Founder

Founder PicuCamps was founded by Doug “Bald E” Cembellin, fulfilling a lifelong dream of combining the worlds of athletics, the outdoors, and the performing arts in one unforgettable experience. He is dedicated to promoting healthy living, bringing people together in the name of fun and art, and to giving children and young adults the gift of self confidence and community. His philosophy is that all people are the same on the inside. By keeping this in mind, it allows us to be more understanding, forgiving, patient,
accepting, and inevitably more loving. This philosophy is at the core of all uCamps programs.

Bald E has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and has performed, directed, and produced throughout the Bay Area, across the United States, and in Europe. He began teaching special education in 1997. From 2000-2003 he worked as a Jr. High School drama teacher and taught English in China. He has worked as a counselor at a group home for trouble youths, and as a Site Coordinator for a series of after school programs in Los Angeles.

In 2008 he traveled to Europe, Africa, South and Central America in an effort to gain more global perspective. In spring 2012, Bald E completed his MFA at the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, two years after expanding uCamps to Southern California. Bald E takes pride in seeing campers become counselors, teachers and directors and he returns to camp each year to do what he loves best. He looks forward to meeting and spending time with each and every camper.

Director

Blake “Tiny” Longfellow gets his nickname because he is only 6’7″ tall. Having grown up through the program, from camper to co-owner, Tiny is a uCamps success story. A 9-time National Champion in Collegiate Speech and Debate, Blake has traveled the United States performing and working with artists of all disciplines. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) as the VP of Middle Schools. CETA offers a number of theatre competitions across California, and advocates for youth theatre education. All of Tiny’s adventures give him the experience and compassion necessary to shape the leaders and artists of tomorrow.

 

uCamps is Home (Many uCampers grow up to become uStaff)

staff santa cruz

uCamps has a tradition and culture of family. Many children grow up through the uCamps program. Kids become teens and teens become adults. Due to the popularity and success of the Leadership Academy, more than 95% of our counselors are former campers who take pride in giving today’s generation of campers the same magical experience they once had. The uCamps Administrative Director, Music Director and the uCamps Program Director are all former campers and so too are the male and female Head Counselors. uCamps really is a home away from home and a family for hundreds of campers and staff.