Camp Jabberwocky’s new executive director, Hilary Dreyer, is a homegrown Islander known for her work with the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival and, more recently, the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation.

The camp announced Ms. Dreyer’s appointment Tuesday. She replaces Adam Perry, who served as executive director for the 2023 camp season before moving back to his native Midwest.

Ms. Dreyer — who had initially applied for the job after longtime director Liza Gallagher stepped down in 2022 — told the Gazette she’s elated to join Camp Jabberwocky, an Island presence throughout her life.

“Because Camp Jabberwocky is on Martha’s Vineyard, I always took immense pride in growing up here,” she said Tuesday afternoon.

“Every time I saw the big red bus going by, I’d get the biggest smile on my face,” Ms. Dreyer said.

Born on the Island and raised in West Tisbury, Ms. Dreyer began her nonprofit career as an intern with the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, rising through the years to become managing director and then executive director before leaving in 2021 to work in philanthropy.

As community engagement and program manager for the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, Ms. Dreyer has worked to provide funding for scores of Island nonprofits over the past two and a half years, as well as scholarships for Vineyard students.

“What I want to do is connect people,” she told the Gazette. “That was what I really enjoyed in my work at the film festival. I cared about gathering people and creating those moments of wonder and curiosity and joy and empowerment.”

“That experience is what I’m really looking for at camp,” she continued. “Making sure everybody has a place where they feel celebrated and heard and have autonomy.”

Officially known as Martha’s Vineyard Cerebral Palsy Camp, Jabberwocky was founded in the early 1950s by speech pathologist Helen “Hellcat” Lamb and is the oldest known sleep-away camp for people with disabilities.

Ms. Dreyer, who starts her job next month, will work alongside Ms. Lamb’s granddaughter Caitlin Lamb and other Camp Jabberwocky leaders including Ms. Gallagher, who now directs the shoulder-season sessions for families, and property manager Jack Knower.

“I’m so grateful they’re on the team and I can be learning from them,” she said. “Summer 2024 is going to be here before we know it.”