YMCA Camp Foss creates a community where all are welcome. Camp builds a healthy spirit, mind, and body in all campers while striving to bring out the potential in each child.
The History of Camp Foss
Camp Foss had its inception in late May 1919. The president of the University of New Hampshire, Ralph D. Hetzel invited several interested men in Strafford County to meet with him and the State YMCA Secretary to consider the organization of a County YMCA.
In the spring of 1923, the Camp Committee visited several ponds and lakes in Strafford County to locate a site. Following a conversation with James H. Foss of Center Strafford, it was decided to look at the shore of “Big” Willey Pond, which had long been the picnic ground of the Strafford people of the Blue Hills. The water from this pond had furnished the power for a saw and shingle mill owned by Paul and Warren Perkins, father and uncle of Mrs. James H. Foss. The previous years, the lands around the pond had undergone lumber operation and the site where Camp Foss is now had been cluttered with a lumber camp, horse barns and a sawdust pit.
After the site had been viewed and approved by the state YMCA, the founders started out to raise the necessary $3,000 to build the camp buildings for the first session. This goal was reached and a dining hall and seven cabins were built, with the dedication being held on June 24, 1923. Two years later, enough money was raised to build the “Lodge” which was dedicated on August 23, 1925.
Camp Foss operated as a camp for boys and girls from 1923 to 1964. Since 1965, it has been a resident camp for girls from not only Strafford County but also other cities and towns in the state, as well as other states and countries.
Meet the Staff
Thomas L. Archer
Executive Director of Camping Services Branch
Tom grew up in Manchester NH where he regularly attended programming at the Manchester YMCA as well as Camp Mi-Te-Na for boys. During high school he worked at camp during the summer and the YMCA during the off season and was a member of the Leader Corps. Upon graduation in 1978 from Plymouth State University with a BS in Physical Education and Athletic Training, he was hired as the Assistant Camp Director at Camp Mi-te-na and Associate PE Director at the YMCA of Downtown Manchester. Tom has worked for the YMCA for over 40 years holding various positions from Assistant PE Director, Aquatics Director, Resident Camp Director, Director of the Camping Services Branch and is currently VP of the Camping Services Branch with direct responsibilities for Camp Mi-Te-Na for boys, Camp Foss for girls and day camp programming at the YMCA of Strafford County.
Lauren grew up in New Jersey and moved to Manchester, NH in 2009 where she now lives with her husband and cat, Kipton. She brings 10+ years of overnight camp experience with her as both a camper and a staff member! She has been working at The Granite YMCA since 2012, starting as a counselor at Camp Gundalow at the YMCA of the Seacoast. During the off-season, Lauren volunteers her time with an inner city teen group teaching leadership skills. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to the beach, hiking local trails, and attending concerts. With her camping background, Lauren loves being involved with camp again and being able to use her knowledge to lend a helping hand at both Camp Foss and Camp Mi-Te-Na.
Director of Camp Foss & YMCA Association Training Coordinator
Aubree is a graduate from the University of New Hampshire where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. She is thrilled to be returning to camp for her 21st summer at Camp Foss. As a camper she always dreamed of becoming a camp director one day. After holding various staff positions over the years including Village Head, CIT Director and Program Director- that dream came true in 2014 when she became the Camp Foss Director. During the off season, Aubree is one of the training coordinators for The Granite YMCA helping to organize leadership and safety training’s for staff. Aubree is a trainer for YMCA lifeguarding, American Safety and Health Institute safety courses, as well as YUSA leadership courses. She also works with the teen Leaders Club at the Allard Center in Goffstown. In her spare time, Aubree loves taking walks with her family including their dog Rugby, traveling to warmer climates, meeting up with camp friends and cheering on New England sports teams. She is excited to spend each summer with all of the campers and staff that make Camp Foss so special!
Staff Development Director
Allie grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in Art and minored in Educational Policy and Environmental Studies. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado where she teaches math at an alternative middle school. In her free time, Allie enjoys cooking, printmaking, exploring nature, traveling, meeting up with friends, pet sitting, and daydreaming about camp. This summer marks Allie’s 14th year at camp and 4th summer as the Staff Development Director. She can’t wait to return to her summer home and see old friends and meet new campers and staff!
Director of Cabin Life
Meghan grew up in Medway, Massachusetts. She graduated from Boston College with a degree in Elementary Education and Applied Psychology and Human Development. During the off season, Meghan works at an ice cream shop and participates in a service trip to an early childhood school in Mississippi. She has also mentored a young girl through the Big Sister Association and has volunteered with a program for children with special needs. In her free time, Meghan enjoys running, reading, and spending time outside and with friends! She can’t wait to return to Foss for her 10th summer!
Kimberly grew up outside of Atlanta, GA. Growing up she enjoyed participating in fast pitch softball and playing the flute and oboe. She attended Peace College where she studied Child Development. Kim has worked for the YMCA in Camping and Youth Services for 9 years. She has served as Camp Coordinator, Camp Director, and Youth Director at various YMCA’s across the nation. Kim is excited for another summer at Camp Foss and can’t wait for some Gaga by the pond!
Ashly grew up in South Berwick, ME. She graduated from Guilford College with a degree in Spanish and minored in educational studies. She currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina where she teaches high school Spanish. This will be her ninth summer at camp and her first summer as trips director. Ashly is Wilderness First Aid and YMCA Lifeguard certified. In the past, Ashly has worked as a counselor, Lakeview Village Head and Woodside Village Head. In her spare time she enjoys pottery, hanging out with her friends and spending time outdoors!
Tara grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. She is currently attending Endicott College where she is earning a degree in Physical Education and working towards her coaching certificate. Tara is a member of her schools rugby team, and for the last four years she has worked as a ski instructor at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine. This summer will be her 15th summer at camp. Throughout the years she has been a camper, junior counselor, senior counselor, assistant village head, assistant recreation director, and is excited to take on the role of recreation director this summer. Tara’s favorite camp memories are playing capture the flag, spending time gathered around the campfire telling stories, and making lifelong friendships.
Horseback Riding Director
Sophie comes to camp from her family farm in Essex, England where she has ridden horses almost her whole life. She graduated from Writtle University College with a BSc Hons in Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation. In the future she hopes to have a career in rehabilitating horses. Sophie is lucky enough to ride every week while working at Senior Masters Hunt Groom caring for and training multiple horses. She also volunteers to put on a huge event each year with Essex Young Farmers. When she is not participating in all things horse related, she loves swimming, cycling, singing and camping with friends.
Hilltop Village Head
Haile grew up in Greenland, NH. She loves living in the Green Mountain while attending the University of Vermont. Haile is an elementary education major so she is able to apply a lot of knowledge from school to the Hilltop Village as the Village Head. During the school year she lives with a fellow camp staff as she just can’t get enough of Foss. She loves to perform, sing, dance, act, and swim. She is excited to be returning for her 10th year at Camp Foss.
Woodside Village Head
Belle is very excited to be Village Head for Woodside this year! This is her eighth year being at camp and fourth year on staff. Belle currently studies at Plymouth State University with a major in English Education and a minor in Women’s Studies. Belle is part of The Delta Zeta Sorority and PSU Volunteers at her school. Belle loves to plan fun activities and has always enjoyed how camp brings out the best in people! Belle has two dogs at home named Rex and Shelby and just recently got a new kitten named Edward. Belle’s favorite memory of camp is swimming in the pond and playing water games with all the campers. She is ready to make Woodside a community of friends and to make sure every camper has a great summer.
Lakeview Village Head
Michaela is from London, England where she has recently graduated from the University of Brighton and earned a degree in Sports & Exercise Science. Michaela has previously enjoyed working and volunteering in the UK for initiatives aimed at children with varying abilities. Her hobbies include spending time with her dogs, movie marathons and playing and watching soccer. Although she loves every aspect of camp, Michaela can often be found entertaining campers by explaining the many differences between England and America. This summer will be her 3rd summer at camp and she is looking forward to returning to the shores of Willey Pond to see old friends and make new ones too.
Maeve Conway Pearson
Sunrise Village Head
Maeve is a life-long resident of Charlestown, Massachusetts. She attends the University of Vermont where she is currently a sophomore studying Secondary Education with a minor in English. She just can’t get enough of camp so she lives with fellow Foss staff member Haile Hamlett. She is returning to camp for her 9th year as the Sunrise Village Head, and she is incredibly excited for the summer!
Please hover over each activity to view a brief description.
Arts & Crafts
Stand Up Paddle Board
White Water Rafting
High & Low Ropes