We are so proud to share that Lori O'Bryant, Camp Hendon's Operations Manager, has been nominated to the American Camp Association's Camp Administrator's Hall of Fame! The goal of the Hall of Fame is to acknowledge and thank camp administrators for their invaluable work and their significant contribution to camps. To learn more about the Camp Admin Hall of Fame, click here.
There are two ways that Lori can be inducted into the Camp Administrator Hall of Fame:
The voting period for the Hall is a two-week period beginning Monday, March 29th, and concluding at 11:59 PM on Friday, April 9th.
Voting is easy and can be done on a computer, tablet, or phone. Starting on Monday, March 29th head to the voting page on the Camp Admin Hall of Fame website, find Lori, and vote!
Anyone can vote - friends, family, classmates, volunteers, and of course our campers & parents! You are allowed to vote once a day for the entire voting period, for a maximum of 12 votes.
Please take this opportunity to help us show Lori how much she means to us. Vote!
Lori's Nomination, submitted by Megan Cooper:
Lori O'Bryant is an angel on Earth. Her love for our campers is only outweighed by our families' love of Lori. Lori was brought onto the Camp Hendon team as our first and only employee in 2015. Until that time, Camp Hendon was an entirely volunteer-run medical camp for children with Type 1 Diabetes. Her job description was jokingly paraphrased to say "give it to Lori and she'll get it done." All jokes aside, it was entirely accurate. Lori will rise to the occasion of any challenge, especially if that means helping a child or parent in need. She remained our lone employee for two years until she was joined by an Executive Director (me). As I got to know Lori, it became clear that her life's purpose was to make the world better for those around her. Children, in particular. She gives every parent her cell phone number with an open invitation to call or text her day or night with any question big or small. When the parent of a child who has been newly diagnosed with this chronic condition calls Lori, they are scared. Not scared - TERRIFIED - of the new path their family has been thrust down. Compound their existing fear of their child's condition, with the idea of sending them away to camp for a week, and it is enough to send a parent into a full-blown panic attack. Enter Lori O'Bryant. She walks our parents step-by-step through the application process, she explains what our camp schedule looks like, the foods the kids will eat, and she reassures parents with details about our exceptional medical providers and volunteers. She listens to their fears, and she allays them with her kind and confident words. I have no doubt that Lori has singlehandedly brought hundreds of children to camp, and changed each of their lives for the better, just because of her ability to reassure parents. Beyond that, Lori is beloved by our volunteers. She has an uncanny ability to bring people to the table for a cause. Last summer when our programs were canceled due to COVID-19, she was determined to make our virtual programs a success. She organized camp-in-a-box supplies, packing, and delivery to 106 campers in 6 states plus Thailand! Of those 106 boxes, 97 were HAND-DELIVERED by volunteers that Lori organized. She is the heart and soul of our organization, and we would be lost without her. She just wants to love these children. So, I am eagerly nominating Lori to become a member of the Camp Admin Hall of Fame. I assure you there is no one more deserving, and no one who will be as humbled and shocked by receiving this honor. Help me in honoring Lori O'Bryant's incredibly special contributions to our families affected by Type 1 Diabetes.
The news you have been waiting for…
It is the decision of Camp Hendon’s staff, Medical Advisory Committee, and Board of Directors to move forward with plans to operate in-person summer camp! We are acutely aware of the challenges of this past year, and in particular, the feelings of isolation and loneliness felt by so many. Our kids, especially. Although our Zoom dance parties and virtual camps have been an eye-opening and unique opportunity to connect, there is no replacement for in-person camp. We miss our campers as much as they miss camp!
We weighed each of the options, which has led us to consider bringing our campers together again in a new, reimagined, and safe way. We know there will be challenges, but we have been given lemons and we are determined to make the best lemonade we can! It is also important to recognize that PHYSICAL distancing does not have to mean SOCIAL distancing and isolation! We can be 6 feet apart and still have a fun and safe experience. We are confident that we can provide a modified camp experience that will allow our campers to feel the sense of camaraderie only found at The Best Place On Earth.
This is where you, our Camp Families, come in. We ask that you be transparent, realistic, flexible, and - very importantly - please read ALL Camp Hendon communications thoroughly! To help with communication, in addition to email, we will be using a text messaging tool called “Remind” to share updates.
In return, we will be very transparent with you and provide all information we have available. State and local COVID-19 guidelines continue to change on a regular basis, so please understand that will also translate into ongoing changes in Camp Hendon’s plans.
If you or your child are hesitant about attending camp, or cannot or will not reasonably abide by the expectations we put forth, we respectfully ask that you choose to sit this summer out and return in 2022. We hope to hold more off-season programs later in 2021/early 2022 to provide additional opportunities for all campers.
Some of the proposed modifications to camp are as follows. Please remember, these plans are subject to change.
An additional reminder that your $25 application deposit is non-refundable. Click here to view Camp Hendon’s Cancellation, Refund, & Waitlist Policy. We will still be offering camperships to any camper in need! If you have any financial concerns, please let us know.
We are using a new registration system from years past that should be more user-friendly. If you have any trouble registering or any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text me at 502-544-1954.
What made you decide to volunteer at Camp Hendon and how long have you been volunteering?
I have been volunteering since 1995. I began as host camp staff when Camp Hendon came to Camp Crooked Creek. I taught youth archery, rifle and shotgun shooting. I followed Camp Hendon and volunteered with them since then. I like the mission and purpose of Camp Hendon, that is why I volunteer.
What is your role at camp?
I am a camp counselor and also a den leader. I have been on the coyote den staff all the way up to the eagle den staff. I followed a group of wonderful youth from coyote to eagle. Six years together now, friends forever.
Why do you come back year after year? What do you get from camp or how has it impacted your life?
I come back for the fun of camp and the energy of the youth. If they are jacked, I’m jacked. I try to match their energy.
What is your favorite activity at camp and why?
I like several things at camp. I like swimming (dunking on all that want to get jammed on). I like zip lining at night and an occasional pizza pool party. Things to look forward to when in older dens.
What are some things you have learned or taken away from camp?
I have learned to educate others on the basics of diabetes. The experience has helped since I have recently been diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic. That’s right, I’m part of the club (I drank the water).
What do you do in your real life when you’re not giving your time to Camp Hendon?
I enjoy entertaining my nieces and nephews. I work for a teen center that has a gym, game room, dance floor among other things. I get paid to play and I’m honored to be able to entertain military youth to help relieve stress.
Do you have any skills or talents that many may not know about you?
I am a non-swimmer but I love water. I have gone whitewater rafting several times in class 4 & 5 rapids. I am a decent frisbee golfer. I love going to live sporting events.
I am honored to be spot lighted. I hope you learned more about me.