OVER 100 YEARS
Patricia Falcone / Camp Director
Pat (Miss Pat) Falcone has been the owner/director of Summer Friends for over 30 years, and adores every camper and their family! She and her family started the camp in 1992, and have cared for over 5000+ children in the community during that time. As Director of First Friends Child Care during the winter months, she has been able to watch children grow from infancy to being counselors in camp! First Friends, incorporated in 1986, has graduated over 7000 children!
Miss Pat is a member of the American Camping Association, as well as the NJ chapter of NAEYC. Her philosophy has always been “let kids be kids and do what they do best – learn through play!” Grandmother of four, two granddaughters are counselors, and two are campers. She says “camp is a world where children can grow and feel safe. At our camp, we are like family – caring, sharing, and protecting each other. Camp is a great place to be, and here at Summer Friends, everybody knows your name.
Taylor, the Assistant Director of Summer Friends, has been at camp since she was two years old. Taylor also takes time to design the calendar every year and is in charge of inspections and hiring. You'll typically find her at the front door greeting campers and parents while signing everyone in and out for the day, bouncing around activities to check in on all the groups, or preparing the hot lunches for the campers! While camp takes up most of her time during the school year too, she is also a graduate of Florida State, with a degree in Information Technology. She works in the infant room at First Friends during the off season time. All of this camp training will come in very handy!
Mike has been at Summer Friends for 8 years. During that time he has been a counselor, program director, and jack of all trades. He now is a Water Safety Instructor and acts as our Aquatics Director and Head Lifeguard here at Summer Friends. During the school year, he is also a head pre-school teacher at First Friends! Mike never fails to think of fun new ways to keep the campers entertained, and plans / sets up most of our special activities. The campers love him and so do we!
Mikayla has been with Summer Friends for 12 years. It will be her fourth summer as a counselor. She looks forward to the 8 weeks of camp all year long! Mikayla will be studying to be a Physician's Assistant at West Virginia University. When camp is not in session, she is also a varsity cheerleader. Mikayla is known for her sparkling personality and riotous sense of humor.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Miss Donna has been the arts and crafts director for over 6 years. But- she has been our Pre-K teacher in First Friends for over 14 years!!! She is, without a doubt, the best arts and crafts person that there is! She truly makes treasures out of trash! Miss Donna has 3 children, all of whom have worked in the camp. She also has 35 nieces and nephews! She was a co-leader for Girl Scouts of America for 11 years. She enjoys arts and crafts, posting her ideas on pinterest, and in her off time, her family likes recreational camping.
DANCE AND DRAMA
Duane Mitter is the Dance and Drama instructor as well as the Head of Specialists and CIT's. This will be Duane's sixth summer here at Summer Friends. By putting on weekly performances, he gives the campers the ability to show off what they have to offer on the stage. Duane has been a dance teacher for seven years. He specializes in Hip Hop, Jazz, and contemporary. Along with teaching, Duane has also starred in numerous musicals and dramas throughout his career. Duane's goal is to teach every child something new in the arts. Through hard work and loads of fun, he gives each campers a chance to perform to their fullest ability. He is a master at giving them self confidence and poise, no matter what their age!