About Us



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 15 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.



 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.

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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

Deb Bibbins, Esq. - The Hartford (ret.)

Tyron Harris - ADP

Aaliyah Miller - PwC

Rev. Linda Spiers - Trinity Episcopal Church, Collinsville CT

Gayle Wilcox - Cigna 

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

We are thankful for our Major Funders!

Farmington Bank


Farmington Bank is proud to support Heads Up! Hartford. Established in 1851, Farmington Bank is a full-service consumer and commercial bank with an ongoing commitment to contribute to the betterment of the communities in its region. Visit farmingtonbankct.com to explore the many ways Farmington Bank can help you reach your financial goals. 

Fairview Capital Partners, Inc.

Fairview Capital Partners

Fairview Capital Partners is a leading private equity investment management firm specializing in dynamic segments of the market. Fairview provides innovative, intelligent, investment solutions and services to institutional investors. Since inception, Fairview has managed $3.9 billion through funds of funds, customized separate accounts and other innovative structures. 

Fiduciary Investment Advisors


Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC is an independent, employee-owned investment consulting firm that works with fiduciary clients including retirement plan sponsors, institutions, non-profit organizations and private clients. FIA currently advises over $64 billion in total assets and is a registered investment advisor that provides conflict-free advice.

Mitchell Auto Group


As a proud cornerstone of Connecticut commerce and family values for nearly 100 years, Mitchell Auto Group's mission is to provide its customers with the safest and most reliable vehicles available in the New England market, and do so by way of sales and service experiences that instill total satisfaction.  

Carmon Community Funeral Homes


Each of Carmon's funeral homes offers a complete range of services in tastefully decorated, serene surroundings. Professionally trained and licensed staff members stand ready to provide sensitive, caring service and strive to exceed the expectations of each and every family.

Our communities are wonderfully diverse in religious beliefs, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds. 

Trinity Episcopal Church, Collinsville CT


Trinity Church strives to be a loving, diverse, energetic, and committed community in the Anglican tradition, a place where the love of Christ is known and shared with others. Trinity is a place of welcome, hope, and healing to everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or socioeconomic status. 

E. Granby Congregational Church


East Granby Congregational Church is a member church of the United Church of Christ. The church affirms that Christians don’t always have to agree about everything in order to live together in a church family. As a church family, we believe that we are called to love God, and to love our neighbors. 

The Home Depot


Through a generous grant from Home Depot, we received all of the materials necessary for our 2018 campers to build 9 picnic tables that were donated to local nonprofits in the Hartford, CT area including veterans' homes, A Better Chance locations, elderly housing facilities, and more!

Key Bank


Key Bank's mission is to empower its clients, communities and employees to thrive. The path to financial wellness starts here. No matter who you are, where you are on your financial journey, or what barriers are ahead of you, KeyBank will help you move forward.

Deupree Family Foundation


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 Center

Brookdale South Windsor

Charities of Hope

Chrysalis Center

Community Renewal Team


EHIM Friendship Center

Family Life Education


Higley Village/Metacomet E. Granby

Meadowbrook of Granby

My Sister's Place

St. Dunstan Pantry Garden

The Village for Families & Children

West Hartford Fellowship Senior Housing


Annual Report

HUH Annual Report 2017 (pdf)