Camp Hope History
Camp Hope was founded in 2004 by Andy Duran - a young man with a background in Theology and Special Education and a vision to enrich the lives of those with developmental disabilities. A native of Florida, Andy spent many years as a teen and young adult serving those who are challenged by special needs at summer camps. It was during these summers that the vision of one day expanding this ministry was conceived.
Andy studied at St. Leo University and received his degree in Theology along with a minor in Special Education. Upon moving to Lake Forest Il., Andy worked as the Youth Minister at the Church of St. Mary. His knowledge of and love for those who are challenged with developmental disabilities - along with his ministry to develop outreach for teens and young adults - combined to create a summer camp which could serve the needs of campers, and meet the volunteer needs of the teen community.
A Board of Directors was formed to plan, oversee and implement the first summer camp. This eleven member board, comprised of lawyers, educators, parents, youth workers, business executives, social workers and insurance experts sought to create a truly special summer camp. This dream became a reality in the summer of 2005 when Camp Hope held its first camp session, serving 18 campers from the Chicago area. In 2006, Camp Hope expanded to two camp sessions, with 20 campers at each session.
Today, Camp Hope has continued to live out its Four Pillars of Service, providing the utmost attention and care for each camper, providing respite for families, providing a valuable service opportunity for our buddies and encouraging ecumenical harmony in the community. Camp Hope prides itself on being a warm, welcoming family that is always growing.
About Our Logo
Our logo was developed to be symbolic of the Christian mission of Camp Hope. There are three main Christian symbols that make up our logo:
- The Alpha & the Omega
- The Cross in the Rock
- The Sun & the Moon
In addition, each of the 4 open circles in the logo (one at the head of the cross, one on each arm of the cross and the main open circle at the bottom of the logo) represents one of our 4 Pillars of Service.
Camp Hope is proud to be voted 2014 Best Summer Camp by Forest & Bluff Magazine and JWC Media.