In honor of Mary Constance, my ma

Every time I meet a group at camp or go to speak to various groups in the area, the first thing I start my talk with is the history of Camp Allen.  If you have heard it before you know the drill, Edward Allen, Lions, Kiwanians, 1949 fire, and mission change.  The next time I speak to a group about Camp Allen it is going to be different.  I am very biased, but you are not going to change my opinion.  The newest change to my speech will be that Mary Constance former executive director is the most important person in Camp Allen’s history.  When Mary took over Camp Allen in 2004, there were 200 campers for a seven week summer.  The buildings were in rough shape and camp was not completely accessible.  Through years of hard work and far more than 40 hours a week Mary was able to build Camp Allen into a premier camp for people with disabilities.  Since 2004 here is a small portion of Mary has accomplished.

  • Camp now runs a 12 week summer with over 700 campers coming each year.
  • A safe and accessible camp
  • Day Camp
  • Countless jobs for people with disabilities
  • Financial stability
  • American Camp Association certification
  • Successful fundraisers

The most important accomplishment cannot be listed in a bullet.  And that is the relationships that Mary has formed with families over the years.  Campers want to come to Camp Allen because of the relationships that are formed with the staff.  Families wanted to send their campers to Camp Allen because they knew there was someone there that they could trust with what means most, a child, brother, sister, or friend.  That is something I am proud to say that Mary has instilled in all of us working at Camp Allen today.

This Sunday is going to be very different.  For the first time since in twelve summers Mary will not be at check in.  But know that the people who run camp now, myself included were trained by the best out there in working with people with disabilities, Mary Constance.   I am honored to continue the work Mary has done for Camp Allen.  And if I need advice, which of course I will, she is my mother!  Enjoy your retirement ma, you deserve it.

See you all Sunday for Session 3!

Michael Constance

Executive Director

Far more importantly, proud son of Mary!


  1. Well said Michael! Enjoy your new adventures Mary! <3

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    • Michael: Your post brought tears to my eyes . . . the love, dedication and compassion Mary lived during her tenure at the Camp certainly exudes from every staff member you meet there. The warm, welcome energy at the Camp is a reflection of her legacy and a tribute to the time and effort she dedicated to those with special needs. We were blessed to have had her serve in that capacity for all those years, making all the glorious improvements she did. If she were to reap only a portion of the abundance she poured forth during her Camp years, she will indeed have enjoyed an abundant retirement! Thank you, thank you, Mary . . . we’re double blessed to have you, Michael, walk in her footsteps!

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  2. I haven’t seen Mary in several years , yet because of Camp Allen’s Facebook page, I was able to follow her as she continued her great works. She is one remarkable lady, with a hard act to follow .. I can imagine that Mary’s decision to retire was a very difficult one. I am sure it was made somewhat easier for her, knowing that her son Michael will carry on her legacy.

    Thank You Mary ..For truly sharing your heart with so many

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  3. Well said Michael. She is an amazing lady. My family and I could never thank her enough for all she has done.

    The Stratton Family

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  4. Mary has been a cornerstone that Camp Allen was founded on! She instilled in me a passion and a dedication to my best for the people who have thought me the most in life, the campers at Camp Allen. It’s the end of an era at Camp Allen but Mary has a legacy that has implications world wide and a new era begins at Camp Allen, one she can be very proud of with the new directorship of her son Michael! I am so proud and blessed to have been taught by the best and I appreciate every lesson learned from Mary! I love you and I am one of the many whose life you have changed! Enjoy your retirement Mart there is no one who deserves it more! Xxx

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  5. Will miss seeing Mary’s vibrant smile and warm welcome, but know that you an your team can provide a wonderful camp experience for all attending.

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  6. Michael,

    What you wrote about your mother could not have said better. Mary is an amazing person. She will be missed. Having you talking her place is a great thing. Wish you all the best andvi know that you will do a great job.

    Carol Meeker
    July 27,2015

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