Q&A: Allison Miller, Founder and CEO of Happy Camper Live 

by The Bloom Report | 22 Jun 2023

Biographies and Interviews


Hi Allison! Can you share with the readers a little bit more about yourself and what led you to become the founder and CEO of Happy Camper Live?


I hold a bachelor’s degree from New York University and graduated cum laude from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. I spent my legal career as a litigation associate at one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms. In 1993, I was engaged by Sotheby’s, Inc. as in-house counsel. During my tenure there, I was progressively promoted to vice president and head of human resources.


One summer day in 1999, my husband picked me up from work with my three-year-old daughter and we headed to his childhood camp for our annual visit. On the drive, he talked about his dream to run a summer camp and implored me to run one with him, just like he did every year. However, that time, I finally said yes. Soon after this memorable weekend, I left the corporate world to pursue my husband’s dream.


A few months later, my husband and I became the Owners and Directors of Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania. It was quite a dramatic career change. I had minimal experience with summer camp, and I had not worked much with kids. In fact, I was a very homesick camper in my youth — an experience that proved helpful in supporting new kids during the first few days of camp.


We have been running the same camp for twenty-three years now, and our formerly three-year-old daughter is the Assistant Director. I also have a twenty-year-old son studying conducting, classical percussion, and computer science at college. I never missed any of my kids’ dance recitals, band concerts, or orchestra concerts, and I have spent every summer with my family at camp.


In 2017, my husband and daughter, Hayley, volunteered for Global Camps Africa, an organization that provides summer camp activities to some of the most impoverished children from the townships of Soweto. It was a life-changing experience for the participating youths and our family.


One morning in January 2018, I had a lightbulb moment. I told my husband that I wanted to bring the magic of summer camp to every kid in the world. I also wanted to make camp accessible to kids all year long. Thus, our virtual summer camp platform Happy Camper Live was born.



What exactly is Happy Camper Live?


Happy Camper Live brings the benefits of summer camp to kids around the globe 365 days a year. The company website and app include hundreds of on-demand video activities run by real counselors and coaches, live broadcasts, an original forty-one-episode web series, and a 360-degree virtual reality camp. It also hosts the world’s biggest “campfire,” where kids can upload videos and share their talents. Finally, the site features an informative family blog and supports a global fellowship dedicated to community awareness. We designed this comprehensive platform to help kids discover their passions, show their creativity, and inspire others, all within a safe COPPA-certified community. It features a subscription model, with a one-month subscription for $4.99, a three-month subscription for $11.99, and an annual subscription for $42.99. There is plenty of free content as well which is accessible to all.

How has Happy Camper Live made an impact?


Two years ago, thirty-some-odd camps, schools, and programs delivered meaningful and interactive programming through Happy Camper Live.


During the school year, Happy Camper Live hosted weekly hangouts for kids in the foster care system. We also ran day-long adventure camps for middle schoolers. Subscribing camps and programs value the platform’s back-end administration, which makes it easy for them to run their sessions and receive daily and real-time content updates. Happy Camper Live’s ability to get camps and programs up and running in no time was a lifesaver during the pandemic.


The inequities of play and limited access to extracurricular activities is a growing concern for children in foster care. To address these gaps, Happy Camper Live, in partnership with Happy Trails for Kids, created Happy Camper Hangout! Through our Happy Camper Hangout community, children impacted by the foster care system look forward to participating in weekly fun, safe, and accessible extracurricular activities - like music, dance, crafts, martial arts, sports and so much more. Beyond live facilitated activities, we have a trove of pre-recorded content to ensure ongoing engagement and to encourage exposure to new concepts, passions, and skill development with a specialized focus on topics designed for older campers and skills-based workshops - all available 24-7! The fun, learning and support never stops! Past facilitators include Tony Gonzalez, 

What projects is Happy Camper Live currently working on?


We are thrilled to partner with People of Play to bring the Young Inventors Challenge to the summer camp community! This new “Summer Camp” addition to the extraordinary competition encourages and inspires creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills for campers between the ages of 6-18 from the US and Canada. We have also made this challenge even more accessible with our COPPA-certified website, Happy Camper Live, giving parents the ability to grant their kids free three-month access to the challenge. Jenna Stirling has created the Inventors Kits which are brimming with supplies! The kits contain over 100 game parts and pieces, a design guide, lesson plans, brainstorming materials, and a few surprises. The design guide will provide counselors and leadership staff with the necessary tools to seamlessly introduce this challenge. Plus, we’ve included game pieces, balls, and rubber ducks – campers can use these elements for their designs while also incorporating items and resources found around camp. For added convenience, we will also provide GoGo squeeZ snacks for your campers! 


Furthermore, Create A Castle’s, Kevin and Laurie Lane have recruited 30+ alumni that have had their products seen on Shark Tank to join the judging team of the ASTRA Board and the Black Inventors Got Game Group for The Young Inventors Challenge Summer Camp edition. This will give campers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their ideas to game and toy professionals! 


If you're interested, please get in touch with us about becoming a sponsor, a judge, or donating to this cause. 


Also, we are introducing Happy Camper Live’s series: 365 Days of Camp, bringing the classic summer camp experience directly to families worldwide through KidoodleTV and Future Today’s Happy Kids! With real counselors and coaches, kids can experience activities like arts and crafts, sports, magic and theater from anywhere! I’m bringing my 25-year veteran camp director experience and passion to this new series to provide children with the opportunity to explore and develop their passions while keeping the fun and creativity of summer camp alive through the year!


What would you say has been your biggest achievement?


Creating a successful business of my own has been my proudest and most fulfilling achievement. Watching it grow was like watching a baby develop; each stage filled with thrilling opportunities, inspiring visions, and the occasional heartache. With dedication and sheer will, I built something incredible and meaningful - Happy Camper Live - a platform designed to bring the joy of summer camp to kids around the world. I feel immense pride seeing the impact my business has had on so many lives, from children in foster care to those with health issues. My dream to reach millions of kids and provide them with 365 days of summer camp is now being made possible through streaming channels. To think that I can bring joy to children by providing them something as wonderful as summer camp is a realization I never could have foreseen.


What was your favorite childhood toy?


My favorite childhood toy was KerPlunk. It was the perfect game for me, as I had a real competitive streak. I enjoyed the balance between chance and skill that shifted between each game. Not to mention, KerPlunk was perfect for large groups, especially during summer camp!


What are your hobbies? 


In my free time, I enjoy practicing and facilitating mindful activities, such as sound healing. I specialize in playing sound bowls and other instruments to help others relax and find inner peace. My sound healing classes have become a popular choice among both children and young adults, especially as a fun activity during summer camp.

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