Blue Ridge Camp history

A summer camp for generations

Camp Blue Ridge was founded in 1969 by Sheila and Morris Waldman with the founding principle that every child who entered their gates would be acknowledged and welcomed into their camp family. Over 50 years later their legacy continues with their son Joey, his wife Lori and daughter Rikki at the helm.

Joey attended his first summer at the age of 10 and quickly fell in love with the wealth of activities and special events camp offered him along with the opportunity to travel and explore local attractions throughout the Blue Ridge and North Georgia region. Those experiences became the foundation upon which camp prospers today with the creation of a completely camper selected activity schedule that rotates every three days. Coupled with field trips to area attractions and a wealth of special events such as Color War and the District Games we can offer our campers a hand tailored experience that can’t be matched.

As camp has grown, we’ve worked to extend our reach by enhancing our programs and special events. In the late 80’s we created a teen program that allows our older campers to combine traditional camp activities with extended offsite travel. Today, that program has grown and now allows that same population to transition into the next generation of CBR staff through our leadership program – STAR.

Throughout the years, our 250-acre property nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains has become home to many generations of camp families. We remain focused on holding onto our traditions while still working to improve and enhance our beautiful facilities for those generations to come. Over the years we have completed projects such as our new dining hall, cabin renovations that include air conditioning, upgraded waterfront decking, onsite relocation of our ski program and a new gym.

In the off season, camp remains a popular destination for retreat groups, family reunions, celebrations and even the nationally acclaimed Warrior Dash event. As a family, we pride ourselves on remaining true to our legacy by creating an environment that welcomes all, fosters memories and celebrates tradition.

Camp Blue Ridge

Meet Our Family

Meet

Joey & Lori Waldman

An integral part of the Camp Blue Ridge family are owners/directors, Lori & Joey Waldman. With a combined 80 years of camping between them, they remain dedicated to the beliefs and ideas of what camp does for a child.

Joey was just 11 years old when his parents, Morris and Sheila Waldman, founded Camp Ocala in 1970. Starting his employment in 1975, his 5 years as a counselor and a certified aquatics instructor, prepared Joey for his athletics director position when his parents started Camp Blue Ridge. He has been a camper, counselor, unit leader, a head counselor, athletic director, program director, an assistant director and of course, now, runs Camp Blue Ridge with all the knowledge and heart he has gained.

Lori taught for 33 years, every grade from 2nd through high school. She started working at Camp Blue Ridge when she and Joey married. Having been to summer camp herself in her early years, her love of camp was already there. At Camp Blue Ridge, she is the healthcare manager, super camp mom and the off-season retreat/conference center coordinator.

Together she and Joey work closely with their director, assistant directors, head counselors and staff to make sure every child has a fun, safe summer making memories and friends that last a lifetime in a really inclusive environment. Along with their daughters, Rikki and Alexa, they welcome campers, staff and their families into their Camp Blue Ridge family.

Meet

Morris & Sheila Waldman

Morris and Sheila Waldman the founders of Camp Blue Ridge, have been in camping since 1970 dedicating their lives to creating a community camping atmosphere for so many families worldwide.

Sheila Waldman is a former teacher and camp administrator at Camp Blue Ridge. Morris Waldman supervised the maintenance and facility care along with overseeing the delicious meals prepared in our kitchen for decades at Camp Blue Ridge. Together they have carried on the camp traditions that will last for generations.

Meet

Rikki Waldman Yadgaroff

Rikki has been in camp since she was 10 days old. She was hooked that very summer and has never left. With a degree in Recreation Management and every summer of her life in camp, she brings not only great energy, but knowledge and creativity. Her minor in hospitality is always evident in her ease of making everybody feel like a part of the CBR family immediately.

Rikki spent 10 happy years as a camper at Camp Blue Ridge, 4 years as a cabin counselor, 1 year as a division leader and 4 years as the girl’s head counselor before becoming a director. Some of her iconic moments were as Color War captain and general!

Rikki is an accomplished gymnast and competitive cheerleader. She enjoys sports, climbing and all the special events at camp.

As director and the girls’ head counselor, Rikki prides herself in not only taking personal care of all her campers, but making sure every staff member is happy and every activity is awesome.

Meet

Benson Yadgaroff

Benson is the mighty future king of CBR. Not only is he incredibly cute but he mastered how to Irish Skip dance at the age of just 4 months old.

Following in his mother’s foot steps, Benson spent his first summer at CBR at just 4 months old.

Meet

Tory Lukasina

Tory’s first summer at Camp Blue Ridge was in 1999 as a Unit Leader. After realizing she couldn’t get enough of camp, she continued to spend nine more summers there while working as a collegiate soccer coach. In 2007 she made the shift to municipal government, serving the citizens of Raleigh and Jacksonville North Carolina as a Recreation Program Director for 12 years.
Tory holds a master’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Services and is a Certified Parks and Recreational Professional as well as a nationally licensed soccer coach. She continues to coach competitive soccer in the off season.
As an assistant director and girls co-head counselor, Tory enjoys building relationships with both her campers and staff, ensuring everyone feels loved and supported during their camp experience.
Tory and her husband Chris reside in Raleigh, North Carolina with their two children, Molly and Parker. Together as a family they celebrate the magic of camp and look forward to seeing that same passion instilled in their own children.Tory
We love our campers

Some of our Favorite Moments

At Camp Blue Ridge, as a camper, you’ll get more than endless fun activities, you’ll make friends that last a lifetime. Not only do many of our campers spend summer after summer at camp, but many also come back to work as a counselor, passing the torch onto the next generation.