Mission: I'm possible
Our challenge to the status quo.
The ESF Way is about dreaming big, challenging assumptions, thinking creatively, and never compromising safety or quality. Our commitment to excellence is in our DNA and it’s what makes us the leader in the people development business.
COMPANY WITH A CONSCIENCE
At ESF, we define success a little differently and for that reason we make it our priority to impact our communities and improve the human condition. It is important to us and what separates ESF from everyone else.
Michael J. Rouse
Executive Director & Co-Founder
So much more than an organization, company or grouping of seasonal staffers, ESF is a Team - committed to making a difference in our campers' lives and in our communities. We take great pride in giving back through our foundations, Dream Camp and Acting Without Boundaries.
Our Core Values
The heart and soul of ESF Camps, our core values are the principles that guide us.
35 years young and we're Just getting started
ESF Summer Camps, starting as a 2 week Tennis Camp, is founded by brothers Michael (15) and Bill (11) Rouse at the Haverford School. The camp office is located in the family’s basement.
ESF expands to Norwood-Fontbonne Academy and hires its first full time employee, programming director Debbie Russo. Camp programming has extended from Tennis Camp to include Day and Sports Camps. Camps offices have moved out of the Rouse family basement to Conshohocken, PA.
ESF experiences a period of unprecedented growth. New sites have opened at the Lawrenceville School (1992), Greenwich Academy (1993), the Gilman School (1994) and Episcopal Academy (1996). Programming now includes Mini Camp and Senior Camp. On June 23, Phillies Baseball Academy is launched with eight locations in PA, NJ and DE.
Dream Camp, a tuition-free camp for underprivileged youth, opens at Girard College in Philadelphia, joining its sister location at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, which launched in 1998. ESF has continued to expand, opening up at Moorestown, NJ, also in 1998, and moved into adult camps for the first time, launching Phillies Phantasy Camp at the team’s Spring Training Facility in Clearwater, FL, in 2001.
ESF partnered with the MLS team the Philadelphia Union to start Union Soccer Schools for boys and girls ages 6-14. During the previous decade ESF has continued a strong growth trajectory, launching both new sites (at the Montgomery School in 2002 and Georgetown Prep in 2009) and new programming in the form of Major Camp, 1 to 2 week specialty offerings in the creative and performing arts, science, business and technology. In 2004, Christine Rouse, sister to Michael and Bill, started Acting without Boundaries (AWB), a unique theater program for at risk youth.
ESF dominates the Philadelphia sports scene by joining forces with the Philadelphia Eagles in the Spring to launch Eagles Football Academy, Eagles Cheer & Dance Academy and Eagles Fantasy Camp. New ESF sites continue to come online with the Riverdale Country School launching in 2013 and the Ranney School in 2016. ESF also now provides year-round enrichment at Haverford School, Episcopal Academy and Riverdale Country School.