for troubled kids ages 8 to 18 throughout North Carolina, whose juvenile justice department is the company's biggest client. The camps are the 1968 creation of Jack Eckerd, the founder of the chain of drugstores that bears his name.The N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention sees the camps as a kind of filter, catching troubled kids before they do something heinous enough to land in a state youth development center. The camps don't accept sex offenders, serial violent offenders, minors tried as adults, arsonists or pregnant girls. Read more

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Charlotte Observer.

Katherine aka Alex

West Palm Beach, FL

#226 Oct 11, 2011
Mike is no longer there. No one is. They recently shut the camp down due to state funding bugdet cuts. Mrs. Carroll, the one who worked up in the front office, told me about it.
Katherine aka Alex

West Palm Beach, FL

#227 Oct 11, 2011
My chief's back in 2004-2005 were: Chief Amber, Chief Celeste, Chief Megan, Chief Amber, Chief Hessie, Chief Sarah, and a few others I can't remember. Chief Brooke used to be a Chief, but then switch to one of the camp's social worker's. She was mine for a while. Til she left, then I got turned over to some other lady. I think her name was Mrs. Jane. OMG. I almost forgot about Chief Jon and Chief John and Chief Kevin. And Chief Pat. He was the coolest.

Oxford, NC

#228 Oct 19, 2011
I graduated from there in 2009. I was in the Waccamas. i had chief Mike and chief Jessie. the camp overall help me alot. its a great chance for youth to think about their choices and how they effect people. the camp is very physical. you walk everywhere and you have to carry some form of a hiking bag with you at all times. i went in weighing about 6'3 and 300 lb. i came out 6'5 and 235. So it can not only change a kids outlook on the choices that they make, but i can completely change there lives. I was about 14 when i went in. im 17 now and looking back at it, its one of the best damn things ive ever done with my life. im relationship with my mother and girlfriend of 4 years has improved leaps and bounds. and with the weight i have lost gave me the chance to join the army. i leave in 3 months. i hope that my succsesful story has touched someones heart and has given you the modivation to try something for the YOU! not anyone else.....Good luck!
wouldnt you like to know

Charlotte, NC

#229 Mar 2, 2012
i went to this camp, and i hated it so much. it didnt help me at all just made me angrier. i dont have a bad temper or anger issues or dont think i can do whatever i want or anything like that. My parents are just assholes trying to get rid of their daughter and PRETEND to their friends that they care at all. so how was it supposed to help me? that was just a bunch of bullshit. i HATED being with 13,14, or 15 other snotty little girls who think they are so badass 24/7. there was NEVER ONE MOMENT when you werent with them. you slept with them, woke up with them, showered with them, ate with them, did schoolwork with them, alllll the time. some of the cheifs were pretty cool but others sucked as bad as the camp.
Chris Wilson

Hickory, NC

#230 Mar 8, 2012
Katherine aka Alex wrote:
Hey Coushatta's. I graduated in July 2005! Any one from the 2004-2005 group out there?
I was there in 2004-05 I'm tryin to find old people that was there when I was please email me at I read some of ur post I remember all if the chiefs I had I was in waccamas I kindly hated that place for one specific reason GROUP CONSEQUENCES lol
Chris Wilson

Hickory, NC

#231 Mar 8, 2012
Chief Brian wrote:
Huddle Up!
is this chief Brian that was in waccamas you were from I think do you remember a Gilbert Flores or Chris Wilson if so please email me at thanks

Fordyce, AR

#232 Mar 13, 2012
I Graduated In 2005 I was In Shawnee. It Was Str8 When I Went There. I Used To Toon In Alot. Lol Shout Out To Da Old People Find Me On Facebook If You Want

Broad Run, VA

#233 May 29, 2012
dustin wrote:
i think that camp ekered is a piece of crap any man or women to send there kid there are fn retarded
I graduated from Camp E-Ma-Henwu in 1998 (Newport NC). The camp for me was an outstanding experience. I did river trips, Ropes course, and many more unforgettable experinces. I probaly would be in Jail right now if not for the camp and my parents concern for my future. I saw THIS QUOTE / Remark and had to respond because one person's oppinon is there right so this is mine. I think your crazy. I think that I would do it all over again twice. The worse thing about being in the camp is getting that first letter from home telling you, you are missed. It really makes you appericate your parents more. I enjoyed building the tents, the chiefs, the friends I made and most of all the experience. I am now married with children and very sucessful in my life. I appericate the oppurtunity . If you are a interested parent please contact me at I will be gald to share my oppinion as a sucessfull Croatoan camper. Also just to add the person leaving the response saying parents are "Retarded" to send the kids to camp clearly disrespects his own parents still and did not want to change there life in the first place. Thats my oppinion.
shannon puckett

United States

#234 Jul 17, 2012
I dont know about this camp in particular but these are great options for kids who are facing trainging school or jail and even for kids who may not get into trouble but could use a sense of accomplishment and self esteem. I was a member in the early 90's and i loved it. My camp was called e-mun tally i believe and was located in nc.....i think in low gap. So you people who want to talk crap talk it aboyr something you know and not about a program designed to help kids.
Walrus Gumboot

United States

#237 Aug 15, 2012
Eckerd camp is the shit. I was there for 13 months and if I had the option I'd go back for another 13 months!

Wilkesboro, NC

#238 Sep 12, 2012
I miss camp too!!!! Funny how when youre in there you cant wait to get out then when you leave you miss it:) I was in Cachautas or however you spell it I miss chief Hessie too!

United States

#239 Dec 8, 2012
anybody remember chief mary and chief joes last names ? I really want to look them up and Thank them.

Ozark, AL

#240 Jan 2, 2013
I was in the waccamas and dont even remember when i graduated. I have chief Hessie, chief Jesse, chief Cliff, And chief Rachels Facebook along with others if anyone wants them just email me.
do not send your kids her

Chicago, IL

#241 Oct 11, 2013
thinking of sending your child to eckard therapeutic boarding school? They hold the children against there will and throw them face down in the dirt if they walk away from group. Do not believe the BS they feed you to sell the place. Therapy can not be forced. This is legal child torture.

chief luke

Shippensburg, PA

#242 Oct 26, 2013
hey who are you i was a counselor for the waccamas until june 2002

Marietta, OH

#244 Nov 28, 2013
i was there in 2002. i was there than a year. it wasnt what you would call fun. my father died 2 weeks in. chief doug and chief mac didnt think i would graduate. but i did. if it wasnt for that place id be worse off. yea the physical restraints suck. but some of the times i deserved it. but there were times i got slammed off a boardwalk and resrained by chief steven. i was in the montauks. in a way these kids need this place. its not easy. i suffered 2 winters in that place. did the swanee river in florida twice.
Melissa Koen Goley

Greensboro, NC

#245 Jan 5, 2014
I was at Camp E Ma Henwu from 94-95. I'm looking to reconnect with any of the other Algonquian girls or counselors. My heart breaks that they have closed almost all of these camps. I loved my time there. Please look me up on facebook.
Robert Clayton Howell

Boone, NC

#246 Feb 20, 2014
I graduated under Chief Carl Cupid in the Montauks July of '07. I can't believe it reopened I had no idea till just recently. Now Chief Carl is with the daughter of Run DMC haha. That man and his baking soda white teeth and his love for samurai jack. If there are any other previous camper in those days that are still on here let me know. Text me at 8284061243 or message me on Facebook. Same name as above. I live in Boone :)
genesis witcher

Sanford, NC

#247 Jun 19, 2014
i went to camp e-ma-etu in boomer nc in 2003/2004 im looking for anyone who was in there with me it was the greatest expierence of my life if you would like to contact me do so on facebook @ Genesis Witcher
Chef Jesse 1988

Houston, TX

#248 Nov 30, 2014
I am so sorry to hear that it closed, I used to be a Chief there in 1988 / 1989 after college. I have a question... What was the Indian name of the nightly fire we did at the end of each day to burn off bad spirits / feelings? Have some friends that we are talking about idian traditions, etc. and I can't timber the name of it.

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