About Us



Our 16 Year History!

Our 16 Year History!

Heads Up! Hartford is guided by a board of directors made up of individuals who believe that we are stronger together and are dedicated to the continued success of the organization, including a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board is responsible for financial oversight and funding of the camp, as well as recruitment of the Operations Committee.

The Operations Committee is responsible for planning and executing the camp itself, in cooperation with the Youth Advisory Board. This board is made up of students from each participating organization. Each of these groups reports to the Board of Directors.


Our 16 Year History!

Our 16 Year History!

Our 16 Year History!

In 2003, the founders of the camp knew they wanted a name that reflected the intent and spirit of our camp. They decided on “Heads Up! Hartford” due to its multiple meanings.  

It is a phrase of encouragement: “Keep your head up Hartford, you’re doing great.” It is meant to raise awareness: “Look out, Hartford, something fantastic is happening here!” And it is a biblical allusion to the passage: “Lift your heads, O gates! And be lifted up O ancient doors, that the king of glory may come in.” (Psalm 24:7)

This founding committee organized the camp, recruited the participants, and sought funding for the idea. The original camp was faith-based in its development and included 70 youth and 18 adults who worked almost exclusively on playground improvement and interaction with the children of Hartford Head Start, sponsored by the Community Renewal Team.

By gathering the youth together and giving them meaningful responsibilities, they developed leadership skills, an appreciation for diversity, and an understanding of the power of giving back to the community. 

Over time, the founding committee was encouraged to create a more permanent organization. We formed a formal Board of Directors and an Operations team, and received IRS exemption status for nonprofits on June 28, 2005.

Over the years we have broadened our reach to include non faith-based organizations and youth campers, volunteers, and Board members who strive for similar values of community service and youth leadership development.



Our 16 Year History!


 We are funded by grants from philanthropic foundations, sponsorships from businesses, gifts from individuals, camper registrations, and offerings from participating churches. 

We also receive a number of services and products which are donated by local businesses. 

We accept donations online and via check.

Annual Report

2019 HUH Annual Report (pdf)


Camp Leadership


Board of Directors

Adah Dionne, President & Interim Secretary - Broadridge Financial Solutions

Dennis Scarpa, Vice President - Fiduciary Investment Advisors LLC

Basil Mahoney, Treasurer - MetLife

Tyron Harris - ADP

Aaliyah Miller - PwC

Rev. Linda Spiers - Trinity Episcopal Church, Collinsville CT

Gayle Wilcox - Cigna 

Ayesha Gaines-Roundtree - Department of Children and Families

Operations Committee

Julie McGarry, Camp Director

Briannon Chester, RN, Medical Advisor

Patti Cole, Coordinator of Community Service Partnership Engagement  

Shelby Demke, Registration, Camp Office Manager

Fred Dudley, Church Rep Coordinator, Survey Master & Outreach Coordinator

Theresa Murawski, Meeting Facilitator

Jim Pestana, Transportation Coord., Food Coord., IT Coord., Youth Advisory Board Advisor

Rev. Linda Spiers, Events Coordinator

Gayle Wilcox, Volunteer Coordinator, Youth Advisory Board Advisor & Technical Advisor

Nolan Dionne

Rev. Rowena Kemp

Latoya Watson

Additional Camp Staff

Kevin Bach

Brian Barnett

Stephen Calloway

Carrie Combs

Chris Connell

Jillian Edwards

Stephen Francis

Madison Frame

Don Hamer

Nancy Jacobs

Pat King

Cece Krause

Sarah Legeyt

Mikayla Morosky

Alex Murant-Johnson

Anna Tansi

Our Major Funders


Our Community Organization Partners

We are thankful to have a variety of community partners that enable us to fulfill our mission.

A Better Chance, Glastonbury

Asylum Hill Learning Center

Brookdale South Windsor

Charities of Hope

Chrysalis Center

Church of the Good Shepherd, Hartford

Community Renewal Team


EHIM Friendship Center

Family Life Education


Gifts of Love

Healing Meals Community Project

Higley Village/Metacomet E. Granby

Meadowbrook of Granby

My Sisters' Place

S. Granby Congregational Church

St. Dunstan Pantry Garden

Summer of Solutions Hartford

The Village for Families & Children

West Hartford Fellowship Senior Housing