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.
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.
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.
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
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
Rev. Rowena Kemp
A Better Chance, Glastonbury
Asylum Hill Learning Center
Brookdale South Windsor
Charities of Hope
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