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  • Writer's pictureStephen Bean

The Mansion on the Hill

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

"There's a place out on the edge of town, sir. Rising above the factories and the fields. Now ever since I 'as a child I can remember, That mansion on the hill"

Bruce Springsteen crooned these words back in 1982 and 40 years later he's probably never heard of Camp New Heights. Unbeknownst to him that the idea of The Mansion on the Hill would come to define the very antithesis of who we are at Camp New Heights.

We have had staff join us throughout the years that have come to us with experience working at other camps. It was mentioned to me by one of these staff members, "You know at other camps kids don't even know who the director is? They rarely would even see them"

I see this disconnect at other camps quite frequently. It can range from either the director never being on the grounds, not knowing the kids or staff, or what I hate most is someone selling/marketing the camp that has not experienced the camp firsthand.

Yes, my title is Executive Director and that may conjure up images of somebody who lives in the Mansion on the Hill that is completely disconnected from the everyday hustle of camp. While this is applicable to lots of executive directors, it is not the case for myself. Since the inception of camp I have lived on the same floor as the campers, I wake up at the same time, and I eat my meals at the same place and time as the campers. As one of my staff members coined, "A man of the people, not above but equal."

I think this is a differentiator between Camp New Heights and many of our peers. Our camper leaders do not occupy the Mansion on the Hill or live a different experience than that of our campers. All of our staff including leadership live and experience camp in the same light as our campers. A byproduct of this is our camaraderie and family vibe of camp are tangible.

Camps love to say, "We're a family", but a Camp New Heights we utilize our size and accessibility to truly embody a family atmosphere. Due to our camp averaging 50 campers per week and a staff ratio of 5:1, there simply are no cracks to fall through. Everybody knows everyone's name and has interactions throughout the day. Between myself and our Assistant Director Isain, there's not a kid who doesn't know who we are and where to find us if they need anything.

As a parent you can count on us to to deliver an amazing experience for your child because we're the ones who will be on the ground with your kids everyday. We do not speak in hyperboles or with implied knowledge, when we speak of the experience of Camp New Heights it's from years of experience spending every waking moment helping our campers and many times having fun right alongside them.

Again, the leadership team at Camp New Heights does not live in the Mansion on the Hill or exist removed from the everyday experience. We don't live in the Mansion on the Hill, we live two doors down from your camper.

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