Owatonna history


Camp Owatonna started out as Camp Ropioa (rope-ee-OH-uh), which stands for 'Reflection of Perfection Is Our Aim.' It was founded by Colonel George Stanley in 1922, as a summer camp for boys attending Christian Science Sunday School. The camp is located in Harrison, Maine just up the hill from Camp Newfound for girls – on rolling fields and woodlands that stretch down to Long Lake. In the early 1940s, Ropioa was sold and became a private camp for boys of all faiths which ran till 1955.


It was then that a group of former Ropioa campers, led by Frank Hayden Connor, Sr., formed a not-for-profit corporation to purchase the camp, and renamed it Owatonna, a Native American word meaning “Straight As An Arrow." Today, Owatonna campers still gather in Ropioa's original wood-and-stone lodge and utilize the rolling fields and woodlands for summers filled with fun, friends, and memories to last a lifetime.