Chris Purdue

Owner and Director

Chris Purdue is a Health and Physical Education Teacher at Collins Elementary School in Livingston, NJ with 12 years of experience teaching at multiple schools within the District. Chris holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from Montclair State University as well as one in Educational Leadership. He holds both his Supervisor’s Certificate and Principal’s License. Before New Horizons, Chris directed the sports program at Camp Horizons for 8 summers from 2005 through 2012. Chris currently lives in Kinnelon, NJ with his wife and two sons.

Seth Blender

Owner and Director

Seth Blender has been involved in day camps for 15 years. He spent the majority of his camping career at Camp Horizons in Livingston, NJ. During his 10 summers at Camp Horizons, Seth was a Kindergarten and 1st grade counselor and during his last 2 summers was the Director of the Shadow Counselor program at Camp Horizons with direct supervisory responsibility for special needs campers in grades 5 through 9. Currently, Seth is a Special Education Teacher for the Glen Ridge Public Schools and holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction. Seth lives in Cedar Grove, NJ with his wife, son and daughter.

Jillian Blender

Assistant Director

Jillian Blender, the Assistant Director works closely with staff and campers. She aids in program planning, staff development, and daily camp operations. She is currently a teacher in the Glen Ridge school district, with five years of teaching experience in Glen Ridge and Elizabeth schools, specializing in Language Arts & Special Education. During the school year, she is also the Counselor & Mentor Coordinator for the Breaking Boundaries Program. Jillian enjoyed eight summers working as a Kindergarten/1st grade counselor at Camp Horizons. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Education.

Mike Wynne

Unit Head Grades 6-9, Media Director, Head of Assistant Counselor Development, Color War High Chancellor

Mike Wynne, aka The King of Camp™, has been a camp counselor for 14 summers. After running the Media Programs at Camp Horizons and New Horizons Day Camp, he currently serves as the Unit Head for Grades 6-TCP, Media Director, Head of Assistant Counselor Development, and Color War High Chancellor. Easily recognizable by his shockingly blue sunglasses, booming voice, and propensity for carrying around a bull-horn, Mike gives 172% every day of the summer to ensure our campers have the best 8 weeks of their lives. During the gloomy 44 weeks when camp IS NOT in session, Mike – a Boston University graduate- is the Co-Producer of the NY Film Critics Series. A national film series, the NYFCS specializes in sneak previews and premieres for independent cinema. He has helped launch and promote over 200 films in the past 8 years, including dozens of Oscar-nominated flicks. In his spare time, Mike enjoys hockey, hiking, everything Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and most especially, giving tours of camp!

Will Beck

Unit Head Grades 2-5

William Beck has been a member of the Horizons Family for over a decade. He eats, breathes, and lives for only one purpose; New Horizons Day Camp! Over his career, Will has served as a Shadow Counselor, Assistant Counselor, Grade Head Counselor, and an amazing Green Team Color War Captain. He now oversees lower camp as the Unit Head for Grades 2-5. When camp is not in session, Will attends Montclair State University, majoring in Psychology, and will begin the Dual Teacher Certification Program in 2019.

Michelle Schaerf

K/1 Director

Michelle Schaerf has been a part of the New Horizons family for five summers. Prior to New Horizons Day Camp, she served as the Pre-K/K Unit Head for 10 years at Gesher Summer Camp. Michelle holds a Master’s Degree in Education with specialization in N-6. Michelle currently spends her days teaching 2-3 year-olds at Congregation Agudath Israel Early Childhood Center. She has been teaching for over 25 years, and has dedicated her life to working with children. Michelle loves spending her summers at New Horizons Day Camp and helping her K-1 campers learn new skills, develop lasting friendships and make camp memories for life. One of her favorite activities is daily Guest Camp Celebrity Story Time!

Alyssa Rogers

Director of the Shadow Program and Inclusion Specialist

Alyssa Rogers has been a part of the Horizons family for seven summers!  She was a shadow counselor for two years, the head counselor of K-1 for two years, and is currently in her third year as the Director of the Shadow Program.  Within the Shadow Program, Alyssa oversees approximately 12 campers with special needs as well as assistant staff members throughout the summer.  Alyssa is a recent graduate of Rowan University where she received her degree in Elementary and Special Education.