About Mitch Stephanie

Mitch & Stephanie

As parents and camp owners we are involved with each camper and the entire program. Our reputation is best described as “ultra hands on”. We make all decisions based on what we would do for our own children, Jared and Brandon, who are now an integral part of camp operations.

We spend ten months of the year planning, anticipating and preparing to be ‘camp parents’ for 7 weeks in the summer, and are truly honored, proud, humbled and take this responsibility seriously. Throughout the year and the summer, we are known as super communicators, giving you a keen sense of what to expect in the off-season and a peak into our world during the summer months.

Despite these challenging times for everyone, we are in the position of “life normal” at Camp Towanda. Parents know that their children are safe 24/7; that we have in-depth staff training and supervision; that the experience of camp changes the lives of their children in immeasurable ways that enhance social skills, maturation, physical and emotional enrichment and development, character, courage and responsibility; and most importantly, it helps children to separate from family and friends in comfort and support and return home better for it.

There have always been ups and downs, everywhere in life. At camp, some days we have banana splits, some days we don’t! We have had rainy summers and very hot summers; some of have said not all Olympic Breakouts were the best ever and many have loved those awesome psych-outs! Sometimes your team wins the World Series, sometimes they don’t. We believe the key to it all is related to the long term and in the case of camp, it is the unique compounding experiences.

The experience of camp is sometimes tough to verbalize. Some call it “the magic of camp”, some say “you just have to be there”, some say, “you know, it’s camp” and others feel that it is just the single greatest experience and influence in their life. Michael Eisner, the former head of Disney, who wrote the book, CAMP, explained that his camp experience was one of the most important and influential impacts that affected the path of his life.

So, what actually is it about camp that makes a difference in a child’s life? There seems to be a consistent effect that produces and fosters quality in confidence, self-esteem, leadership skills, hope, support, potential, smart choices, respect, friendships, camaraderie, sense of belonging, cooperation, conflict resolution, character, tolerance, healthy independence, enthusiasm, spirit, interest, enlightenment, creativity, sharing, teamwork, sportsmanship, and skill development; to name a few!

The compounding result of the camp experiences helps build the foundation of who our children will become, building upon itself day by day, week by week and year by year. The power of camp is truly a unique and special opportunity for those fortunate to attend.

We are proud to be the owners and directors of Camp Towanda and take the responsibility seriously. Camp is fun, camp is safe, camp is awesome and camp is really what we all need. It is continuing education, but stuff that one can’t learn at school or at home. We have often said that camp is the way life used to be, or ought to be.

The true value of the Camp Towanda experience goes beyond financial consideration (after all, one could evaluate that if they were to make all the arrangements on their own to house, feed, supervise and instruct their child 24/7 for 7 weeks in a safe, enjoyable and comfortable atmosphere while making friends, developing the life skills and more, it would far exceed the expense of camp.) The true value is in that foundation one is building.

We understand what a big decision choosing a camp is and we would be delighted to speak with you personally.


Mitch and Stephanie

Mitch & Stephanie
Owners and Directors for 25 years

ACA Accredited

ACA Accreditation means that the camp you are considering for your child cares enough to undergo a thorough (over 300 standards) review of its operation – from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices at the camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes summers of growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

ACA helps accredited camps provide:
Healthy, developmentally appropriate and learning experiences and activities;
Discovery through experiential education; Caring, competent role models;
Service to the community and the environment; Opportunities for leadership and personal growth.

Accreditation is voluntary and ACA accreditation assures families that camps have made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children.

ACA goes beyond basic requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service into specific areas of programming, including camp staff from director throughout counselors, emergency management plans, health care, and management. ACA applies separate standards for activities such as waterfront, adventure and travel.

Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp at any time by visiting ACA’s website www.ACAcamps.org or by calling 1-800-428-CAMP.
If the camp you are considering is not ACA accredited, ask WHY NOT?

Camp Towanda is not only accredited by the American Camp Association, but has staff members that serve on the ACA Board of Directors as well as one of their Accreditation Inspectors of other camps. Mitch is a former board member himself, of the ACA as well as a Steering Committee member and speaker at the annual camp association conference. He is actively involved and on the boards of several charitable organizations (SCOPE, L.O.V.E. and VisionWalk) that he gets the campers involved in.

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