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Meet the Stephens Family 

Founders and Directors of Pepperhill 


Barbara and Don Stephens

Pepperhill Farm is truly a family affair with more than half a century of tradition built into a legacy of love and lasting impact on generations of Bluegrass children. As a young couple just getting started, Don and Barbara Stephens founded Pepperhill Day School in 1964, followed by the camp in 1975. "Mr. Don" and "Ms. Barb" viewed Pepperhill as an opportunity to serve families in the community they loved while positively influencing the lives of the young people entrusted to their care. It's their hope that the fun and friendship found at Pepperhill become cherished memories for students and campers. The three Stephens children grew up learning and working at Pepperhill as students, campers and counselors. Today, the seven grandkids who make up the third Stephens generation are deeply involved, working as counselors every summer.     

Mr. Don passed away in 2019 and is greatly missed. His legacy lives on as children continue to grow and learn at the farm he loved so much. 


The Second Generation:
Dave and Dana Mahan

Assistant Directors Dave and Dana Mahan met while working as counselors at Pepperhill in the summer of 1984. Dana is Don and Barb's oldest daughter. She grew up on the farm and at camp, later earning a degree in Early Childhood Education. Dave graduated from the University of Kentucky and is a retired school teacher but subs for the public school system during the school year. Their hope is to help create a camp experiences that shapes current campers' lives the way it shaped theirs. You'll see their three grown children pitching in as well. 

Dana's siblings are Dwayne and DeAnn, both of whom also grew up attending and then working at Pepperhill. 

Dave and Dana
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The Third Generation
Stephen, David, Meghan, Kennedy, and Kamryn

At Pepperhill, everyone is family - and that includes the Stephens grandchildren! Stephen, David, and Meghan Mahan belong to Assistant Directors Dana and Dave. The Mahan crew grew up on the grounds of the day camp and now serve as camp counselors. All three graduates of UK and currently working in the field of education. 


Kennedy and Kamryn are DeAnn's daughters and of course former Pepperhill campers who now work as counselors.  

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