Mid Hudson Valley Camps >> Camp Angels
In 2013, Camp Angels began as a new model of summer camp, seeking to bring together three inner-city schools under one mission. Our mission takes on three goals: to make new friends, to give one’s best effort when faced with new and challenging experiences, and to embrace the charism of the Marist Brothers. In just a week’s time together, the daily interactions with new friends will strengthen one’s understanding of community by challenging each camper to always be a person of good character, serve one another, and live out the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Mission of Camp Angels is rooted in the Marist Charism – “making Jesus known and loved.” Committed to continuing the work of Fr. Champagnat, we work with young people and invite them to share the love which Jesus asked us all to have for one another. Camp Angels is a community of schools that share in this Marist charism as a focus for our week to cultivate positive personal growth, no matter one’s religion or faith tradition. Our values hinge on respect, making new friends, and being courageous to face both exterior and interior obstacles. Each day of camp begins with the Chapel activity, where campers learn about a new value to focus on as the Theme of the Day. This theme sets the tone for the entire day’s activities for all campers and how they interact on the field, in the pool, at meals, hiking to the river, at the campfire, and every moment in between.
Omar O. Ortiz, Camp Director
Omar is the Founding Director of Camp Angels and in 2013, invited three inner-city schools serving mostly Black and Latinos students to create our camp family. Omar met the Marist Brothers at Sacred Heart Middle, Highbridge. Bro. David Cooney, his 7th-grade teacher, invited him to come to camp. Omar fell in love with everything about Esopus. Once he was able to volunteer, he was committed for nine years as kitchen crew, counselor, and head counselor. When he could not volunteer, he would come and bring his family to visit the camp. On one of those visits, he was able to secure a week for Camp Angels. As principal of one of the three inner schools, Camp Angels was born.
Joe LoGiudice, Assistant Director
Joe first arrived at the Mid Hudson Valley Summer Camps in 2009 to volunteer as a camp counselor. Since then, he has worked multiple camps over the years as a counselor, head counselor, and activities coordinator. In 2014, Joe arrived at Camp Angels, and his heart has never left. All year, he looks forward to the smiles, laughter, and pure joy of the campers and counselors each summer. Now, as an assistant director, Joe appreciates the opportunity to support a new crop of young volunteers in their task of making camp as fun and safe as possible for all campers.
Robin Marie Dessereau-Ortiz, Assistant Director
Robin Marie was introduced to Esopus and many Marist Brothers by her husband Omar O. Ortiz. They would visit as a family yearly and was always struck by the feeling of calm on the grounds. She became the nurse for Camp Angels for the beginning four years of camp, while their daughters were campers and camp counselors. Robin Marie remains part of the leadership team. Omar and Robin Marie’s daughters Leiamarie and Maiya Ortiz remain as volunteers with the camp.