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Camp Harbor View Foundation Inc.

 200 Clarendon Street, Floor 60, c/o Connors Family Office
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 369-0070
[F] --
[email protected]
Elizabeth Connolly
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 75-3235491

LAST UPDATED: 12/17/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »

Camp Harbor View's mission is to provide an environment in which young adolescents from many of Boston's at-risk neighborhoods can experience fun, friendship, new exposures and mentoring opportunities offered by a caring and experienced staff.  Through this process, they will develop confidence, leadership skills, and an awareness of life's possibilities (educational, vocational, and other) that they would not otherwise have encountered.

Mission Statement

Camp Harbor View's mission is to provide an environment in which young adolescents from many of Boston's at-risk neighborhoods can experience fun, friendship, new exposures and mentoring opportunities offered by a caring and experienced staff.  Through this process, they will develop confidence, leadership skills, and an awareness of life's possibilities (educational, vocational, and other) that they would not otherwise have encountered.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Income $4,500,000.00
Projected Expense $4,000,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Camper Program
  • Leader-in-Training Program
  • Year-Round Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Camp Harbor View's mission is to provide an environment in which young adolescents from many of Boston's at-risk neighborhoods can experience fun, friendship, new exposures and mentoring opportunities offered by a caring and experienced staff.  Through this process, they will develop confidence, leadership skills, and an awareness of life's possibilities (educational, vocational, and other) that they would not otherwise have encountered.

Background Statement

Camp Harbor View was created in 2007 in an effort to provide inner-city kids from at-risk neighborhoods with a retreat from the city streets, where violence is particularly troublesome during the summer months. Heading into our seventh season, Camp Harbor View, which is located on Long Island in Boston Harbor, welcomes close to 900 inner-city youth, ages 11-17. We seek to attract those kids who might be most in need of the break this opportunity presents, and many of our campers are from low-income families with difficult home/living situations. There is a specific focus on those areas most afflicted by violence, with a large percentage of campers residing in Dorchester, Roxbury, Hyde Park and Mattapan. The camp’s curriculum is focused upon five key areas that we found to be important to the development, skill set, and interest of adolescents—Sports and Fitness, The Arts/Creative Expression, Aquatics, Knowledge is Power (our educational/learning component), and Leadership. Bus transportation is provided from 14 area stops throughout the city, and campers also receive both apparel and 3 meals a day. Recruited from numerous agencies, campers are asked to pay just $5 for their month-long experience. Year-round programming includes monthly reunion days at our off-season location in Roxbury, parent support groups, outreach from our camp director and social work team, a holiday party for campers and their families, and regular Leader-in-Training workshops for the LIT group.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, which signed on as our operating partner during the camp’s formation, provides exceptional staffing, programming, and overall structure to the camp experience. In addition to a handful of full-time employees, over eighty seasonal employees are on hand to facilitate programming and provide a safe and nurturing environment. Several program partners are also on hand to supplement the camp experience by contributing services from their areas of expertise. A full listing of those partners is available in our annual report. 

Our general camper program (for kids ages 11-14) serves 380 kids during both of our month-long sessions.  The Leader-in-Training program is a competitive year-long program that keeps former campers connected to the organization through job experience, leadership development, educational and career exploration, and college preparation. The program is divided into 3 levels and serves 35 15-year-olds, 15 16-year-olds, and 15 17-year-olds each year. Through the LIT program, Camp Harbor View has begun to build a culture where inner-city youth expand their view of the future to include higher education and multiple vocational possibilities. The LIT program features two main components: an education piece and on-the-job training. In addition to daily classroom time, LITs participate in regular field trips, meet weekly with staff to formulate goals and monitor their progress, and receive a stipend for their efforts in assisting the camp program. The 17-year old group also completes two-week internships at locations throughout the city. Monthly meetings and regular check-ins throughout the school year help to further support their growth and success. 

Impact Statement

While our primary mission—providing hundreds of inner-city youth with a safe, engaging, and enriching summer experience at a nominal fee—has remained consistent over the years, we pride ourselves in our constant effort to improve the experience and deepen our impact. As in years past, 2014 included our campers rotating through 5 programming areas: Sports and Fitness, The Arts, Leadership, Aquatics, and our learning component, Knowledge is Power. A few additions in 2014 included partnering with Let’s Get Ready, a non-profit that specializes in working with low-income students around obstacles and inequalities faced in attaining a college education, specifically helping with SAT prep, practice tests, and additional assistance with the college application process. Thanks to a generous gala donation, 20 15-17 year olds had the chance to partake on a 5 night sailing expedition aboard a 137’ schooner through the World Ocean School. Campers were also involved in a STEM fair at the camp, where they had the chance to participate in various science-oriented activities to foster interest in science, technology, engineering, and math topics, as well as careers. This fair complemented the partnership with Partners HealthCare, through which youth are introduced to various medical careers and important health related information, with the help of numerous healthcare professionals.

In 2015, we will focus on sustainability efforts, as our physical plant is all but complete and our programming has been enriched, augmented and refined. We will seek to institutionalize to a greater degree our relationships with funders, our governance structure and our curriculum, staff & camper recruitment procedures and camp culture.



Needs Statement

Since we have no revenue model aside from philanthropy (campers are asked to contribute just $5 toward their month-long experience), raising funds towards our program and general operating expenses is a constant priority.  In addition to our annual operating budget of approximately $4M, we have most years faced additional capital improvement costs. This year we face a greater challenge as the bridge to Long Island has been closed due to its damaged condition. As a result, and for a substantial increase in our transportation budget, we have secured ferry transportation for our campers and staff and additional boats to transport program partners, visitors, and vendors. As noted in our impact statement, we have also turned our focus towards raising endowment funds to help offset some of our annual costs and to contribute to the camp’s long-term sustainability.  While we have a base of loyal and very generous donors, we constantly seek to attract the interest of new contributors, particularly in the grant arena, while also building our network of advisors.  

CEO Statement

Boston is blessed to have a number of wonderful children’s charities that make our city a better one in which to live. However, there are a few aspects of the camp that make it unique. Children are recruited from at-risk neighborhoods throughout the city, and brought together at an idyllic setting on Boston Harbor.  Although the island sits within city limits, it is in many ways a world away from the neighborhoods in which our campers live and the setting is vastly different from other summer camp venues in the city. In an effort to ensure that we enroll those most in need, children are asked to pay just $5 for their month-long experience, and we provide those elements that might otherwise prohibit their participation—free bus transportation, apparel, and 3 meals per day. Our combination of talented camp staff and an experienced social work team ensures that we are providing the best and most beneficial experience possible, and our inclusion of multiple program partners allows us to offer an even more comprehensive curriculum.  Through our partnerships with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the city, and our program partners, we are able to better serve our population.

What makes us even more unique is what we offer outside of the general camp program. While we originally anticipated working with youth ages 11-14 – a vulnerable age bracket that is prone to gang recruitment and bullying—we instituted a Leader-in-Training (LIT) Program in an effort to continue our relationship with former campers. The LIT program combines summertime & regular off-season engagement for 15-17 year olds, focusing on job experience, career exploration, and promoting higher education. Our off-season location at the Orchard Gardens Community Center allows us to hold camper and parent workshops; monthly opportunities for children to engage with camp staff; parent support groups; college preparation and financial saving discussions; Friday movie nights for teens, and much more. Our social work team works throughout the year with campers and families on an as-needed basis. In short, the camp has evolved from offering a wonderful summer experience in a safe and healthy setting to serving as a year-round support system for both campers and their families.

Our financial support structure is somewhat unique in that we receive no state or federal monies and we are young enough as an organization that we do not have endowment funds upon which to rely; thus, every year we must raise our operating expenses in their entirety. So too, our governance model has to this point been dependent upon a very small board of directors. As we move forward, we will seek to enlarge this governing body, with a view toward including individuals who have give-and-get capacity, in addition to other areas of experience and expertise. Our small governing board has enabled us to be “fleet of foot” in terms of incorporating new and improved elements, but it has also created a funding burden that is heavily dependent upon the energy and reach of one individual.  Additionally, our funding model has been event-driven and particularly reliant on the success of one signature event each year. We realize that this is not sustainable over the long term, and will be seeking to attract and deepen the support of individuals and foundations who are compelled by our programming.

Board Chair Statement

Camp Harbor View is a very personal commitment for me. When Mayor Menino asked me in 2006 to help him think about solutions to the problem of teen violence, particularly during the summer months, I wasn’t at all sure what the best approach would be, but after thinking about it for several days, the idea of building a summer camp came to me.  Within a matter of days, I located a perfect and unique site and after convincing the City to give us a lease for $1/year, I promised to raise $10 million to build a day camp. 

We have been very successful in raising enough capital to build, staff and operate the camp, which opened for the first group of campers in July, 2007.  Initial investors were corporate CEOs and individual philanthropists who were motivated by friendship to me and faith that I wouldn’t ask them to waste their time or money on a project that wasn’t important. To date, we have raised $37 million and have used those funds to build 3 buildings, an Olympic sized pool, tennis courts, playing fields and a 1500 foot dock. In addition, our fundraising success has allowed us to admit 800 youngsters each summer, at a cost of $5 per child per 4-week session. In addition to experiencing the camp curriculum, they each receive transportation to and from camp and three nutritious meals per day.  We have instituted a year-round program for our campers and Leaders-in-Training and we have established a site for the school year at the former Orchard Gardens Community Center in Roxbury. Additionally, we have instituted a scholarship program awarding approved applicants with up to $10,000 towards their academic goals, renewable each year based on performance.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB), who signed on as our operating partners during the camp’s formation, continues to provide exceptional staffing, programming and overall structure to the camp experience.  We have built a strong collaboration with BGCB, and also with a group of program partners who contribute to the richness and variety of the camp’s curriculum, primarily during the summer season, but during the off-season as well. 

We have built a donor base of corporate leaders and wealthy individuals with whom I have a relationship. As our program grows and our initial investors retire from the ranks of our supporters, we will need to attract a new base of support. We are making initial efforts now to cultivate a group of supporters who will be drawn by the strength and reputation of the camp and not necessarily by friendship to me or the Mayor. We welcome the idea of broadening our support in the community and of incorporating new voices as we plan for the future, and plan for the sustainability of our program.  In short, our challenge is to institutionalize the camp and provide the structure it will require in order to succeed for generations to come. This will require a full philanthropic governing board and the formation of an endowment, which will help to offset some of our operating funds in the future.

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)

While we serve most neighborhoods of Boston, there is an emphasis on those areas most prone to violence, including Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hype Park.

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Camper Program

 The camper program includes 2 month-long sessions of 380 youth each.  Campers are ages 11-14 and reside in the city of Boston, with an emphasis on those areas most afflicted by violence.  Youth are only allowed to attend one session per summer, and about 40% are returning campers from previous years.  The camp is in session Mon- Fri, 9am - 5pm. 

 The camper program is divided into 5 key areas of development: sports and fitness; aquatics; leadership development; Knowledge is Power, our educational component; and the arts/creative expression.  Activities are limitless and youth are encouraged to try every area of programming.  Special events include relay races, all camp performances, a talent show, and special speakers. The camp experience includes bus transportation from 14 neighborhood stops across the city, apparel, and 3 meals per day.

Budget  $2,400,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Citizenship
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success   As far as immediate success, our main objective is to provide inner-city youth with a safe summer alternative to the city streets, a time during which violence is more prevalent.  We hope to keep them safe and to deter them from gang involvement and other dangerous situations.  At the same time, we seek to provide an engaging, enjoyable, and meaningful summer filled with fun; healthy activities; opportunities for character development and the acquisition of new skills; and the chance to develop new friendships.
Program Long-Term Success   We seek to change the trajectory of some of the youth with whom we work.  By providing them with an engaging summer experience away from the city streets we hope to foster impactful mentoring relationships, instill confidence in them, and broaden their views as to what is possible for them.  We ultimately hope to motivate many of them to seek higher education/vocational training and pursue meaningful career/employment opportunities.  Above all else, we seek to help our youth develop into engaged, confident, and successful citizens.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 
Over 40% of kids return each year, and close to 2/3 staff return each year as well.  Surveys consistently show self-reported increases in confidence, leadership skills, self-imagine, increases in physical activity, and much more.

Leader-in-Training Program

 The Leader-in-Training program is a year-round initiative that keeps former campers connected to the organization through job experience, leadership development, educational and career exploration, and college preparation. Participants complete 8 weeks of the program out at Camp Harbor View during the summer months, and enjoy year-round workshops, outreach, communication, and assistance with the college application process. Competitive in selection, the program includes 65 youth ages 15-17. 

 The LIT program features two main components: an education piece and an employment experience. In addition to daily classroom time that is focused on either an independent study or a more structured curriculum around math/English, LITs participate in regular field trips, meet weekly with the LIT coordinator and/or CHV youth workers one-on-one to formulate goals and monitor their progress, and receive a stipend for their efforts in assisting the camp program. 17-year-olds also spend two weeks off-location at internships around the city in an effort to build upon their job experiences. Through the LIT program, Camp Harbor View has begun to build a culture where inner-city youth expand their view of the future to include higher education and multiple vocational possibilities. 

Budget  $300,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Citizenship
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
 The LIT Program manages to accomplish the following program goals:

Keep 15-17 year-olds from at-risk neighborhoods positively engaged over the summer months

Expand the youth participants' ideas of what is possible for their future

Continue to develop leadership skills in youth participants through workforce experience and mentoring opportunities

 Introduce youth to job skills and responsibility

Build a culture at the camp of working towards something more. This will be demonstrated by the LITs and observed by the general camper population, comprised of approximately 800 11-14 year olds from at-risk neighborhoods throughout Boston. 
Program Long-Term Success 
Ultimately, the long term success of the program will be to see participants emerge as successful, confident leaders who feel in control of their future.  We aspire to see the majority of them apply and gain entry to higher educational opportunities or vocational training programs/employment opportunities of their choice.
Program Success Monitored By  Daily group check-ins and weekly individual meetings with LIT staff during the summer allow us to constantly monitor the program's direction and impact.  A pre-and post-camp survey taken by participants as well as annual reports from staff attempts to gauge the program’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as individual participant changes in a variety of characteristics/areas of personal development.
Examples of Program Success 
Surveys have consistently shown the following results:
-  Significant increase in confidence around setting goals for the future
-  Almost all LITs agreed that the program prepared them for future employment and exposed them to new career options
-All LITs agreed that they learned about leadership
-Participants felt significantly safer at Camp Harbor View than in their own schools and neighborhoods
-Participants were less likely to carry a weapon after the program
-Participants were less likely to get in a fight or think someone was a coward if they walked away from a fight.
Additionally, with our first graduating classes of LITs, we saw the majority of them enter into college/higher educational opportunities.

Year-Round Program

 In addition to the programming that takes place out at the camp during the summer, campers, LITs, and their families are treated to year-round services.  These services include monthly reunions for campers both out at the camp and at our year-round facility in Roxbury; regular camper groups that focus on a variety of interests (ie mountain biking club, photography club, and boys group and girls group meetings); monthly workshops for LITs focused on topics of interest/relevance; weekly check-ins between our LITs and LIT staff; parent support groups and parent workshops focused on common parenting issues; individual case management with the help of our social work team; a holiday party; Friday night movie nights for teens; and much more.  All of these are administered free of charge.
Budget  $250,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Citizenship
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations Families
Program Short-Term Success 
Please see above
Program Long-Term Success  The ultimate goal of the program is to maintain constant communication with our population and their families all year long in an effort to build upon our relationship with them and support them even when the camp is not in session.  We encourage all of our youth to participate in these programs as desired, and aspire that most of them will attempt to engage with camp staff in some form during the year.  We believe that this work will help to encourage youth to attend camp for multiple summers, thus allowing us to have a deeper impact.
Program Success Monitored By 
We will measure success by program participation, utilization of services, and with respect to our social work efforts, positive response to whatever the assistance provided may be.
Examples of Program Success 
In response to the added utilization of social work services, we have added an additional social worker/social work intern each year for the past 3 years. We have secured our own off-season location in Roxbury and built out our programming from just monthly reunions to workshops, parent support groups, parent workshops, and various camper "club" groups of interest.  Almost 45% of our camper population returns each year, which we feel is a testament to our efforts to continue our relationship in the off-season.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Sharon McNally
CEO Term Start May 2007
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A


Board Chair Mr. John M. Connors Jr.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Connors Family Office
Board Chair Term June 2012 - June 2013
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
John M. Connors Jr. Connors Family Office Voting
John Connors III Boathouse Group Voting
John Fish Suffolk Construction Voting
Matt Fishman Partners HealthCare Voting
Chris Goode EMC Voting
Sonja Kelly Kelly Family Foundation Voting
Sharon McNally Connors Family Office Voting
Jim Phelan State Street Voting
Richard Powers Morgan Stanley (ret) Voting
Bryan Rafanelli Rafanelli Events Voting
Fred Seigel Beacon Capital Voting
Peter Welsh Peter M. Welsh Strategic Consulting Services Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Jeff Bellows Blue Cross Blue Shield Voting
David Bruce Highland Street Foundation Voting
Richard Connolly Morgan Stanley Voting
Tom Crohan John Hancock Voting
Meredith DeWitt Meredith J. DeWitt Consulting Voting
Neil McCullagh American City Coalition Voting
Rick Musiol Citizens Bank Voting
Bryan Rafanelli Rafanelli Events Voting
Graham Shalgian -- NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 100
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $6,674,963 $4,852,815 $7,217,212
Total Expenses $6,599,884 $5,380,157 $5,222,548

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,625,124 $703,862 $2,880,736
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $-505,187 $32,174 $153,411
Membership Dues $3,450 $4,962 $4,952
Special Events $5,551,576 $4,111,740 $4,168,113
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- $77 $10,000

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $4,440,465 $3,769,016 $3,593,118
Administration Expense $1,094,000 $737,887 $669,901
Fundraising Expense $1,065,419 $873,254 $959,529
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.01 0.90 1.38
Program Expense/Total Expenses 67% 70% 69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 18% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $31,305,976 $31,213,507 $31,940,848
Current Assets $6,350,885 $5,537,714 $5,198,113
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $53,252 $35,862 $235,861
Total Net Assets $31,252,724 $31,177,645 $31,704,987

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $8,301,766.00
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 119.26 154.42 22.04

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

At Camp Harbor View, we seek to provide a summer experience that allows young adolescents in Boston’s at risk neighborhoods to be kids for the summer and to give them a second home.  On Long Island in the Harbor, our campers have the opportunity to try things they never thought they could, and escape the challenges they face in their communities.  We help our campers discover the greatness in each and every one of them, thereby instilling in them the skills to become leaders of our beloved city.  CHV encourages our campers and Leaders in Training (LITs) to depend on us for support through our year-round programming.  Through this year round guidance, we have seen campers benefit from our scholarship opportunities and become driven college graduates.  This is one of our many benchmarks of success.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

One of the main philosophies employed at CHV is 123 Lead. This motto stands for our core values of fun, respect, responsibility, character, courage and community. We utilize a positive energy and positive reinforcement strategy, whereby we focus our attention on all of the good things our campers do, and reward them when they exude one of our core values. Adversely, we give very little energy and attention to any negative behavior that a camper may exhibit. By employing this strategy, we cultivate a positive environment where campers independently adjust their behavior in order to receive positive energy from staff. Every day at CHV, campers are given opportunities to display our core values. For example, our popular ropes course extracts leadership, listening, and teamwork skills from campers.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

The Camp Harbor View Foundation has been fortunate enough to partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, who provide the camp with experience and expertise, leadership skills, and human resources. Through this partnership, the foundation then has the responsibility to create a network of people who are able to provide for the camp both fiscally and resourcefully. The Boys and Girls Club runs every day operations at CHV, while the foundation provides the resources to do so. This partnership has been incredibly successful and cooperative.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

As an organization, we are continually encouraged and impressed by the growing number of campers who not only return every year, but become LIT’s and then staff. It is so amazing to see the once campers in a facilitating role, where they are teaching the skills that they had once been taught at CHV. Another encouraging milestone is to see the former campers, against all odds, attend college. Their pursuit of higher education is often contingent on our ability to provide them with scholarship money.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

As the camp’s session is a mere four weeks long, one of our near-term objectives is for campers to come out their shell and develop leadership skills in that short time period. We hope that the campers that choose to return the following years continue their growth during the school year, and also take their newfound skill sets back to their neighborhoods and set an example for their peers.

A second set of objectives that we have at CHV is for the LIT’s to make progress throughout the program. For example, this progress could be seen in the increase of an LIT’s SAT score after the preparation services that the camp provides, or the completion of their college essay. For our first year LIT’s, a successful transition from camper to leader in and of itself is a great feat. Our ultimate goal at camp is to create great citizens in the inner city communities of Boston.