About us

Each year, over 170 volunteers come together to enhance the camp experience. People with a wide range of experiences work as directors, direct care volunteers, board members, cooks, doctors, nurses, and teachers. Without the help of these amazing individuals, Camp Jabberwocky would not exist.

camper and volunteer on the pathway
Camp Jabberwocky's bus

A little story

Camp Jabberwocky is the oldest sleep away camp for people with disabilities in America. It was founded in the early 1950’s by Helen "Hellcat" Lamb. Jabberwocky started with this one women’s desire to improve the lives of people in our communities. Helen Lamb was taking a short vacation from her job as a speech pathologist and was feeling a little guilty that she was there on Martha’s Vineyard sitting on the beach with her own three children, while the children she worked with were left behind in the hot city with no vacation in view and no break for their parents. Out of this single moment came the prospect of Camp Jabberwocky. Since 1953, Camp Jabberwocky has been going strong with Hellcat’s mission to provide campers with a phenomenal experience full of adventure, friendship, and challenge.

Hellcat was a force. She had a simple saying that lives on to this very day: ”there is a way, find it”. To Hellcat accessibility didn’t matter, if there was an activity to do or an adventure to attempt, Camp did it. She had the “can do” attitude that made Jabberwocky happen.

Vision

A summer camp for over 70 years, Jabberwocky seeks to enlarge the camp community to involve others not directly involved in the daily operations and to promote the Jabberwocky philosophy of volunteerism wherever possible through example.

Mission

Camp Jabberwocky exists to provide a residential vacation camp for people with disabilities while providing respite for camper's caregivers. We provide recreation and enrich the lives of our campers by creating a supportive environment that promotes the fulfillment of human potential and fosters independence and self-determination; we strive to be a community that is an example of inclusivity, love and mutuality.


Our Directors

Hilary Dreyer
Hilary Dreyer
Executive Director

Born and raised on Martha's Vineyard, Hilary has enjoyed a meaningful career working for nonprofits and giving back to this special place. Her passion lies in creating community and inclusive opportunities where all can thrive. She has always admired Camp Jabberwocky, as it embodies these same values—fostering connection, promoting belonging, and encouraging an adventurous spirit in every person involved. Hilary lives on the Island year-round with her husband and their husky-mix rescue dog, Potato.

Gabi Cortez
Gabi Cortez
Director of Camp

Gabi started volunteering in 2016 after her sister had volunteered the year prior and had a hunch that Gabi would love this special place. She has been involved with Jabberwocky since, continuing to volunteer and lead counselor orientations until Summer of 2023 when she stepped into a co-director role alongside Avis and Caitlin. Gabi is now Camp Jabberwocky’s first Director of Camp, supporting camp full-time throughout the year. She is also the proud niece and cousin of two Jabberwocky campers!

Jack Knower
Jack Knower
Manager of Facilities, Transportation and Safety

While Jack was majoring in Special Education in college he heard about a Cerebral Palsy camp on Martha’s Vineyard, Camp Jabberwocky. He applied for a job there for a month and after completing that month he stayed on for the next month! Once he began work as a Special Ed teacher in the New York State public schools he was able to keep coming to camp all summer long. He began bringing his seven year old son with him after Hellcat, the camp founder, suggested it would be beneficial to both the campers and his son to do so. Years later she convinced Jack to be a Camp Director which he did for fourteen years! Jack is now at Camp year-round managing our beautiful campus and ensuring that the Summer and Family Camp sessions run smoothly. You will likely see his broad smile as he drives our iconic red bus around the island filled with joyful campers and volunteers!

Nora Avis Olsen
Nora Avis Olsen
Summer Camp Co-Director

Nora Avis Olsen is a co-director at Camp Jabberwocky. Nora began volunteering at Jabberwocky in 1991 when they were a teenager, and coming to this unique camp has turned into a lifetime commitment. After attending Brown University, Nora worked at United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, Meeting Street School, and as a caregiver for people with autism. Nora is also the author of four novels for teenagers.

Caitlin Lamb
Caitlin Lamb
Summer Camp Co-Director

Caitlin Lamb was lucky enough to grow up at camp. She is the granddaughter of Camp Jabberwocky's founder Helen Lamb and her father John Lamb was a long time director and is now a Board Member. Summers at camp remain a highlight in her life- getting to live and work with the most fantastic people- and now getting to watch her children adore camp as much as she does. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two children.

“It is impossible to praise these young people enough for the work they are doing. To see them donating their time and energy all hours of the day, never demanding for themselves but always willing to give, is something young people are not supposed to be interested in doing these days, and the counselors at the camp do not fit into an orthodox category. It is a great pleasure to have an opportunity to be with these young people.”

— Helen Lamb
Founder and Director from 1953-2011

The Board of Directors

Margaret Hannemann
Margaret Hannemann
Chair

Carol Michael
Carol Michael
Vice Chair

Mary Beth Grady
Mary Beth Grady
Clerk/Treasurer

Kathy Fagan
Kathy Fagan
Trustee

John Lamb
John Lamb
Trustee

All campers posing in front of the red bus

Support Camp Jabberwocky

At its core, Camp Jabberwocky is a community that lives on thanks to the generosity and kindness of those around us!

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