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Our Story

Evolution of SCOPE Video


The Beginning

SCOPE was established for one simple reason, to provide summer camp opportunities to all children, regardless of socio-economic background.

In the early 1990s, nonprofit camps were struggling to fill their beds and stay open due to a decline in funding. SCOPE was born out of a desire to help these camps fill their beds with children who truly needed camp and would ultimately benefit from the camp experience.

Jay Jacobs
When Doug Pierce and I founded SCOPE in 1991, we hoped to make a difference in the lives of children who, once exposed to the social, emotional and character-building benefits of summer camp, would go on to complete their education, where otherwise they might not have. And, in so doing, the camp experience that we helped provide might be the key to unlocking a world of opportunities too often shut to children who have the misfortune of growing up in the wrong zip codes.

– Jay Jacobs (SCOPE Founder & Timber Lake Family of Camps Owner)


Bev McEntarfer
I was part of a group of nonprofit camp professionals that [met] prior to SCOPE being created. [W]e were really pondering the fate of nonprofit camps because camps were closing… and we were all struggling just to fill our beds. Then came along Jay [Jacobs] and Doug [Pierce] and a whole bunch of angels and they created SCOPE and we are so thankful for them. Since 1991, I’ve probably seen thousands of SCOPE kids at my camps and the transformation that happens is just incredible.

– Bev McEntarfer (Camp Homeward Bound Director)

Summer Camp & Beyond

SCOPE has funded over 26,000 camperships for children from low-income families to attend overnight summer camp in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the country.

Doug Pierce

SCOPE is the single best story we as a camp community have to tell… [L]et’s work together to share our time and resources so financially disadvantaged children are given life-changing experiences at summer camp. These children deserve the opportunity to grow and develop at camp and beyond!

– Doug Pierce (SCOPE Founder & Owner/Director Emeritus of Pierce Country Day School and Camp)

SCOPE Milestones

  • 1991 – SCOPE founded as SCOP (Summer Camp Opportunity Program), a program of the American Camp Association New York section
  • 1992 – SCOP’s first summer, 26 children receive ‘camperships’ with funding support from camp directors in New York
  • 1999 – SCOP changed its name to SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge)
  • 2004 – SCOPE received the American Camping Foundation’s Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence at the American Camp Association’s National Conference in San Francisco, California.
  • 2005 – SCOPE established as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization
  • 2007 – SCOPE Midwest launched as first SCOPE regional affiliate under the regional leadership of Dayna Hardin
  • 2008 – SCOPE Midwest first summer, 100 children receive ‘camperships’ to attend overnight camp
  • 2011 – SCOPE Southeast affiliate launches in partnership with the Boca West Children’s Foundation
  • 2011 – SCOPE Midwest establishes the Bradley Schwartz Campership Fund to provide camperships for children in the Midwest
  • 2012 – SCOPE Southeast first summer, 37 children receive ‘camperships’ to attend overnight camp
  • 2012 – SCOPE rebranded to Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education with a focus on the year-round education of children in the program; establishment of the Sanford Lavitt Education Fund, which will give Northeast campers who graduate from high school and camp the opportunity to apply for college scholarships
  • 2012 – SCOPE developed database with support from CampMinder to track camper continuum
  • 2012 – SCOPE received the Lois Goodrich Award for helping to provide affordable camp programs for children from underserved communities at the Trail Blazer Camps’ Benefit in New York, New York.
  • 2014 – The Young Leaders Board (now known as the Associate Board) for young adults ages 21+ and the Junior Leadership Council (JLC) for middle and high school youth established to create a new generation of SCOPE supporters
  • 2014 – SCOPE Southwest affiliate launched in Austin, Texas, with regional leadership from Blake Sunshine
  • 2015 – SCOPE Southwest first summer, three children receive ‘camperships’ to attend overnight camp
  • 2020 – SCOPE’s first class of college scholarship recipients enrolled in college with the assistance of the Sanford Lavitt Education Fund
  • 2021 – Marked the second year of our college scholarship program with 13 eligible scholars enrolled in college
  • 2022 – SCOPE celebrated 30 years of sending children to camp




Stories from Camp & Beyond

In their own words, campers and supporters share why the work we do truly matters.

Help SCOPE continue to write our story