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Meet the Directors

Rob Hammond

Director of Camp Laney for Boys

Rob has been spending his summers at Camp Laney since 1961. During these summers Rob has been a camper, junior counselor, and senior counselor. He became director in 1974.

Rob graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1971 and taught for five years at Darlington Lower School in Rome, Georgia. Rob, and his wife San, live at camp year round.

In 1974 I made the decision to make Camp Laney my life’s work. Why? I was eleven years old when I attended Camp Laney for the first time in 1961. When I arrived at camp I was a boy small for his age, who wore glasses, and was still dealing with the loss of my dad who passed away a month before I entered 4th grade. My camp experience forever changed the way I felt about myself. It was one of the best times of my life. I was introduced to new activities and experiences and came home with much more self-confidence. I developed friendships with boys and counselors from many different places and many of these friendships are lifelong.

I was a counselor for eight summers and was fortunate to have Coach Laney and many older staff as mentors. My experience as a counselor was equally as powerful as my experience as a camper. Being a counselor helped me develop a sense of responsibility and helped me learn to have empathy for others. Being part of something bigger than myself, and making a positive difference with campers, was tremendously rewarding.

Becoming director allowed me to continue being part of the team that creates the Camp Laney experience every summer. It is my hope that every boy who attends camp, and every young man who works as a counselor, will experience the same joy and sense of accomplishment that I did.

Rob

From (The Directors) Rob and Whitney, down to each counselor, to every CIT, I know that Laney brings together the type of person I want influencing and teaching my boys during those special weeks on the mountain.

DavidParent

Whitney Chapman

Associate Director

Whitney started coming to camp in 1977 and has never missed a summer. He spent these summers as a camper, junior counselor, senior counselor, and horseback program director.

Whitney graduated from UAB in 1994. He and his wife, Rita, live in Mentone, AL year round.

Camp Laney gave me the confidence as a child that I desperately needed and it reinforced the value system my parents taught me. Camp was also a great way for me to learn how to take care of myself as well as look out for others. As a camper, one of my favorite things was meeting people from all over the southeast and beyond. The friends that I made as a camper and counselor, and continue to make, have impacted my life in such a positive way.

As a child, you don’t notice how important certain events can be in your life at the time. As an adult, we can reflect on our childhood and point to moments in our lives that helped define who we are now. I know my experience at Camp Laney has helped me become the person I am today. For me to be able to influence a new generation of campers and counselors is an amazing blessing. This is the greatest job in the world!

Whitney

Scott Russell

Associate Director

Scott first came to Camp Laney as a camper in 1981. He went on to work as a junior counselor, a senior counselor, and assistant program director. After graduating from Auburn in 1989, he was the first full-time assistant director for two years. Scott stayed involved at camp, working on Father/Son weekends. Since 2012, he has served as the chaplain during summer sessions, and since 2014, he has been part of the Opening Day staff. After working in banking for more than 20 years, Scott followed his passion and returned to camp full-time in the fall of 2019. He and his wife, Laura, live in Birmingham during the off-season.

Camp Laney is a special place! It has helped to shape me, and I have seen how the Laney experience has been transformative in the lives of many other boys and young men. At camp I learned to respect and appreciate God’s creation and how to live in a cabin with other boys. It was a place where I could try new things, have fun, and experience being a part of something bigger than myself.

To me, the best part about Camp Laney is the people. Since my brother and I first attended, I have developed some wonderful relationships at camp. My Laney friends have always been people I can count on. The experiences we shared are memories that helped form special bonds. It’s amazing that now some of those relationships span generations in families.

Working at Camp Laney was where I first learned the value of hard work, and it is where I have come to appreciate the importance of investing in the lives of young people. It’s a great privilege to be part of a camp that has such a rich history.

Scott