Camp Friendship is about giving each camper the best summer experience possible. A staff of year-round professionals, work hard to achieve excellence in all aspects of camp. Our staff has a lot of experience working with children, families and user groups. Many of our staff have gone through intensive local and national training programs and have achieved numerous rewards, certifications and recognitions.

Chuck Ackenbom is the Camp Friendship Executive Director and Founder.  Chuck received his B.S. in Physical Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College.  After finishing his 5 year service in the Navy as a Navy pilot, he fulfilled his dream of starting a camp for children in a beautiful area of central Virginia.  Chuck is a true success story in the camping profession.  He served two terms as President of  the Virginias section and one term as National President of the American Camp Association (ACA).  Chuck is a multiple award recipient from national camp organizations and sections including the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award presented in the camp industry.  For almost 20 years Chuck has served on the International Camping Fellowship Board as the USA representative.
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Alina Ackenbom, USPTA-certified Tennis Professional and Russian National Junior title holder.  Alina holds a Masters degree of Education where she graduated sum cum laude in 1996 from Bashkir State Pedagogical University, Russia, majoring in linguistics education and minoring in psychology.  Since 1997 Alina has been a member of Camp Friendship Staff.  When not teaching tennis she stays very involved in camp life by helping with camper recruitment, website management, staff training, and working with user groups. She received her Basic Camp Director Course certification in 2005, is a Standards Accreditation Visitor for the ACA Virginias section and currently serves as the Independent/Private Camps Chair on the ACA Virginias board.  She also serves on the board of the International Camping Fellowship and as its website manager.  Alina is a mother of Nika and Tyler who love growing up at camp.  She enjoys playing sports, cooking, and reading to her children.

Cris Higginbotham, Camp Friendship’s Director has worked at camp since 2004.  Originally from Puerto Rico, Cris attended Mississippi State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he graduated with a degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts. Cris has worked at camps for almost 10 years and has a wide knowledge of many areas of camp.  As an excellent photographer and web designer he has been able to produce high quality camp documents, newsletters, camp videos and camp fairs materials.  Cris is a former boy scout, a current member of the American Camp Association and recently became a Standards Accreditation Visitor for the ACA Virginias section.  Cris has two children, Aiden  who just spent his second summer at camp as a camper and Isabella, who is ready for her first camp experience and to take on the world, at her tender age!

Skye Ackenbom, Equestrian Director, is also the daughter of owner/founder Chuck Ackenbom.  Skye grew up in the Camp Friendship equestrian program and for many years, was active as a counselor and certified instructor before taking over the role as Equestrian Director in 2005.   As a junior competitor, Skye rode to many championships at local, state, regional and rated levels.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and finds running the equestrian program at Camp Friendship the perfect opportunity to combine her love of horses with her love for working with children.  Skye supervises the year round equestrian program,  managing programs, staff and 90 horses.   She too is a member of American Camp Association.