In the late fall of 1995, Morry Stein’s friends, family and colleagues established Morry’s Camp in his honor. Morry’s wife, Amy Medine Stein and his dear friend, Ben Appelbaum, chaired the new board of directors. Morry was a champion of children with a firm belief in extending the camp experience to boys and girls from economically disadvantaged communities.
The Morry’s Camp program was designed for inner-city children to attend four weeks of summer camp, over four consecutive years with a year-round commitment of support from the staff. In the summer of 1996, over 150 children who were entering the 5th grade enjoyed the Morry’s Camp experience in Riverhead, New York. In the fall of 1996, Morry’s year-round program was launched.
More than 100 boys and girls returned to Morry’s Camp for the summer of 1997 at a campsite in Copake, New York. The organization experienced growth, examined its long-term perspective and continued to support Morry’s year-round initiatives.
In 1997, Morry’s campers continued to meet in the off season, and stronger bonds were formed with the campers’ families and communities. A strategic plan was developed, and research began on a post grad program to allow young people to remain with Morry’s Camp beyond the initial four years through their 10th grade year.
In the fall of 1998, Morry’s Camp extended its community outreach to include a new agency partner in Manhattan. Campers returned in the summer to benefit from educational and recreational activities. Morry’s Camp was selected to participate in the New York City Board of Education’s “Breakaways” initiative based on year-round learning through educational programs in camps.
The summer of 1999 was the first summer of a long-term lease at a new campsite in Glen Spey, New York. The Board of Directors hired a firm to conduct a feasibility study before the launch of a capital campaign. In the fall of 1999, Morry’s Campers graduated from the four-year program and entered the new post grad program. The program focused on life skills and long-term education and career goals.
The year 2000 marked highly successful summer and year-round programs, along with strategic planning, Board development, new fundraising initiatives and an increase in the number of full time staff members.
In 2001, there was an increase in the number of year-round meetings held with the young people in the undergrad and post grad programs. The summer sessions continued to enhance learning opportunities, along with providing fun-filled camp adventures. In addition, Morry’s Camp began a four-year partnership with the University of North Carolina to conduct a longitudinal outcome study to measure the impact of Morry’s Camp on its campers.
In 2002, Morry’s Camp created a mentoring program for high school juniors ands seniors. Volunteer coaches made a two year commitment to help young people achieve their goals after high school graduation. In addition, the post grad program expanded to five years.
Throughout 2003, Morry’s Campers continued to grow and thrive with the support of an intensive residential summer camp experience, year-round learning opportunities and volunteer coaches.
In 2004, Morry’s Camp held its first commencement ceremony for a group of young people from the post grad program. These 14 Morry’s Pioneers graduated high school and either enrolled in college, enlisted in the military or successfully moved into the workforce.
In 2005, over 300 inner-city children benefited from Morry’s year-round educational and recreational programs. That year, Morry’s Camp received the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Programming Excellence, the highest form of recognition from the American Camping Association.
In 2006, the Morry’s Camp experience continued to grow and evolve with the addition of several new campers from New York, Connecticut and Long Island. Each summer brought new challenges and with them, even greater initiatives, like the Music ascension program and Culinary Kids.
2007 was the year that Morry’s Camp received the Excellence in Summer Learning Award from Johns Hopkins University in recognition of their commitment to high-quality summer learning opportunities for all young people. In the fall of 2007, the Board adopted the name Project Morry to better communicate the scope of the organization’s year-round youth development and education programming.
In its 13th season, Project Morry continues to be dedicated to providing economically, underserved children, ages 9-18 with enriching learning opportunities through a curriculum based on school gatherings and an intensive summer camp program. This year over 395 children will participate in Project Morry’s year-round youth development program.
return to top