Launched in 2010, Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms is a non-profit dedicated to providing a unique summer camp experience for New York City youth. It gives high school students from persistently underserved communities the chance to spend two weeks on beautiful working farm in Livingston Manor, New York. The mission was simple but compelling: empower young people to realize their potential through a unique camp experience that encourages each camper to develop a healthy body, healthy heart, and healthy mind.
Steve Kessner founded Steve’s Camp because his childhood summers at a bungalow colony in the Catskill Mountains were a formative experience and contrast to his familiar, working-class neighborhood in the Bronx.
Mr. Kessner’s life reached an unexpected turning point when his father, a NYC taxi driver, had the good fortune of picking up a Dartmouth College alum. That chance encounter lead to an Ivy League degree and a successful real estate career.
Steve’s story serves as inspiration for present-day campers and he finds joy in fulfilling his dream of starting a summer camp in the Catskills for young people with a background similar to his own.
Horizon Farms was a small commercial farm that shared the original parcel of land where Steve’s Camp now operates. In another stroke of serendipity, this co-location near a working farm with hundreds of pigs, chickens and sheep offered first year campers and staff a profound experience and became an essential component of the SCHF program that has shaped the camp’s mission and direction.
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