Camp Hancock, also known as Hancock Field Station, is a rustic, historic camp. It is located in the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument of the National Park Service. Lon Hancock, a retired postman from Portland, first brought campers to the area in the 1940s, to assist with paleontological and archaeological research. OMSI acquired Camp Hancock in 1951, and since then it has been developed into an outdoor school and summer camp.
Campers to Hancock Field Station stay in wooden, A-frame cabins, with bunks, padded floors, heat, and electricity. Restroom and shower facilities with hot and cold running water are located a short walk from cabins. During the day, campers use outhouses to help conserve water.
Meals are served in the historic Berrie Hall. Indoor teaching spaces include a library, and laboratories dedicated to paleontology, geology, archaeology, and lapidary. Camp Hancock’s location, in the heart of the Clarno Unit, provides private access to public lands, and campers have the opportunity to hike on miles of National Park Service trails with breathtaking views of the high desert. In addition, OMSI’s close relationship with the adjacent Pine Creek Conservation Area provides off-trail access to tens of thousands of acres of wilderness.
While visiting, campers will discover a diverse array of fossils, investigate high desert wildlife, meet the resident program animals, and join in campfire sing-alongs. Campers can stroll through desert canyons, view crystal-clear night skies through a telescope, and wade in the nearby John Day River.