Meet Sue, the Camp Director! Request a Home Visit or Ask a Question.
Who We Are
Camp Emerson has been owned and directed by the Lein Family since 1968. For us, camping is in our family.
- It had always been Marv & Addie’s dream to run a children’s summer camp. They had both grown up at camp and Marv received his Master’s Degree in camping and guidance from Columbia University.
- Marv & Addie searched for just the right place. They found the grounds for Camp Emerson in Hinsdale, MA. It was the perfect location – close to New York and Boston and the Berkshires had much to offer culturally and recreationally. They named it after Ralph Waldo Emerson, the philosopher who wrote about children, friendship and nature.
- The philosophy in the early days was much as it is today. The brochure included Emerson’s quote, “Respect the child on every side, whilst he gathers the seeds of song…”. Respecting the child and placing him/her first is still what sets us apart from other camps.
- Marv & Addie’s daughters Sue and Debra attended as campers and counselors. After a career in Human Resources, Sue returned to Camp as a Director in 1990. She hired Kevin McDonough, a former Ringling Bros. clown, actor and artist to manage the theater and they were married soon after. Sue and Kevin’s twins, Alex and Gemma grew up at camp and are now Emerson graduates.
- We’ve always had a program based on individual choice. Today there are triple the number of activities from when we started. Our campers like to try new things and to be inspired. Emerson campers don’t like being forced into a schedule. They like the flexibility of being their own person. We listen to our campers and are constantly innovating our program to respond to their interests.
- The camp has grown in number of campers and buildings since 1968. Most recently we’ve added a Step Beyond Center and a 10,000 sq. ft. Dining Hall. Each year put more into the camp, facilities and equipment. We pride ourselves on the cleanliness and upkeep of our gorgeous property.
- We are pleased to welcome many second generation campers. The Camp Emerson family is a strong bond and we hear many stories each year about long-term friendships and memories. We’d love to see everyone and invite our alumni to contact us for a summer visit.
- Camp Emerson has had a long history and a bright future. At a time when some camps are owned by corporations, we are proud to be one of the few multi-generational Camp Directors in the industry. We work hard as family to keep all of the traditions of an Emerson experience alive and yet make each summer feel new. Camp Emerson is a labor of love for our entire family.