Stephen Johns attended Camp Arrowhead, a residential summer camp located along Rehoboth Bay near Lewes, from the ages of 8 to 14. His experiences there started a relationship with the camp that has lasted more than 50 years.
“It had a huge impact on me,” says Johns, who lives in Hockessin. “It has a broad range of campers from all walks of life, and they put kids in small groups of eight to 10, and you do everything with that group. The focus is on building character by working together and getting along with other people, making friends, and social growth.
“Most of my best friends to this day I met there.”
As a teenager, Johns was a staff member and counselor, and for the past 20 years he has joined other volunteers during work weekends at the camp. A few years ago, he began serving on the camp’s board of advisers. An engineer with VanDemark & Lynch, a Wilmington engineering, planning, and surveying firm, Johns advises Arrowhead’s leadership on engineering projects.
He also volunteers at St. Michael’s School and Nursery and at Sanford School. He served on the board of directors at St. Michael’s, a 124-year-old inner-city Wilmington institution, for about 12 years beginning in the mid-1980s. After taking a few years off, he’s serving again and has re-introduced the building and grounds committee, establishing a program to maintain the facilities.
At Sanford, which his two children attended, Johns is helping to install a rain garden. Several years ago, he helped create the Hockessin school’s roof garden.
In large part for his volunteer work, Johns was named 2014 Engineer of the Year by the Delaware Engineering Society.