Loyalty. Cooperation. Trust. Consideration. Friendship. Enthusiasm. Independence. Tolerance. These are the values of camp and community that Cedar was founded upon 66 years ago and are prominently displayed today along the walk to campfire. Jeff and Sue’s parents Bill and Sheila Hacker and uncle Henry Hacker, along with a friend, Henry Lesser, purchased a former girls camp, Sis-o-gee, and together opened Camp Cedar for boys in 1954 with just 37 kids. Working together, they added to the facilities each year, building what they would describe as a true labor of love. Today, Camp Cedar welcomes 270 boys ages 8-15 each summer. We view this as the perfect size – large enough to offer all the options, facilities and diversity of the largest camps, yet small enough to individualize each camper’s day and deliver a common Cedar experience shared by the entire camp.
Camp Cedar has many traditions that have developed over the years and have helped to define what we are all about. It is these very traditions that our kids often write home about and that our alumni remember most when thinking back to their camp days. For instance, each Sunday night the camp comes together for a campfire and with it the tradition of Sue leading the campfire activities, camp songs and having alumni return to share inspirational stories. Every Friday night the entire Cedar community gathers by the lake for a camp-wide meeting that starts with one of the coolest Cedar traditions where a chosen group of campers celebrates an echo over the lake. From Sue and Jeff reading to the kids at night and making s'mores by the fire, to the challenge of color war with blue vs. grey, the traditions of camp are great. One of the most enduring traditions is the big brother/little brother program, where the youngest, first-time campers are paired with a senior camper who becomes a role model and lifelong friend.
Jeff grew up at Cedar and spent all his summers as a camper, a counselor and a head counselor before becoming a director. He is very involved in the camping community and has been a board member of the American Camping Association for many years and in 2012 was honored with their Meritorious Service Award. Jeff coached soccer and lacrosse at Yale for 9 years after captaining both teams at Brown and was inducted into the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame. Jeff has been a coach, a role model, and a mentor to hundreds of Camp Cedar campers. He is most proud of watching his Cedar boys grow into kind, considerate and confident young men.
Whether it’s leading the entire camp in a song during Sunday night campfire, waking up extra early to comfort a homesick kid, or demonstrating how to nurse an injured bird back to health to a group of Warriors, Director Sue Hacker-Wolf is truly Camp Cedar’s mom. After earning her teaching degree Sue worked for many years as both a general and special education teacher in a Native-American reservation in South Dakota, the Boston Public Schools and a residential teenage mental health treatment program. Born and raised at Cedar, Sue works year-round to provide the friendliest, and most exciting residential camping experience in Maine. With a warm heart, a great sense of humor, and years of experience helping to raise thousands of children, including three of her own, Sue is a friend and comfort to parents and a mom-away-from-home to all of our campers.
Adam Wolf became a life-long member of the Camp Cedar family in 1985, when he married Sue on the shores of Coffee Pond. They have three children, all of whom grew up at Cedar. Adam is a licensed psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families. In the off-season, he is an administrator at a public middle school in Quincy, Massachusetts. Adam holds state certifications as a School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor, Principal/Assistant Principal and School Psychologist. He values the cooperative living aspect of camp life and enjoys helping young people develop ethical decision-making skills, kindness and friendships. Adam also loves cooking up his famous breakfasts, mac-cheese, pig-bee sandwiches and other specialties for all camper age groups.
Karen Prince grew up on a farm in the North of England. After graduating with a business degree, Karen moved to London to work at the BBC. After a year in the city she applied to BUNAC for a visa to work on a summer camp, though her dream was to visit the Grand Canyon. Karen was placed at Camp Cedar, had a wonderful summer and eagerly accepted an invitation to return for a second year. Several summers, three trips to the Grand Canyon and a master’s of education later, Karen moved permanently to the United States and married Jeff. She taught in Brookline and more recently at the Reggio Emilio inspired preschool in Lincoln, MA. Karen is currently co-chair of the Lincoln School foundation. Karen is the head counselor for the youngest boys at Cedar. She has been a great comfort to the first year campers and their parents for many summers.