The Happy Camper Foundation, founded by Amanda Beard and Jacob Strom, believes summer camp offers children a way to step back from the stress in their lives and focus on just being a kid. Their organization’s 30+ years of experience with summer camps around Southern California has shown that a parent’s biggest determining factor in deciding if their child will attend camp is the cost. Their goal is to remove that factor for these families and ensure that their child has every opportunity to learn what it means to become a Happy Camper.
Their mission is to sponsor youths aged 18 and under to attend and participate in the rich overnight camping traditions throughout the state of California.
Q: Jacob, how long have you been a Nonprofit President?
A: I am fortunate and grateful to be the president of the Happy Camper Foundation! We are officially over one year into our journey as a 501c3 and are looking forward to many more years!.
Q: What was the first job you ever had?
A: My first job was as camp program staff for YMCA Camp Arbolado. It was an amazing experience to spend 3 months living up at camp and being part of thousands of kid’s Summer Camp experiences.
Q: What is the most satisfying aspect of your work?
A: The most satisfying aspect of my work is getting to share my passion of Resident Summer Camp with people who would have otherwise never had the opportunity.
Q: Explain what you do in five words or less.
A: We send kids to camp.
Q: What money (or career) advice do you wish you could give your 18-year-old self?
A: I would tell 18-year-old me to do less talking and more listening.
Q: Name one thing about your job that most people would be surprised to hear.
A: I think the most surprising (and amazing!) thing about summer camp is that most of them are run entirely by volunteers who spend hundreds of hours each year for only one week!
Q: Where do you see your industry heading in the next 10 years?
A: I hope that Resident Camping as an industry continues to thrive for another 100+ years and continues to change lives.
Q: If you could give your clients only one piece of advice what would it be?
A: Don’t let the world destroy your inner child. Stay curious and never let go of the kid at heart.
Q: What big projects do you have coming up in the next 12-months either personally or professionally?
A: We are reaching out to Clubs all around LA and OC areas to speak and spread the word of the Happy Camper Mission.
Q: Why should someone choose a CPA instead of doing their own work?
A: CPAs have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to provide you with the best outcome in taxes possible. They spend their time keeping up to date with all the changes in the law so I don’t have to!
Q: The mountains, the beach, or the desert?
A: The mountains are a win for me. Lots of life, animals, and most importantly: CAMP.
Q: What other interests/hobbies are you passionate about?
A: I love a good sit down with a Science Fiction book. Isaac Asimov is by far and away my favorite author, and I love the universes he has created.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
A: Amanda Beard, who works with Chris Haro as a bookkeeper, is the treasurer and secretary for the Happy Camper Foundation. Melanie, who was the EA at Chris Haro CPA till her passing, was there with us step by step as we formed the Happy Camper Foundation and was a fellow camp Alumni. Chris and Andrea Haro, out of the kindness of their hearts, have donated so much time to our mission. All this is to say when you are part of Haro CPA you find yourself as part of their family. You find people who truly care.
Thank you for considering the Happy Camper Foundation for your charitable contributions. All donations are tax-deductible and a donation receipt will be emailed after funds have been received.
The views expressed in the Vendor Spotlight are the sole opinions and views of the Vendor and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Chris Haro, Christopher V Haro CPA or any of its affiliates.