Jerry was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ and attended Monmouth College in West Long Branch and later Fordham University in New York City.Â Jerry started his passion for camp at Camp Lewis, a Boy Scout Camp where he was a camper for a few summers when he joined the staff as "bugler" in 1956! Â Jerry never played the bugle but so wanted to be a staff member that he practiced all day and night (to his mother's delight).
always had a passion for music.Â At the same time, Jerry
own band, Sleepy & the Invictas, playing drums and keyboards and backing such popular groups as The Shirelles
and The Emotions
on their hit records (including the Billboard hit Will You Still Love Me Tomorrowâ€¦that's Jerry on the drums).
After eight seasons on the staff of Camp Lewis, Jerry was elevated to Camp Director at 21 years old! Â The following year, in 1964, needing to have weekends off for the band, Jerry came to Camp Harmony Day Camp (as it was known then) as Program Director. Â Jerry stayed for four summers when, in 1968, he left Harmony for a chance to direct a very large Boy Scout Camp on Long Island. Â After one season, Jerry returned to Harmony as Camp Director.Â That was the summer of 1969 and he hasn't left since, purchasing Camp Harmony in 1976.Â Jerry has three daughters, all of whom have had important roles in Camp.Â His oldest daughter Nicole currently serves as Assistant Director while his youngest, Elyse, serves as a Division Unit Head (DUH).
purchase of the Camp, Jerry
has gone on to invent much of what has become Camp Harmony
: from developing our group names (like Pioneer, Blueberrys, etc.) to instituting characters like the Genius and Goat to traditions like the Closing Banquet and ugga buggas!
Jerry served on the Watchung Borough Board of Education for ten years and was later appointed Commissioner on the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission.Â Jerry went on to be named a Commissioner on the NJ Turnpike Authority and currently serves on the School Ethics Commission, having also been named to the transition teams of Governors Whitman and Christie. Â Humanitarian causes have been a passion of Jerry's for his entire life.Â In 2005, Jerry won the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year award from the Make-A-Wish foundation.Â Jerry is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Monmouth University and has sat on the Boards of Directors of many community organizations.