The Schroders Since Camp...

A Building 1983

Newtown 1984

George School 1984

LSF 1985

LSF 1986

LSF 1986

Unit 5 1987

Pipersville 1988

Lehigh University 1990

Reston 1990

Pipersville 1997

Furlong 2001

Reston 2004

Sarasota 2005


Enrollment at children's summer camps began to decline in the mid 1980's. Liability insurance premiums and labor costs drove up tuition as camps became more expensive to operate. Liability premiums were astronomically high for a camp where campers took care of horses and rode horseback, often on trail rides or over fences. In 1985, over $0.60 of every $1.00 of Camp Susquehanna's tuition was being spent on liability insurance alone. That did not include property, vehicle, and workers' comp insurance. Raising tuition prices to adequately cover insurance and maintenance costs would have crippled the camp competitively with other camps and would have been unfair to camp families. The camp began to founder economically and small parcels of the camp property were sold off to meet expenses.

Love of horses and the desire to run a profitable business led Ken and Joy to the decision to buy a farm suitable for the breeding, boarding, and training of horses. Also to rid themselves of taking care of snotty campers and their petty needs like eating nutritious meals and getting their egos soothed or their boo boos bandaged. In the spring of 1983, they sold their home in Newtown and started looking for a suitable farm. Months of searching passed and another camp season arrived.

Unsuccessful in locating a farm, and no longer having a permanent residence, Ken, Joy, Holly, and Mark, along with 5 horses, 2 dogs, and 2 cats, remained at camp after everyone left at the close of the 1983 camp season. They stayed through the fall foliage. They stayed through the first snowfalls. Then, through more snow. And more snow. Thanksgiving came and they enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast in their 'A' building dining room. Christmas was approaching and it was clear that they had to find a more suitable temporary home.

Longtime friends, the Hoovers, opened the apartment over the store in Newtown and invited the Schroders to spend the winter in the bustling center of Newtown. Todd, in his second year at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona, spent the Christmas holiday with the family in Newtown. In the spring of 1984, Holly and Rob were married in an outdoor wedding ceremony held at George School.

Following over a year of searching, a farm with great potential was acquired in the summer of 1984 and the Schroders found themselves once again with a home, and a new business. "Laughing Shadows Farm" was open for business in Pipersville, Pennsylvania. Holly spent most of that summer getting things in order at the new horse farm and continuing with her riding competitions and training. By the summer of 1985, the farm was in full operation with 24 occupied stalls along with a new barn and indoor arena complex. Holly again spent most of the summer at the farm and visited camp weekly to run special lessons and horsemanship classes.

With the farm in operation, Holly and Joy devoted their full-time to its operation and the horses. The camp was closed for the last time at the end of the 1985 season. The camp property was sold in 1987 and the Schroders made a last visit before closing.

Mark enrolled in the Temple University Engineering School and then transferred to Lehigh University, where he graduated in 1990. He met his wife Ann while living at Laughing Shadows Farm and they were married in the Fall of 1988. A reception was held at the farm following commencement. Todd met his wife Armella, while attending University. The two were married in the Spring of 1990 in a small ceremony in Falls Church, Virginia.

Holly and Rob had a daughter, Robin, in 1988 and the Schroder family started to grow. During the '90s, 6 new Schroders were added. Mark and Ann had three daughters: Kelsey, Morgan, and Sarah, Todd and Armella had a daughter, Taylor, and son, Erik. And Robin gained a little brother Tyler. It didn't end there when Todd and Armella had another baby girl, Camryn, in 2002.

Mark and Ann decided that there were good opportunities in Florida, so they sold their house in Perkasie, Pennsylvania and moved near Ann's family in Largo, Florida in 1999. Mark owned his own testing company in the wireless communications industry and Ann home-schooled the girls. They built a house in Beverly Hills, Florida and moved to Citrus County where Mark found a job with a civil engineering firm.  As things are with Mark, working for someone else didn't last long. Mark worked hard for and received his Principal Engineer license and started an engineering practice of his own. Which also didn't last long as his talents were recognized and he now works as the design engineer for Citrus County, Florida.

Following Ken's retirement from his teaching position at George School, he started working with the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where he spent 5 years educating science teachers in Pennsylvania. During that time, they sold the farm and moved into a house in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The winters seemed to drag on forever and they decided to build a house in Florida and migrate south. An attractive location was found in Sarasota and they moved next door to Mark and Ann in Largo while the house was built. The house was completed in the Spring of 2002 and Ken and Joy started enjoying their southern retirement. Not content to sit for long, they moved into a nice golf community in 2005 where they are closer to some long-time friends.

Holly and her family spent two years in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2002 they bought a house and moved to Vancouver, Washington where Robin continued to ride and compete. For a while, Holly had a digital photography business specializing in horse events, and weddings and portraits in the off-season. She now works for a large, Portland based, privately-owned organic food company selling, training, and merchandising along the west coast. Rob teaches at a private school in Vancouver. Robin graduated from Northern Arizona University and is an elementary school teacher. Tyler is attending university.

Todd and his family live in Reston, Virginia. Todd is an aviation economist with a consulting firm in Old Town Alexandria. Armella is a rocket scientist at Orbital Sciences Corporation.

Ken Schroder passed away on December 13, 2011 at home in Sarasota, FL. 

Camp Susquehanna 2008

Sarasota 2011