Shiloh's history is a profoundly human story of people from widely different backgrounds and perspectives coming together in Christian love and faith to serve disadvantaged youth in the greater New York City area.


For the children who first came to Shiloh beginning in the summer of 1951, coming to camp must have seemed like a miracle. They left behind them the baking streets of America’s inner cities, rat-infested crumbling tenements, drug pushers and gangland slayings, and the deadly paralyzing hopelessness of growing up in poverty, often with stressed-out single parents. They found themselves in a world of trees and grass, of woods filled with singing birds and shy little animals, and an idyllic lake to splash and paddle in, even a mansion on a hilltop, all inhabited by loving people who would protect them, listen to them, care for them, and tell them stories of a God who deeply loved them. All this became possible because Clinton Davidson had made available a 53-acre estate in Mendham, New Jersey, and together with Eddie Grindley and Clinton Rutherford had a vision for a Christian summer camp for children living in low-income neighborhoods in New York City.

Shiloh continued to expand through the 60s and 70s, led by the vision and hard work of Rod Spaulding, Bryan Hale, D.L. Reneau, Phil Roseberry, Preston Pierce, and many others. In 1967, in affiliation with the already existent Inner City Faith Corps operating out of the West Islip Church of Christ, Shiloh expanded into year-round neighborhood programs. Eager and idealistic college students were recruited from campuses across the country to “give a year” for the children of Shiloh. They lived on no more than $150 a month, intentionally equivalent to the income of a family on welfare, an amount which they raised themselves from families, friends, and churches. The first inner city program began that September with nine staff members living out at Camp Shiloh in Mendham, N.J., and commuting to their neighborhoods. Starting the next year these Shiloh counselors began living in the neighborhoods of the children they served, and their numbers expanded to thirty-six in 1968, sixty-six in 1969, and eighty in 1970. By the mid-70’s there was a full-time, year-round staff of almost 100. In 1976 Camp Shiloh relocated to its current location amidst its Hasidic neighbors in the foothills of the Catskills just outside Woodridge, N.Y. The decision to leave Mendham was not an easy one, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to operate a summer camp on property zoned for residential use, and expensive repairs and improvements were now necessary to comply with regulations newly enacted by the state of New Jersey.

In 1994 Shiloh began a renaissance first under the leadership of Steve Hassmann and later, beginning in 1997, Lori Bumpas. Both have brought a unique combination of business background, administrative skill and giftedness with children to their jobs as executive directors, and both have benefited from the mature and gracious leadership of Wallace Murray as chairperson of the board. From less than 100 campers and substantial indebtedness in 1994, Shiloh now reaches over 350 campers and teens each summer and repaid all of its operating debt.