Our History and Values

Our History

Camp Up with People (CUWP) is a partnership between Horizons Learning Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Camp Horizons, and Up with People (UWP), two youth based educational leadership organizations. The collaboration of UWP and Camp Horizons brings a collective total of 86 years of investing in the lives of youth. Clearly CUWP is deeply rooted in that history and tradition.

Up with People began in 1968, under the leadership of J. Blanton Belk as a positive response to the turbulent 60’s and the racial injustice of the time. UWP then and now give youth a voice through music to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. The arts have given UWP the opportunity to tour the world. Not only has UWP used the arts to affect positive change, but they have become known as an international, cross-cultural, leadership, musical program for young adults aged 18 to 29. Each cast travels to at least two continents and visits up to twenty communities, spending up to a week in each. They live with a local host family, participate in service projects, learn about different cultures through educational workshops and perform in UWP’s musical stage production. UWP program casts begin in January and July of each year.

Camp Horizons was established in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in 1983. Camp Horizons is a diverse community of campers and staff members from across the United States and around the world working, playing, and learning together. Since its founding, Camp Horizons has been fully accredited by the American Camp Association, an organization that has been ensuring American summer camps provide the safest and highest caliber of programming for almost a century. Camp Horizons offers a variety of activities that challenge campers to reach their full potential and is dedicated to making sure that campers experience their best summer ever.

CUWP began in 2011 with a purpose to provide young people with an opportunity to explore their interests, develop their talents and experience what traveling with UWP would be like. It gives young people the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills and achieve personal growth in a safe and caring environment. At CUWP, campers can build healthy relationships, gain self-confidence and learn to see their lives as part of today’s amazing and challenging world.

Our Mission and Impact

CUWP strives to utilize the arts as a vehicle to equip young people with the life skills to effect positive changes in their lives, their communities and ultimately the world; through celebrating diversity, promoting inclusion, initiating global understanding and community service.

The arts has long since proved to transcend barriers and unify communities, and Camp Up with People hopes to use the power of the arts to create young global citizens through

  1. celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion for all
  2. initiating global awareness and understanding among youth
  3. Instilling civic responsibility and community service world wide

Our global impact has reach as far as

  1. 19 countries
  2. 413 alumni
  3. Over 200 hours of community service
  4. Over 3000 live audience members
  5. Countless viewers via live streaming
  6. Endless amounts of summer fun
  7. Invaluable international friendships

Diversity and Inclusion

Camp Up with People values all diversity and strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion. Our staff, campers, and volunteers reflect the many faces, and walks of life that proudly make up our world.

We respect, value and celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We also believe that bringing diverse individuals together allows us to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our communities. It is our aim, therefore, that our partners, practices, curriculum, staff, and our camp community reflect these core values.