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OUR HISTORY

Camp Curiosity is the perfect place for kids of all ages to explore and discover! From our younger camp, where your tykes can try out new projects; to our older camp that challenges teens with more complex activities; plus a leadership program to help them master essential skills. Whatever their level or interest - Camp Curiosity has something fun they'll love!

OUR HISTORY

In the 1960s

Ellen Happ Leffever Thomas worked as a school teacher in the Central Bucks School District and Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  While working in various schools ranging from Titus Elementary School to Our Lady Mt. Carmel School, she recognized the need for quality early child education (not just babysitting) to accommodate the growing work force of two income families. In the 1960's, a working mother's only options were Nursery Schools that only offered 2 or 3 days a week from 9-11am.  She understood as a working parent herself, that 2 or 3 hours, a few days a week wouldn't allow for two full time working parents. 

To fulfill this need, Ellen went to the Department of Education to apply for certification to create The Curiosity Shoppe. In 1963, The Curiosity Shoppe became officially licensed in its original location on Dogwood Lane, Doylestown, PA. The school started as a small pre-school in her home. It began with 4 teachers, 1 teacher aide, 40 children, 4 rooms, and a green house on 3 wooded acres.  

1978
Recently widowed, Ellen was offered a position as an Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University. She was faced with the decision to close her school to accept a collegiate position or to continue the small, private pre-school.  While considering her options, a book with the title, The Toddler Center, arrived in the mail. Deciding this was the answer to her prayers, she committed herself, not only to keeping the school, but expanding its programs to create a child care center for children under age 3 called the Toddler Center.  In her research, she was offered a facility to possibly rent for the expansion. 

1980
Ellen met William Thomas and the two became friends first and business partners second.  The Toddler Center and Curiosity Shoppe was up and running at two different locations.  They began to search for a larger property to house both businesses, and in 1980, our current location on Landisville Road fit the bill.  The original property included 5 acres around the farmhouse, barn, and workshop. The new facility opened that year with an enrollment of 111 students. 

1981
In the summer of 1981 Camp Curiosity came in to being offering a fun and educational experience for ages 7 through 17.  The younger ages already had the benefit of year-round activities and learning.  Ellen and William were married on  September 12th, 1981.

PRESENT DAY

Camp Curiosity is still a family owned and run business.   In 2006, Ellen and William's son, Jeremiah Thomas, took a Director position of Camp Curiosity while teaching at a local middle school. He completed his Master's Degree in 2011 for Educational Administration and accepted the long-term position of Director heading school for The Curiosity Shoppe and Toddler Center and summer camp for Camp Curiosity. 

In 2007, Jeremiah met wife, Caitlin Farley, while she was working as a sports instructor at the camp. They were married in December 2009.  In 2012, Caitlin achieved her Master's in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Leadership and Administration. They have two children, Evelyn and William.  

 

Jeremiah is honored to have the opportunity to continue the leadership of such a special place for young children to develop and grow. It is his goal to provide an educational environment for children to learn in so many positive ways that will help shape the strong men and women they will become!