Camp Herrlich History
Mount Tremper's heritage is a wonderfully woven story of goals established and achieved. The road Mount Tremper Outdoor Ministries has taken over the many years has not been the road most traveled by nonprofit organizations.
Mount Tremper Outdoor Ministries, Inc. was incorporated in 1971 by our founder, Harold Haar, for the purpose of running a children's camp for the benefit of disadvantaged children and an outdoor environmental education center at Mount Tremper Camp in upstate New York. This facility encompassed some three hundred acres in the Catskill Mountains, complete with forest, streams, cabins and a four story flagstone lodge, originally constructed in the 1920's as a Catholic monastery. For more than ten years, the Mount Tremper family of staff and friends gave of their time, talent and treasure to foster and grow this outdoor ministry. Thousands of children and adults spent time at Mount Tremper. Today, we still experience hundreds of people from that time who stop by and help us in one way or another. They send their children to camp, contribute their time at our work weekends or give to our scholarship funds or annual fund. In 1977, based on our successes at Mount Tremper, we were invited to manage and run Camp Wilbur Herrlich in Patterson, New York, a camp owned by Lutheran Social Services of Metropolitan New York. This beautifully maintained 156 acre site in Putnam County was the answer to our collective prayers. Camp Herrlich provided the opportunity to serve more children at a site closer to our New York Metropolitan constituency. In 1981, we chose to sell Mount Tremper Camp, as we decided to concentrate our efforts on one camp, Camp Herrlich.
Today, we are still operating Camp Herrlich and very happy to have accomplished so much. In particular, the past ten years have brought significant changes to the camp. Summer camper enrollment increases annually. The number of children experiencing our outdoor education programs has more than tripled. Our operating budget has more than doubled. Our scholarship funds given to disadvantaged, at-risk children have increased from $15,000 annually to more than $40,000 annually. We now serve more than 5000 people of all ages every year in a fully functioning year round atmosphere. More than the numbers though, our reputation for quality programs for children has increased exponentially. In 1998, we were nominated for the prestigious National Presidential Points of Light Award. We were selected as a Citationist which means that we were judged to be among the top 50 organizations and individuals that make a lasting contribution to the American community. A discerning person knows that there are many camp facilities from which to choose. They all provide ample opportunity for fun and frolic, as well as physical, social and educational growth. Why do so many choose Mount Tremper at Camp Herrlich then? It has become increasingly obvious that our success stems from the "certain extra something" one encounters when they join us at Camp Herrlich. We believe that additional factor that we possess, almost unknowingly, is defined as "spirit". It is our guiding philosophy, handed down through three generations, our guiding strength. It is a family atmosphere that is created at camp, a connection between staff, campers and families and the ability to maximize opportunities for each individual with our basic natural resources. We are unique in the fact that people of varied ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds from all over the world, choose Camp Herrlich as their recreational, educational and spiritual retreat. The Mount Tremper Outdoor Ministries staff and Board of Directors feel honored to be affiliated with this worthwhile mission.