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.
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.
Our Executive Director, Lisa Fortenberry, recently sat down with Jenny Johnson on Comcast Newsmakers to discuss the unforgettable summer ahead for CHV campers and why, now more than ever, the joys of just being a kid at camp can be a life-changing experience for middle schoolers emerging from pandemic isolation.
BOSTON (CBS) – Boston’s Camp Harbor View is a summer camp for kids who may not otherwise have the chance to have a special summer. Camp Harbor View is in its 13th year helping kids thrive. And this camp is about much more than just having fun.
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.
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.
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.
Jack Connors was a founding partner of Boston marketing firm Hill Holliday, but it’s his work in his “retirement years” as chairman of the nonprofit Camp Harbor View that he’s more excited to talk about these days.
BOSTON (CBS) – It was a summer camp surprise like no other when Big Papi visited Camp Harbor View, inspiring and encouraging the young people there. The camp works with at-risk kids from Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods. The message David Ortiz brought was perfect.
The kids roared their welcome for the former Red Sox slugger. They had no idea he would visit the camp on Long Island in Boston Harbor Thursday.
BOSTON (The Boston Globe) – Sitting near the shore on a bucolic Boston Harbor island, 17-year-old Lereca Rodrigues thought back to when a cousin was shot last year in an inexplicable act of violence.
“He didn’t have that camp, or that support from somebody else behind him, or family to keep him off the streets,” the high school student from Dorchester said.
Rodrigues, however, has that support: Camp Harbor View on Long Island, which she has attended since she was 11. She was among 100 former campers who have returned to become leaders in training, spending the summer learning how to mentor the next generation of Boston youths in civic engagement and community action.