After breakfast each day, the camp breaks into teams and heads to nonprofit destinations in and around the city of Hartford: CRT Day Care Centers, elderly and disabled housing centers, FoodShare, and The Village for Children and Families, among others.
Upon returning to our camp facilities, the youth enjoy free time to unwind and get to know the other campers better. The campers then sit down together and enjoy dinner together. Each evening involves either an educational program related to social emotional learning or a leisure activity (talent show, basketball tournament, all-camp games). Time is made for each of the work teams to debrief their day and each day is closed with a brief ecumenical worship service which includes stories of the day and slides of each of the teams’ work sites.
On the weekend, campers fan out to grocery stores to conduct food drives for local food banks. They engage in team building activities and games, and each team builds a picnic table or bench that is donated to a local charitable organization. An ecumenical worship service is held to close out the camp week.
The final day is an excursion to a local state park. That night, members of the community, parents, and churches are invited to our closing ceremony.
Students who participate in Heads Up! Hartford are typically affiliated with their church youth group, although we welcome any youth with a letter of sponsorship from a place of worship. In recent years we have also welcomed graduates of Hartford’s Breakthrough Magnet School.
Campers must have completed 8th grade and can attend as campers up through the summer after their high school graduation.
Check the events calendar for our Super Youth Group Events that occur throughout the year. These 2-hour programs bring together past and future campers and staff to talk about camp, enjoy pizza, hear testimonials about the camp experience, engage in small group discussion, and sing songs together. They are a great opportunity to experience what camp is like and get more information about the camp first-hand.
Each team of 8-10 campers is led by an adult and a college-aged counselor. In addition, there are numerous volunteers who assist with patrolling the grounds, distributing snacks, and keeping the camp running smoothly.
Overnight, professional security staff are on-site. A nurse is at camp the entire week as well. Two camp directors are on site to coordinate the staff and all programs.