About Camp Concepts
For us- camp is about creating meaningful and memorable moments that can impact the lives of our campers. Camp Concepts, Inc. is owned by Steve Haines. His professional experience includes serving as a middle school teacher for more than 25 years at local independent schools. He served at the George School Day Camp for 22 years (1992-2014) where he was the director of the day camp for 14 years. He began Camp Concepts back in the late 90’s by offering sports clinics. His passion for creative programming blossomed to now include several programs under the Camp Concepts business umbrella. With a goal to create stronger communities through camp, Camp Concepts blends several unique camp programs all together onto one campus that makes a happy and strong Big Oak camp community.
Steve also formed Advantage-USA which handles his international business ventures including HORIZONS USA– a 3-week summer language experience for International students, international educational consulting for those seeking admission to private schools in the United States as well as his Teacher Training Seminars he leads in China. In addition to developing innovative camp programs, Steve is committed to helping Chinese teachers create a more connected classroom experience.
Steve is also principle partner in Immersive Education Associates- an education technology firm providing global solutoins in enhanced distance learning tools including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Mixed Reality.
Steve is married to Ruth and together have five children and 4 grandchildren.
Our Leadership Team
About the Camp CONCEPTS Leadership Team
An important factor in any business is the experience of its leaders. Camp Concepts is educator owned and operated and has over 150 years of collective camp and teaching experience.
Their experience and passion are noticeable and unique. Each understands the deep value of camp in the lives of kids and has the experience to make each Camp Concepts camp the best in the region.
Steve Haines-Executive Director
Steve has more than 30 years in the camp education business. Having spent 22 years at George School Day Camp, where he directed, designed and significantly grew that program, Steve has devoted his career to working with children. Launching Camp Concepts back in 2000, today, Big Oak Day Camp, Little Buds Day Camp, and Expressions Day Camp all operate on one community campus to fulfil the Camp Concepts mission to offer Memoriable & Meaningful Moments for children at camp. He is also the founder & President of Advantage-USA ,an international educational consulting firm that also designed and runs HORIZONS USA-(an English language immersion summer program) as well as providing education consulting to international families seeking admission to US private high schools and universities. Steve spends signficant time in China doing speaking engagements as well as conducting leadership and teacher training seminars. In 2020, Steve launched Immersive Education Associates to provide schools with a pathway to education reform utilizing VR/AR/MR learning. Steve earned his Master’s Degree in history and taught US History, Phys. Ed. & Health at Newtown Friends School for 20 years before finishing his teaching career teaching history at Plumstead Christian School.
Steve Bernardini - assistant executive director
Assistant Director Steve Bernardini was part of the dynamic administrative duo “Steve & Steve” at George School Day Camp. He served that camp community, in multiple capacities, for over 30 years before following Steve Haines to Big Oak Day Camp. Steve B, as he is known, is our resident animal rescuer, identifier and overall nature enthusiast, in addition to being a senior administrator. He has been a teacher at Buckingham Friends School for over 40 years, and he brings his vast experience as a math, science and P.E. teacher, a coach, a problem solver and a conflict resolution facilitator to our Big Oak community. Steve has significant international travel experience, having studied in Paris and having taken multiple groups of students to places like the rainforest of Ecuador and to a sister school in St. Petersburg, Russia. Steve is a gifted and talented administrator, and his passion for education and leadership is exemplary. Steve is married and is the father of two grown children. In 2020, he welcomed his first grandchild into the world!
Linda Schloo - Account Services
Linda has been with Camp Concepts for over 13 years servicing the needs of families. Although camp may only meet during the summer, Linda is busy year round managing the employees, finances and planning for the next season. She is married with 4 children and also works part-time at Sounderton Area School District.
Debbie Kirk - expressions director
Expressions Day Camp Director- Debbie has been a teacher in the Philadelphia School District for twenty years, where she brings her energy, passion, and professionalism to the classroom and to those she meets. Debbie's talents were noticed when Steve hired her to serve as a counselor, and was soon promoted to Lower Camp coordinator, at the George School Day Camp. This is her tenth year with Camp Concepts and her sixth year with Expressions Day Camp. Debbie loves camp and after even a short conversation with her, you will too! Debbie is married and mother to Adam. Debbie is the director of our camp for kids who need social skill strengthening called Expressions Day Camp that also takes place on our Big Oak campus. Debbie has also led the camper group to China in the summer and fall of 2019 and can’t wait to go again.
Rachel Teter - expressions assistant director
Expressions Assistant Director- Rachel has been working with Expressions campers for 7 years. During her time with us she has served in many key roles and is now serving as Assistant Director. Currently, in the off-season, she is teaching learning support for 3rd-5th grade. Rachel graduated from Millersville University with a dual degree in Early Childhood and Special Education and is working on her masters degree in Literacy at Wilkes University. She is recently engaged and planning a wedding! Among the many things she loves about camp is watching friendships bloom between campers.
Ashley Carlson - little buds director
Director of Little Buds- Ashley has been with Camp Concepts for nearly 8 years. A middle school teacher during the school year, Ashley brings steady leadership and creativity to the director role of Little Buds. Ashley graduated from Bucknell University with Elementary & Early Childhood Education and loves her work with Little Buds!
Jennifer Schloo - Little Buds assistant director
Little Buds Assistant Director- Jennifer is currently a third grade teacher after having taught 5 years in Kindergarten and has been with Camp Concepts for the past 11 years. She graduated from DeSales University in Early Childhood education and from Wilkes University with her masters in Early Childhood Literacy. Jennifer is a nurturing and loving leader of our 2/3-year-olds at Little Buds and they love her too!
Stefanie Schloo - Assitant horizons director & logistics specialist
Stefanie has worked in various positions at camp over the past 11 years. She has become invaluable in logistics and event planning. She is also the Assistant Director for our Horizons program. Stefanie works at Cedar Crest College as the Assistant Director of Study Abroad. She graduated from DeSales University in 2016 where she majoried in International Studies, Marketing and History. She recieved her Masters in Leadership from Cabrini University in 2018. She loves to travel and has been to over 20 countries!