About Us

Our Mission


Pin Oak Foundation, Inc. was created by passionate individuals who have a love for youth and the outdoors. We believe in continuing the heritage of outdoor recreation and strengthening experiential outdoor educational opportunities for youth in our region. Pin Oak Foundation, Inc. was formed as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization in 2018 as a vehicle to support outdoor educational activities for non-profit youth programs within the Adams and Pike County areas of Illinois and surrounding counties.

Our Focus: Outdoor Education

We invest in outdoor education and recreation for youth in our community.  Outdoor education can take place in many ways - It may be a beginning class in archery where youth shoot a bow for the first time, or it could be their first kayak float gliding over the wetlands. Youth may learn about wood duck research from experts in our area and hold a wood duck in their hands or catch their first fish.  Nationally renowned speakers may share their outdoor talents in duck calling or trap shooting to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. Youth may find themselves laying out under the stars searching for constellations away from city lights for the first time.  They may see the magic of the sky in a museum-quality, StarLab planetarium.  Youth may feel the relaxation that occurs on a simple nature hike. Schools may bring their classes to natural areas to learn outside and apply their classroom knowledge to real ecological situations. Providing extraordinary outdoor opportunities for youth is the mission of Pin Oak Foundation, Inc.

Our Impact


Partnering with the Tracy Family Foundation and Gardner Camp in 2019, Pin Oak Foundation, Inc. was able to provide a state-of-the-art wheel-chair accessible passenger trailer for use in transporting students to outdoor education activities. Rather than singling out students who have mobility challenges, this trailer allows Gardner Camp to keep classes together while moving from one activity to another.  It also allows Gardner Camp to develop new outdoor classrooms and enables students to see areas of the camp that were previously inaccessible.


STARLAB at Gardner Camp

Pin Oak Foundation, Inc. secured a grant through the Rotary Foundation of Quincy in 2020 to invest in a digital StarLab at Gardner Camp for our area youth. The StarLab, a museum-quality planetarium, elevates lessons in astronomy and space science into immersive and interactive experiences. Projected in an expansive 360-degree panoramic view, images and movies of the stars, planets and space objects can be seen and studied up-close. We are proud to support this local resource for area educators and community members to teach hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to youth in our community. The StarLab, combined with Gardner Camp’s on-site telescope technology and astronomy programming, allows families to stay local for an educational, museum experience!