A Statement on the Attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

We’d like to start by vehemently condemning the events that took place yesterday in our nation’s capital. The terror brought forth by a group of radicalized Americans was an attack on both our democratic institutions and our values. January 6, 2021 will be remembered as a dark day in American history, but one that we hope will serve as a starting point to bring about the kind of change that will improve the community, nation, and world around us.

Our work at Camp Harbor View is about partnering with young people and their families to bring about access and opportunity. In this uncertain and, at times, chaotic world, we remain committed to being a source of consistency and support for the young people, families, and communities we partner with. We recognize and acknowledge the pain and tumult that yesterday’s events sparked for many in our community. We stand as committed as ever to the work ahead – to listening, advocating, healing, and recovering.

Yesterday does not represent the America that we want for ourselves or our children. As we move forward in the days, months, and years ahead, we hope that the work brings about a more kind, just, and equitable country.

Camp Harbor Views

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, Camp Harbor Views – a free online experience for families, supporters, and champions of our mission – celebrated the resiliency of our community and shared our views on the past, present, and future of the organization.

Hosted by Jenny Johnson of NESN’s Dining Playbook and Camp Harbor View’s Advisory Council, it was an evening full of surprises. Over 700 attendees heard from organization leaders, champions, and a few special guests sharing stories of joy, hope, and the community that made it all possible. The celebration was capped off with four impressive Leaders in Training sharing their 2020 experiences and why they’re hopeful for the future.

Watch the evening’s program from start to finish below to hear more young leaders share their perspectives.  We promise it will leave you energized and inspired.

Camp Harbor View is made possible by the generous support of donors. We hope you’re inspired to continue to invest in the future of Boston with us. Please consider donating to support our mission and share the magic of Camp Harbor View with family, friends, and fellow Bostonians by following us on social media. Thank you for being a part of this community.

Celebrate #BostonBlackHistory With Us

We’re excited to continue #BostonBlackHistory this February in celebration of Black History Month, posting stories on the legacy of Black history in our wonderful and culturally rich city across our social media channels and encouraging everyone in Boston to join the conversation by sharing stories of their own.

Leaders in Training in our program helped brainstorm and develop the stories we’re telling. History matters and representation matters – and through this project we seek to highlight the great diversity and character of the city of Boston.

Here are just a few of our favorites from the stories told by teens in our program and by members of this community so far. Do you have one to add? Post it to your social channels with the hashtag #BostonBlackHistory or send it our way via email at info@campharborview.org or Instagram @campharborview. Please join us in raising awareness of these important stories.

#BostonBlackHistory posts

#BostonBlackHistory posts

Camp Harbor View seeks to impact racial & economic inequality in Boston

At Camp Harbor View, we often ask ourselves if we’re doing enough. Are we doing enough for our campers, Leaders in Training and staff? Are we doing enough for the families of the youth we serve?  About six months ago, we decided that the answer to the last of those important questions was “NO.”

When the Boston Globe published its recent series on racial income disparity in Boston, one of the stunning statistics shared was that the average net worth of families of color in the city is $8.00.  That’s not a typo – $8.00.  Camp Harbor View has always been committed to promoting equity and opportunity in Boston, but this series stirred our desire to do more. Encouraged and supported by the Board of Directors, we decided to begin with Camp Harbor View families; to learn from them about the obstacles and hurdles they face with respect to economic mobility and to work with them to design pilot solutions to some of the most intractable problems they encounter.

We have taken the first step by engaging the services of the consulting team of Turahn Dorsey and Reverend Mariama White-Hammond to lead us through a process of information-gathering with families and LITs from our program, and then to work with family representatives and an advisory board composed of corporate leaders to create short and long-term solutions of varying size and scope.

Racial and economic inequality has long been the norm in Boston.  We know that we cannot fix a problem of this magnitude, but we believe that we might be able to have an impact on at least a small group of families.  Perhaps that grows into something more substantial and perhaps we will create a model that can be replicated.  We realize this is a tall order, but we feel a deep responsibility to the families who have placed their trust in us, so we’re off and running.  We’ll keep you posted.

Meet the interns keeping us healthy

Two Camp Harbor View alumni are interning this summer at local healthcare organizations. Check out Q&As below with Megan Michta & John-Michael Louis.

Megan Michta
Megan Michta
  • 10-week internship at MGH Liver Center
  • Rising Sophomore at UMass Amherst
  • Studying Public Health & Environmental Science

How long have you been a part of Camp Harbor View?

 I started attending Camp Harbor View as a camper when I was 11 years old and have participated every year since then – over 9 years now! In this time, Camp Harbor View made me the hard worker that I am today.

What are the most valuable lessons you learned during your time at Camp Harbor View?

I really appreciate that Camp Harbor View instills strong leadership values into all campers and staff. It’s so refreshing to see and hear young children discussing respect, courage, responsibility, character, and community. As a camper, I never thought much about it, but as a Leader in Training and staff member, I realized how important it is to talk about leadership with kids and shape them into active and engaged members of not only the Camp Harbor View community but also their own families, neighborhoods and schools.

What are you doing this summer at Mass General Hospital?

My internship at MGH combines my interest in public health and my love for patient care very well and it’s very exciting because it’s my first job in medicine. I’m learning about different liver diseases as well as researching what factors could be contributing to them and how they could be reversed.

How has your time with Camp Harbor View prepared you for this opportunity?

At camp, I challenged myself to be the best version of myself so that I could be a role model for my campers. I also learned to adapt and stay calm in stressful situations. The caring and patient nature working with the kids at camp has transitioned into effectively communicating with patients and treating them with respect and kindness. The healthcare field is intertwined between many different people – doctors, nurses, research coordinators, EMTs, insurance companies and more. The communication and teamwork skills I learned at camp are a great foundation for working in healthcare since there needs to be constant communication about patient care.

What have you learned so far through this internship?

Working in clinical research has allowed me to explore many different parts of medicine, including: going on rounds with the hepatologists, shadowing weight loss surgeries and liver biopsies, aliquoting blood samples, screening clinic schedules, going through patient charts and learning about the research process and institutional review board (IRB), and much more!

What’s next for you?

This summer I have decided that I have definitely found my place in the world through medicine. Nothing excites me more than hearing about a new clinical trial that is working to treat a disease or seeing doctors in the Emergency Room save lives. After I graduate, I’m excited to pursue a Master’s in Public Health and then eventually my MD!

John-Michael Lewis
John-Michael Louis
  • 12-week internship at Madaket Health
  • Rising Junior at UMass Lowell
  • Studying Computer Engineering

How long have you been a part of Camp Harbor View?

For eight years! I first had the opportunity to be a camper then a Leader in Training and then a member of the summer staff.

What are the most valuable lessons you learned during your time at Camp Harbor View?

Leadership and inclusivity. I met all sorts of people when I came to camp as a boy. I learned how to build relationships of all kinds and made lifelong friends. At Camp Harbor View I grew to be a man.

What are you doing this summer?

This year, through Camp Harbor View, I received the opportunity to intern at Madaket Health, a healthcare tech startup in Cambridge that is working on streamlining, automating and reducing errors in the Medicare system. This is my first internship and I didn’t know what to expect going into it. From day one at Madaket I’ve felt welcomed and included in the community. The work we do at Madaket is very much team-based and requires a lot of communication – similar to camp.

How has your time with Camp Harbor View prepared you for this opportunity?

At camp, I learned how to lead by example while also building up those around me. In the professional setting, this allows me to receive feedback well and act on it. On the island I also learned to take initiative in anything I do despite not knowing the outcome – taking that risky first step goes along way regardless of where I end up. Whether it was on the rock wall or swimming for the first time, Camp Harbor View really prepared me for uncertainty and taught me how to rise to the occasion in new situations. I’ve used this in meetings to find the courage to speak up and share my point of view.

What have you learned so far through this internship?

This summer internship experience has opened up a world of opportunity for me. Personally, it’s shown me what type of job, company and work environment suits me best. On a broader scale, I’ve learned about the structure of large corporations vs. startup companies and working on both the front- and back-end of the Madaket system has given me a new appreciation for potential impact of coding, artificial intelligence and software development.

What’s next for you?

This internship has reconfirmed that I want to get a job in coding and software development after I graduate. I’m so grateful to Camp Harbor View for connecting me with Madaket. I may not be at camp this summer, but I’ve definitely taken my Camp Harbor View experience and relationships with me. Not only did the program shape who I became but it’s shaping where I’m going.

Up for the Challenge: Campers Build Confidence & Character on the Ropes Course

Arriving at Camp Harbor View the challenge course immediately catches the eye. With a rock wall towering over 50 feet above the flat Long Island landscape, it’s hard to miss. It’s a sign you’ve reached Boston’s Island of Opportunity and a symbol of summer fun. Not only is the challenge course a blast, but it’s also a powerful tool to teach campers leadership skills and teamwork while developing their confidence and trust in their peers. 

Camp Harbor View is built around opening opportunities for young people to explore, learn, and experience as much as possible — all year long. Youth should feel comfortable and safe and yet have opportunities to stretch and discover. Some take to the arts pavilion, where they push their creative boundaries. Others seek sailing and swimming and sports, and everyone gets a chance on the challenge course.

The course empowers campers’ critical thinking and creative problem solving. An important part of the experience is learning from frustrations and disappointments and working together to successfully adapt. 

Balance beam

Effective teamwork is essential in every exercise.  “While our campers – middle school kids from throughout the City of Boston – swing for the fences and climb toward the sky to look out over Boston Harbor and the city skyline, they are putting trust in their peers in pursuit of a shared goal.” Josh Waxman, Deputy Director of Camp Harbor View, explains. “I think that is incredibly powerful. The communication and collaboration required to make the whole system work is also worth emphasizing; it is a team exercise. Friendships are formed and relationships are strengthened on the challenge course for sure.” 

Next time you’re on the island to hear the distinctive call of 3. 2. 1. and witness a brave camper catapult through the air, think of the courage, conviction and strong community behind that crowning moment.  

ropes course grid

‘An island just for us’: opening day for summer camp on Long Island

BOSTON (The Boston Globe) – Sporting pink reflective sunglasses that matched her bright lipstick, Lisa Fortenberry clapped and yelled “Day one, baby!”

In front of her, campers exited their buses in single file Monday. Some tried to keep a cool countenance — one even kept his arms crossed as he strode along — but the staff’s energetic welcome was tough to resist. When the teenager thought no one was looking, he let a smile cross his face.

The campers were headed for a boat that would take them to Camp Harbor View, where a high-ropes course cuts the skyline, orange flags line a scenic boardwalk onto the island, and waves crash against the rocky waterline next to the basketball and tennis courts.

Camp Harbor View Teens Take On Digital Leadership

Teens in the Camp Harbor View Leadership Academy are gaining new skills and developing campaigns to have a positive impact on social issues, thanks to a new program in partnership with AT&T.

The Positively Digital program will include hands-on training for teens in grades 9-11 in Camp Harbor View’s year-round leadership development program. AT&T selected Camp Harbor View, The Base, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston as partners in the project and it kicked off with a panel discussion June 5th at the Boston Public Library.

Camp Harbor View President Sharon McNally wrote about the program this week in the Boston Globe along with Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston President & CEO Josh Kraft and The BASE Founder & President Robert Lewis Jr.:

“While we need to be cognizant of too much screen time and other connectivity dangers like cyberbullying, trolls, and the spread of false information, we think it is time to flip the script a bit and take advantage of an opportunity that is at hand,” the three wrote.

“All of us — parents, teachers, mentors, youth organizations — need to empower kids to think differently about technology and use it as a tool for positive change.”

View updates from the launch event on Instagram and from AT&T— and follow us for more updates as the teens roll out their campaigns.

2019 Beach Ball Celebrates CHV 365

Over 900 guests joined Camp Harbor View in celebrating the 12th Annual Beach Ball Gala on Saturday, June 8th at The Warehouse at Flynn Cruiseport Boston.

Jack Connors, Jr., Co-founder and Chairman of Camp Harbor View, was joined by Tim Ferris of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Sonja Kelly of the Kelly Family Foundation and Joseph Nolan of Eversource Energy in co-hosting this year’s event.

During the program, Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh joined Jack Connors, Jr. in addressing the impact and growth of Camp Harbor View over the past 13 years. Along with Sharon McNally and Lisa Fortenberry, Camp Harbor View’s President and Executive Director respectively, guests also heard from Danah Blake, a youth worker focused on the 10th grade Leader in Training cohort, and Kelsy, a participant in the LIT program, about the influence of meaningful mentorship in both of their lives.

This year’s Beach Ball, produced by Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events, highlighted year-round programming with the theme Camp Harbor View 365. Learn more about the work we do throughout the year with the short video below that premiered at the event.

Also see updates from #BeachBallBoston on Instagram and check out the full gallery of photos from the event!