Our History

Nearly a century of enriching the lives of girls

Traditions that

Stand the Test of Time

Ora Johnson established Waldemar in 1926. Her vision was to build the finest girls’ camp in the nation. Aunt Ora’s niece, Doris Johnson, carried on that dream during her 47 years as the camp director. These two remarkable women created Camp Waldemar, one of America’s finest girls’ camps.

A Legendary Sisterhood Begins

A former school teacher, Miss Ora Johnson established Waldemar in 1926. Her vision was to build the finest girls’ camp in the nation — a place young women could strengthen their bodies, minds, and characters. She valued thoughtfulness, good health, friendship, service, loyalty, sportsmanship, courage, leadership, beauty, and reverence. And it was on these ideals — timeless legacies — that she grew her Camp Waldemar “Sea of Woods.” Though she only lived a few years into the journey of fanning the flame of the Waldemar mission, her niece Doris Johnson carried the torch through the next 47 years as Waldemar’s second director. Late in her life, Doris hand-picked Marsha English Elmore, a former camper and counselor, to then carry forward that mission and the flame of the Waldemar spirit. 

Women in a black and white photo

Ora Johnson & Doris Johnson

Three family photos

Marsha and Dale Elmore, Teak and George Anne Elmore, Meg Elmore Clark with daughters Addie & Emmy

For more than four decades now, the Elmore family — through Marsha and her husband Dale, their daughter Meg Elmore Clark, their son Teak and his wife George Anne Elmore, and now their daughter Meg once again as our current owner and executive director — have carried on the timeless traditions of Waldemar while growing and adapting to the needs of today’s youth. Today Waldemar is recognized as one of America’s finest girls’ camps and one of the oldest continuously running camping operations in the state of Texas.

“The women of tomorrow, guardians of the world’s ideal”

- Ora Johnson

1926 - Today

Through the Years

Want to learn more about the history of Waldemar?

Buy your copy of The Waldemar Story on the Camp Waldemar Store website.

“I believe in the girls of today. In this age of transition they have already accomplished much, but with greater possibilities opening every day for physical, mental, and moral growth, there is almost no limit to their achievements. Camp Waldemar was founded to create opportunities for developing the best in every girl. Encouraged by the unusual success of the past seasons, it has become my ambition with the aid of my counselors and girls to build in Texas one of the best camps in the United States.”

- Ora Johnson