Friendships are made, a ferry ride away, at Camp Harbor View

BOSTON (The Boston Globe) — Nobody says good morning like Chazz Guerra says good morning.

“G-O-O-D M-O-R-N-I-N-G,” Guerra half sang, half shouted into a bullhorn in front of the Great Hall. There are few things Guerra, a 25-year-old camp counselor, likes more than The First Day of Camp.

More than 200 Camp Harbor View middle schoolers were assembled in front of him on the sports fields, wilting in the hot and humid conditions around 9 a.m. on Monday — a tough crowd.

Camp Harbor View is a free summer camp for Boston middle schoolers on the southern end of Long Island in Boston Harbor. The Great Hall is the mess hall in the center of camp, with the ferry dock, sports fields, and high-ropes course to the north and the pool and arts pavilion to the south.

Camp Harbor View provides summer camp experience for local youths free of charge

BOSTON (Boston 25 News) — Camp Harbor View is the brainchild of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Boston businessman Jack Connors, who wanted to find a use for the then-untouched land on Long Island. The idea was just to engage middle-schoolers during summer months. But whether it’s learning to sail, fish, climb a rock wall or learn a new sport, the free summer camp has become so much more to the city’s young people over the last 15 years.

Camp Harbor View awarded $1 million grant from Cummings Foundation

Boston, MA – Camp Harbor View is proud to be one of 140 local nonprofits to receive an annual grant through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. CHV, a Boston-based organization, was chosen through a competitive review process, with a total of 580 applicants. Camp Harbor View will receive $1,000,000 over 10 years.

“Through Guaranteed Income we are investing more deeply in Boston families with whom we partner and this substantial commitment will be transformative as we work to promote social and economic mobility and long-term financial sustainability,” said Camp Harbor View Executive Director Lisa Fortenberry. “With this grant, Cummings Foundation is demonstrating their commitment to equity and opportunity for every Bostonian. We’re very grateful for their confidence and conviction in this important work.”

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.” 

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits. 

Paige, a CHV group leader, enjoys some hugs and laughs from her campers.
CHV Deputy Director Josh Waxman laughing with one of more than 200 year-round Leadership Academy participants.

About Camp Harbor View: Partnering with 1,000+ young Bostonians and their families each year, Camp Harbor View offers a one-of-a-kind summer camp for kids in grades 6-9, year-round leadership development for teens in grades 9-12, and comprehensive family services, including college and career planning, scholarships, and clinical support — all at no cost to families. 
About Cummings Foundation: Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at

A Statement on the Tragedies in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX

To say we are heartbroken and angry today is an understatement. We are crushed. And we are furious.

Firearms are now the leading cause of death for American youth. That is simply unacceptable.

We are still reeling from the Buffalo murders on May 14th, where a shooter influenced by hateful right-wing propaganda specifically targeted and killed Black people. We’re devastated by the news from Uvalde, Texas, yesterday, where one man killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school. There have been 118 gun deaths each day in the U.S. this year. That’s an epidemic, and it must be stopped.

It’s ok to sit with your grief and anger today. It’s ok to feel despondent. And if you or young people in your life are looking for community at this difficult time, we’re here. Community is at the heart of what we do. And in community is where we all need to be in these impossible moments. To process our grief, to speak about our collective fear, to feel our shared anger. Together is where we need to be to protect our children, our communities of color.

Our team at Camp Harbor View always delivers a message to young people that we are here when they need us – to process and be in community. Our social work team is always ready to provide support, and the young activists in our Digital Leadership program are speaking out about gun safety reform and mental health awareness.

We will continue to dedicate ourselves to creating places for communities to learn and thrive without fear. This month’s tragedies are a reminder to hold each other close and commit to building a more peaceful, more equitable world. 

2022 Beach Ball was Brighter than Ever

We’re incredibly grateful for all those who joined us in celebrating Camp Harbor View on Saturday, May 21st at the SOWA Power Station in Boston’s South End. 

Jack Connors, Jr., co-founder and chairman of Camp Harbor View, was joined by Dr. Anne Klibanski of Mass General Brigham, Jeffrey Leiden of Vertex, and Jack Shields of Shields Health Solutions, in co-hosting this year’s event. 

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we are heading into the summer with the resources we need to provide an unforgettable summer camp experience for 1,000+ young Bostonians, along with comprehensive family services and year-round leadership development programs. To learn more about our work championing Boston’s future leaders, watch this short video that premiered at the event, where you’ll hear directly from two alumni on how CHV helped to shape their childhood, and their limitless futures.

This year’s Beach Ball, our first in-person event since 2019, was produced by Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events. Step inside the venue with the video below highlighting this special night.

For more, check out the full gallery of photos from the event and share your own photos with the hashtag #BeachBallBoston on Instagram

Can an extra $800 a month lift someone out of poverty? Local nonprofits put cash to the test.

BOSTON (The Boston Globe) – Cities aren’t the only proponents of giving no-strings-attached cash to people in need. Here come the nonprofits.

The national movement, which had its local roots in Chelsea and spread to Cambridge, aims to empower low-income households with monthly stipends and settle an age-old debate about whether we can trust poor people with money instead of having them constantly jump through hoops to receive aid.

Advocates of so-called guaranteed income programs believe that low-income households know best how to lift themselves out of poverty rather than being told what to do. It’s that combination of confidence and cash that can help people move up the economic ladder.

At least three local nonprofits have launched pilots in recent months: Camp Harbor View with 50 families that are receiving $583 a month for two years; United South End Settlements with 16 families that are getting $800 a month for 18 months; and UpTogether — in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Harvard Business School, and others — has embarked on a research project providing nearly 1,500 families with varying amounts of money and social capital over 18 months.

Camp Harbor View joins national movement, launches guaranteed income pilot with UpTogether

50 Families will receive $7,000 per year for two years

Boston, MA – A group of Boston families are the newest champions for the impact of direct cash investments on social and economic mobility. Camp Harbor View recently launched a near $800,000 guaranteed income pilot, in partnership with anti-poverty nonprofit UpTogether, that provides 50 Boston households $7,000 each year for two years. These families are able to use the funds however they choose and do not need to pay it back.

After just five months, families are reporting greater overall financial stability. A participating parent, who wished to remain anonymous, says the program is having transformative effects on her physical and mental wellbeing as well as her financial stability.

“As a single mom, I have worked two jobs for the last six years to make ends meet. With the GI grant, I have been able to focus on my full-time job,” she said. “The time I’ve gained back has improved my focus, given me more time with my children, and allowed me to participate in professional development, which led to a promotion.”

Rooted locally, Camp Harbor View is committed to addressing the pervasive racial and economic opportunity gaps that exist in Boston.

“This pilot is about trusting and empowering families,” Camp Harbor View Chairman Jack Connors, Jr said. “I believe this will prove to be an innovative and necessary approach to partnering with families, ensuring that economic mobility is possible in our city.”

Each of the 50 enrolled families receives $583 in unrestricted cash monthly for the duration of the 24-month pilot. The participants were asked to set at least one financial goal at the start of the pilot and then they are given surveys quarterly—along with a small group of families who are not receiving funds—to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. To measure the efficacy of this two-year pilot, Camp Harbor View engaged an experienced independent evaluator to collect data and study outcomes.

The results from the pilot will have an impact beyond Boston.  In partnership with the Economic Security Project, the Camp Harbor View learnings will be part of a growing body of national research on guaranteed income programs.           

“As someone who lived in Boston for 17 years, and still loves the city, I am beyond excited to see the impact this pilot will have on families here,” said UpTogether CEO Jesús Gerena.  “At UpTogether, we know it’s not just about the impact of unrestricted cash investments on individual households, but most importantly, the exponential impact those dollars will have on entire communities.”


About Camp Harbor View: Camp Harbor View works with 1,000+ young Bostonians and their families each year offering a one-of-a-kind summer camp for kids in grades 6-8, year-round leadership development for teens in grades 9-12, and comprehensive family services, including college and career planning, scholarships, clinical support, and food access — all at no cost to families.

About UpTogether: UpTogether is a community, a movement, and a platform that highlights, accelerates, and invests in the initiative people in financially under-resourced communities are taking to improve their lives and move up, together. Using compelling data and personal success stories to transform stereotypes, beliefs, and policies, UpTogether champions the effort to boost long-term economic mobility in communities that have been under-served for far too long.


Join Fit February & support Camp Harbor View with your workout

Camp Harbor View and our friends at EverybodyFights gyms have an exciting invite for you. We’re launching Fit February — a month-long leaderboard challenge to benefit Camp Harbor View.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Donate $50 or more to support our work (or pay what you can, we want everybody in this with us!)
  • You’ll get an invite from us to select your home gym (the EverybodyFights gym in Seaport or FiDi)
  • You’ll be automatically added to the Fit February Leaderboard and eligible to win some big prizes just for working out, including roundtrip tickets anywhere JetBlue flies!

Everybody Fights is serious about Covid-19, members are required to wear masks while in the gym and the facilities are using enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures. Boston also requires that everyone be vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend a class in the gym. More information about Covid-19 protocols and other information about the challenge is available in FAQs below.

What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Fit February FAQs

Q: What is Fit February?

A: It’s a month-long endurance challenge with our partners at EverybodyFights gym. With a $50 donation to Camp Harbor View, participants received a one-month pass which includes access to all workout classes (i.e. open gym, boxing, cardio, strength classes) at your choice of one of Everybody Fights’ Boston locations (Seaport and FiDi). The proceeds from registration go towards our programs and services that benefit 1,000 young Boston kids and their families.

Q: How do I sign up?

A: In order to join, you’ll need to follow these four steps:

  1. Donate $50 (or any amount) to support Camp Harbor View on this page to get your one-month access code.
  2. Head to the EverybodyFights site up a username and password & choose your home gym (Seaport or FiDi).
  3. Click “Buy Series”.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter your home gym code under “Redeem Free Class” (you’ll get your code when you sign up on the Camp Harbor View site in step 1 above)!
Q: What are challenge rules?

Camp Harbor View and Everybody Fights are hosting the Fit February 2022 challenge. All activities are subject to the Everybody Fights terms.

Prizes will be awarded to eligible participants based on the participants with the most “rounds” completed and tracked in the Everybody Fights Camp Harbor View leaderboard — via the EverybodyFights Training Camp app. (one class = 12 rounds).

Who is eligible

All adults ages 18+ as of Feb. 1, 2022 are eligible, with the exception of:

  • Full-time, year-round employees of Camp Harbor View
  • Full-time and part-time employees (or contractors, vendors, or partners) of EverybodyFights


Participation requirements

All participants must complete an Everybody Fights waiver.

No purchase is necessary for participation. All donations are optional. Interested parties may email to participate.

Logging your workout

It is the responsibility of the participant to log your workout at the gym.

You must be on location at Everybody Fights to log your workout through the Everybody Fights Training Camp App at the time of your workout (staff at the gym should be able to help you if you have any issues)


The following prizes will be awarded to participants based on the number of days they check into classes in February:

1st prize (most workout days tracked in the EF Training Camp app in February): Two tickets anywhere JetBlue flies and a $250 Airbnb gift card.

2nd prize: P-Town Getaway (second-most workout days tracked in the EF Training Camp app in February): Two ferry tickets to Provincetown (thanks to Baystate Cruises), gift cards for the Cape Colony hotel and Red Inn restaurant, and a one-year family membership to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

3rd Prize: On the town in Boston (third-most workout days tracked in the EF Training Camp app in February) Four premium Boston Red Sox tickets for the 2022 season, two happy-hour package tickets from Boston Crawling, and a gift card from Ostra restaurant.

In case of a tie

In the case of a tie for first, second, and/or third place prizes, Camp Harbor View will randomly select a winner. The loser of a tiebreaker for first place will win second place, the loser of a tiebreaker for second place will win third place.

Q: How does the leaderboard track my participation?

A: Download the Everybody Fights app (available on iOS and Android) and the app will keep track of each day you visit the gym. It takes note when you are within one mile of either gym location. Therefore, you must allow the app to have location permissions.

Q: What if I do two classes in a day?

A: Unfortunately, the app will not be able to recognize more than one visit per day. We encourage you to take one class per day.

Q: What are the gym’s Covid-19 protocols?

A: We are dedicated to ensuring everyone’s comfortability and safety. Boston regulations require anyone entering a gym be vaccinated against Covid-19. Individuals are required to wear masks indoors and wipe down their equipment after use from one of the various wipe stations. If comfortable, participants can take off their masks when working out in their own station, but must put it back on when transporting from station to station. We also strongly encourage everyone to not come to class if they aren’t feeling well.

Q: Can I join the challenge as a team?

A: Yes! We strongly encourage teams. When you sign up for Everybody Fights, please have every member of your team put their name and in parentheses, the team name. You will not be able to see your team up on the leaderboard as one unit; however, at the end of the challenge we will add each individual’s points with the same team name to see the total.

Q. Who can I contact with questions?

Making the season bright [video]

From Thanksgiving dinner to gifts at the holidays, this annual tradition seeks to alleviate family stress and bring kids joy. It’s one of our most meaningful programs for families and donors alike, with both experiencing the generosity of spirit in the holiday season.

Take a look at this heartwarming video to see the Camp Harbor View community’s holiday celebrations with over 400 families from start to finish.

Thanks to the generous support of hundreds of donors, partners, and volunteers, we doubled the number of families reached this year, distributing $101,800 in gift cards for parents to use to purchase their children items on their wishlist, bins with household essentials, and festive holiday supplies. Happy Holidays for all of us at Camp Harbor View!