Winter 2017 Update
Camp Fitch Computer Camp is getting ready for our 36th year. Our team is preparing for this coming year's
courses in areas of software development, game creation, multi-media programming, and robotics.
Consider signing up for one or two weeks this summer. Registration for 2017 is now open, and you can
register a camper by calling Camp Fitch at 814-922-3219 or visiting www.campfitchymca.org.
Camp Fitch Computer Camp provides an inspirational education program to children and young adults. Our
is constantly evolving to provide a relevant, foundational, and real-world knowledge in computer
programming, content-creation, and robotics.
Our highly innovative program combines the intellectual challenge of computing and technology with
Camp Fitch's traditional summer camp program. It is a one-of-a-kind program and is held at one
of the country's oldest and most successful year-round camps.
Regular computer camp sessions are open to anyone between 8 and 16 years of age. Please don't hesitate to contact us
if you have any questions. Our regularly returning staff, campers, and their parents believe you will find
to be an excellent value and an incredible experience.
What sets us apart:
- Individualized and adaptive program
- At least one counselor for every two campers
- Traditional summer camp activities
- Very high breadth and depth of course offerings
- Extremely high return camper (and counselor) rate
Camp Fitch Computer Camp is part of Camp Fitch
, which is located in Pennsylvania on the shore of
Lake Erie, just a few miles from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
12600 Ables Road
North Springfield PA 16430
Charlie is Senior full-stack software engineer in Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University in Computing. He has lead and contributed many projects using
He's been part of Camp Fitch Computer Camp since 1997, his first of three years as a camper. He is passionate about usability, graphic
design, and the future of humanity.
A self-proclaimed cloud plumber, Grant has been involved with Computer Camp since 2003. After
graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013 now works for RSA, a leading information
security company doing system automation and engineering infrastructure support. Now a resident of
Cambridge Massachusetts, his free time is spent traveling the country watching varsity college hockey,
playing in several adult hockey leagues, and tinkering with electronics.
Tom is a Software Engineer at Wargaming Chicago-Baltimore, where he develops web services for the console versions of
World of Tanks. Tom specializes in python, and he's familiar with most popular programming languages.
He's fascinated with the fields of Software Engineering and DevOps, and he has been involved with Camp
Fitch Computer Camp since 1998, his first year as a computer camper.
Andrew Fitz Gibbon
Andrew (aka Fitz) first attended Camp Fitch Computer Camp as a camper in 1996. CFCC gave him a solid
foundation and passion for working in the Computer Science field. In addition to being at Computer Camp
every summer, he's spent time working in systems administration, educating people about supercomputers,
writing software, and helping others write better software. He currently works for Google and spends his
free time skiing, taking photos, and figuring out how to better teach Computer Science.
Ryan has been a part of Camp Fitch Computer camp since is first year as a camper in 2004. He is now an
electrical engineer and is currently a Product Engineer at Analog Devices. His background in programming
gives him skills that set him apart from most other electrical engineers, and his background in EE gives
him knowledge of the deep magic of hardware that most programmers don't have. He writes mostly in Python
and C, but his first and only true love will always be QBASIC. He also coined Schuster's Law, which
states: "If something has gone horribly wrong, it's probably my fault." Schuster's Law is
widely known (in the lab where he works) and is generally recognized as one of the most important
principles in engineering and debugging.
Megan has been a counselor at computer camp many times since 1997. In college she studied computer
engineering for a short while before earning her degree in Graphic Design. Since then she has gone on to
get her Masters in Education and is currently a Math, Science, and Computer teacher in Northeast Ohio,
working with students of all ages (although Jr High is her favorite). In her spare time she enjoys
traveling and photography and one day hopes to relearn to play the piano - this time by ear.
Hannah's father, a website builder, was on a quest in 2002 to find his daughter a computer camp that
lived up to his standards; when he came across Camp Fitch's Computer Camp. Trusting in the leadership,
Hannah was shipped off to CFCC for two weeks. Ever since, Hannah has returned each summer to learn new
realms of computers as well as ventured into the traditional activities (she loves archery). She
successfully made it through the CIT program, spent several weeks on Dishcrew, then became a traditional
counselor. She has worked in Inca, Aztec, and Navajo villages as well as a Computer Counselor. During
the cooler months, Hannah migrates south, to Charleston, South Carolina; where she teaches Pre-Algebra
and Algebra to eighth grade students at Laing Middle School of Science and Technology. A partial magnet
school that has a fully integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education
system. In her rare spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, playing with her dog, going to concerts
and seeing movies.
Jake is a junior studying math, computer science, and finance at Washington
University in St. Louis. He was a camper for 6 years, a CIT for 2 years, and have has been a counselor since 2009.
Outside of schoolwork he is a member of his university's swim team and competes in the
100 and 200 yard breastroke events. Jake is also a TA for introductory computer science, where he leads recitations
and teaches students course material. Camp Fitch Computer Camp introduced him to computer programming which has led to the pursuit of
his degree. " I can't wait for the opportunity to come back and enjoy my two
favorite weeks of the summer."
Ian has been part of CFCC since 2009, and spent his last two years as a CIT and then a counselor. He is
familiar with Python, Java, and PC computer hardware. In his free time, Ian enjoys running, playing in the
Jazz and Marching bands, and online computer games.
Jordan has been part of the Camp Fitch Bunch since 2011 as a camper and 2014 as a counselor. Jordan is
familiar with a wide variety of languages, but his favorite is his first, Java. During the rest of the
year, Jordan is a student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana studying Computer Science. He
works at a dining court as a Student Cook, sings in choir, develops apps with the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM), and watchs Disney movies with the Disney Appreciation Club.
Tina has been a part of the Camp Fitch staff since 2006. She has worked as a dish crew member, a
counselor and as the Archery Director. She joined the Computer Camp Staff as a Counselor in 2015.
When she is not working at for Computer Camp she is an elementary school Intervention Specialist in
Zak, once a camper in 2008, returned as a CIT in 2014 and has been a counselor since. Zak currently
owns and operates EpicGeek Web Services & Technology Consulting, a small firm specializing in long
range target engagement systems development, website/application development/hosting, and
server/network deployment/administration. In his free time Zak is an avid science fiction
aficionado, enjoying all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, and somewhat regrettably,
DC Comics. On occasion when he does decide to step outdoors, Zak can be found sport shooting,
natural rock climbing, kayaking amongst great lake islands, and teaching at local ski resorts
during the winter months.
Scott is a senior studying Computer Science and Mathematics at Rochester Institute of Technology.
He is currently finishing his degree doing a software engineering co-op at Johnson & Johnson.
Scott's first year at Camp Fitch was 2015, but he started working in Computer Science education in
2013 when he started working on a summer program for teaching Computing to visually impaired
students. In his spare time, Scott enjoys board and retro computer games, hiking, and learning
about anything that interests him.
Molly has attended Camp Fitch since 2008. She was a traditional camper for 5 years, then an LIT and
a CIT. During her time as a CIT she discovered computer camp and returned the following year as a
Counselor. Molly studied Multimedia Design for two and a half years at Forbes Road Career and
Technology Center in Monroeville, PA. She is proficient at DSLR photography and videography,
HTML and CSS, as well as many Adobe software programs. Molly currently works at Team Dream
Financial Services as a Media Intern. Upon graduation this Spring, Molly plans to continue her
studies at West Virginia University for Agronomy and Public Relations.
Tristrum is a freshmen studying computer science at the University of Pennsylvania. Tristrum joined
Computer Camp in the summer of 2015. He codes mainly in Python and Java, but is also proficient in
Java Script, HTML/CSS, OCaml, Processing, and Swift. He has also written curriculum for a Scratch-based
introduction to programming course designed for elementary students.
Susannah became a counselor at Camp Fitch Computer Camp in 2017. A mathematician-turned-computer
scientist, she has a MS in math from the University of Nebrask-at-Lincoln and a MS in CS from the
University of Nebraska at Omaha. She's currently pursuing a PhD in Information Technology and doing
research in data mining and machine learning. Susannah is most comfortable programming in Java and
Python. She is passionate about encouraging young children to pursue math and CS - particularly
women and other underrepresented minorities.
Camp Fitch Computer Camp (CFCC) can trace its roots back to 1982, when Roger Patterson and Bill Schrack,
math teachers from Boardman, Ohio decided to extend the work they were doing with computers in their
classrooms to a summer camp setting at Camp Fitch. Camp was originally run out of the Nature Lodge. They
used the latest hardware in the then emerging field of personal computing. This hardware included TRS-80,
Apple II, Atari personal computer, and Commodore 64 computer systems. As computer hardware technology and
operating systems advanced, CFCC kept pace with these changes and added "IBM compatible"
PCs and Apple Macintosh computers.
From its inception, CFCC's focus has been teaching its campers computer programming using languages such as
BASIC and eventually incorporating LOGO, PASCAL, and C into the course work. Programming exercises designed
by Roger and Bill were intended on teaching concepts of computer programming along with various concepts in
mathematics and problem-solving. More advanced campers were able to work on projects independently or in
small groups to create games, network chat programs, and more..
In the late 1990's robotics was introduced using LEGO Mindstorm and similar robotics kits. Students learned how
to write programs to control robots they designed. CFCC also began using satellite technology to connect to
the internet. It was always fun trying to figure out where to point the satellite dish every summer in order
to get the best possible signal. CFCC also adopted its new home in Mirto Lodge, which remained as the
computer center until 2012.
Over the past several years, CFCC has kept true to its main goal of teaching computer programming to campers.
In addition, the curriculum has expanded to include teaching concepts in multi-media, configuration of web
servers, and working with various hardware such as 3-D printing. In 2012, CFCC moved to its new home, The
Banana Tree Room, located in the Skeggs Lodge dining hall facility.
Because the ratio of campers to counselors averages 2:1, coursework for each camper is customized to address
their particular level of knowledge and individual interests they may have. This has been a mainstay of camp
since its early roots.
CFCC continues to stay current with leading edge information technologies as they emerge. This is possible
because the vast majority of the CFCC staff works as software developers or are studying computer
science/software engineering at college level and are constantly being exposed to changing technologies.
Since its inception in 1982, CFCC has always offered its campers "a head start with essential skills",
and with the passion of our staff and campers, this will continue into the future.
Roger Patterson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dartmouth College, the home of Time-Sharing and
BASIC. He He has a M.S. in Mathematics from Ohio State University, and 36 years of experience in
education. He retired from teaching mathematics and computer science at Boardman High School
in Youngstown, Ohio where he received several honors. Later, Roger was an instructer at Youngstown
State University and Mount Union College. He has authored many of the Logo activities which are used
with great enthusiasm by the younger and less experienced campers at Camp Fitch. In addition to his work
in the classroom, Roger has authored software for school use.
Bill was a co-founder of the computer camp and was co-director of the program for 21
years. Bill has a wealth of experience in both the computer and education fields. He taught mathematics
at the secondary and university levels and computer science at the secondary level. He is a graduate of
Youngstown State University and received his master's degree from the University of Dayton. His thesis
was written on individualized instruction, an area in which he specialized throughout his career. He
taught 26 years, the last 16 of which were spent developing and directing an individualized mathematics
Bill is a past president of the North Eastern Ohio Teachers Of Mathematics. He is a recipient of
the Joe Check memorial Award presented by the Youngstown, Ohio YMCA which reads "IN RECOGNITION
OF HIS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AND UNTIRING DEVOTION TO THE YMCA". In 1984, Bill was nominated for
the outstanding mathematics teacher in the state of Ohio.
Chuck was associated with Camp Fitch Computer Camp from 1999 to 2014, and had been a friend of Camp Fitch
since 1992. His career covered more than 30 years as a commercial software developer, systems designer,
systems integration architect, and has managed at every level of an IT organization. He was the
principal architect of an Electronic Medical Record platform which was awarded the Nicholas E. Davies
Award of Excellence for achievement in the implementation and value of utilizing Information Technology.
Chuck was also the Chief Information Officer for Whole Health Management, a leading healthcare delivery
organization, prior to its acquisition by Walgreens.
Chuck earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Allegheny College, and he served several years
on the IT Business Advisory Board for the Ohio Department of Education.
Kathleen was associated with Camp Fitch Computer Camp from 1999 tp 2014, and has been a friend of Camp
Fitch since 1992.
Her career has been spent in healthcare information technology and healthcare analytics. She spent
her earlier years as a software developer, eventually transitioning to the administrative side
of healthcare. There she leads projects developing analytic data warehouses and reporting environments.
She serves as the technical liaison between information technology and the business, as well as the lead
for reporting and analytic projects.