Fictional Camps: Camp Horse Sense

Camp Horse Sense is the fictional camp that Savannah opens for one summer in the 2010 movie Dear John

The riding camp for kids with autism is talked about in the movie and the book its based on as a dream of Savannah’s (played by Amanda Seyfried), but in the movie Savannah opens the camp for a summer only to close it when medical bills for treating her husband’s cancer mount.

“I tried,” Savannah tells John (Channing Tatum) when he comes by to visit while on leave to see his father. “It only lasted one summer after we took over this place for my parents. It was expensive.”

All that’s left of the camp is the Camp Horse Sense sign on the barn, which John notices right away when he arrives and assumes means she has accomplished her dream.

Earlier in the movie, Savannah tells John about the camp in a letter while he’s away at war and he encourages her telling her it isn’t a pipe dream in his reply. Savannah was inspired to start the camp after working with an autistic boy named Alan, who is Tim’s son and John’s neighbor. Savannah ends up sending John a dear John letter and marrying Tim so she can care for him and his son.

“I wanna open up a summer camp for autistic kids,” she writes. “A place where they can ride horses as much as they once. At least once in their life a place where they don’t have to worry about a thing.”

Watch Dear John online on Amazon >>


Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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