It starts at the top and trickles down to everyone else. We have a lot of Senior adult Staff. They make up the supervisory level that manages and oversees the college aged bunk staff, those living with your children. The important attribute is that these leaders effectively connect and build trust with their campers and staff.
Below is a brief look at some of our key staff members. Not everyone is listed, as this list can go on for quite a bit, as we have many terrific staff members that we are very proud of.
Over 50 years at Camp Towanda, Bob started as a young camper, met his wife here, his sons were raised at camp and his mother-in-law was the former girls' head counselor! Everyone looks up to Bob for leadership and some good sports trivia. Tradition runs through his blood! Bob is a teacher in the New York City school system.
Amy is part of a 4th generation Towanda family spanning over 40 years. Amy started off as one of the youngest campers and has gone through all the ranks. Amy knows Towanda. Amy knows Girls' Camp. Amy knows a lot about spirit, leadership and empowerment, too! And all the girls love her! She is highly respected by the campers and the staff, while her enthusiasm and zest are contagious. She lives in Florida; her 2 daughters have grown up at camp and are now counselors.
Fun, connected and loved. Lisa and Michael met at Towanda and are raising their 4 kids at camp; combined, they have over 40 Towanda years of leadership and friendship experience! Lisa is a middle school science teacher. Michael is a high school Health Science teacher, certified athletic trainer and EMT.
“Charney” leads and supervises many areas of campus, helping boys camp thrive and become independent, happy campers! There’s no challenge that Charney isn’t ready for. Jason is a middle school science teacher and soccer coach. He is also the father of 2 campers and 2 counselors!
Nicki grew up at camp starting as a young camper, becoming a counselor and now contributing to our Girls Camp Leadership team. Nicki consistently bring a level of fun and enthusiasm to Girls Camp that is appreciated by all the campers and staff!
Lauren grew up at Camp Towanda (camper, counselor, general) and is now a passionate alumni and camp parent. In addition to her social media, website and blog duties, Lauren is also the Parent Liaison for enrolled families and Supervisor of the W.O.C. She works for camp year-round and keeps us all on our toes, digitally savvy and the best in our field, while communicating and appropriately getting the word of Towanda out there. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two kids who are also campers!
With the insight of a concerned parent and the experience of being on our Senior Staff, Shari's spirit, knowledge of camp, approachability and stamina makes her a great New Parent Liaison. Kids, staff and parents love her. Those that plan to visit our camp in action will speak with "Tour Shari", who will help with directions, lodging and all the coordination. You don't have to worry about anything! She adds comforting Camp Towanda perspective and wisdom.
“Mendy” has grown up in camping, as a camper, counselor to year-round administration, programming, staff recruitment and behind the scenes operations. Mendy pitches in anywhere and with everything, a true camp guy! Mendy has a masters in physical education, graduated from Indiana University, where he met his wife, Alana.
Alana, along with her sisters, grew up at Towanda as a camper and counselor. Alana has a masters in speech-language pathology and now spends the school year as a speech therapist. As former president of Camp Towanda (as were her sisters!), Alana has a strong leadership role in all areas of Girls’ Camp.
Originally a counselor and group leader, Christy has returned to camp with her daughters as our Camp Mom on Girls camp. Christy brings love and calmness as well as very positive energy and fun-loving spirit to Girls Camp; always a great shoulder to lean on.
A part of our staff for over 15 years, “Mike The Thompson” (aka “MTT”) started as our Head Baseball Coach and has been a Group Leader, Athletic Director and now year round makes sure our laundry, transportation and inter-camp activities run smoothly. During the summer he helps with all areas of operations and during the spring and fall he can be found helping "Mike the Plumber” (aka “MTP") contributing to new projects around camp.
The who, what, where and when at camp happens because of Shanna's attention to detail. The daily program is based on her creative managerial skills that balance the variety of land, water, arts and outdoor adventure activities, along with particular interests and feedback. The result is a great and exciting program.
Also a former Towanda camper and counselor, Jen coordinates and manages our Nurses, EMT and Physicians at our Health Center. A mom of two camper herself, Jen comforts, communicates and exceeds parents’ expectations.
Amongst many other duties and roles at camp; As our campers grow and mature; ASAP tutors for ACT, SAT and other school subjects; mentoring for college essays, school and interview preparation and coordinating our staff level bona fide paid internship program.
As a parent herself and Group Leader to our youngest girls, Melissa’s natural motherly love provides comfort to her campers and confident leadership skills to her counselors. She sets the bar for fun, participation and friendships!
As a terrific mom of two girls, Randi (CMI) is also our go-to "Food Mom", helping children with food allergies (and overseeing our special dietary kitchen galley), sensitivities and concerns, navigate their choices at camp, while keeping them safe. Randi lives in Connecticut and is a teacher.
Camp Mom Barrie (CMB) keeps boys camp clean, organized and feeling loved. She is incredibly hands on, providing a mom's touch and guidance wherever needed. From making sure the boys have their gear at activities to trimming their nails… Barrie's on mom duty for sure! Barrie lives in Florida with her husband and three kids who are also campers.
Indicative of the adult supervision, insight and leadership; Kari, along with all of our Senior Staff, adds a lot to the quality of our program. From Florida and as a mother of 2 campers, she gets both sides of what camp offers.
Yet another great family team; with over 40 years of combined sleep-away camp experience, Coach Lee is our Tournament Director; but it doesn’t stop there; with incredible and strong influences in all departments, especially soccer! Lee’s wife, Charlene, is our Drama Director, bringing expertise and entertainment to this popular department at Camp Towanda! The shows always go on! Both, are proud parents and wonderful examples of the quality, care and love of our Senior Staff.
Karyn is a leader who raises the bar of expectations. Her “O&A” Team (that’s what we call Outdoor Adventure) is highly trained and focused on safety and confident participation creating one of our most popular activity areas. Her positive impact is felt throughout camp by each camper and counselor, resulting in excitement, adventure, trust, self-confidence and safety awareness.
A confident and organized manager, a qualified instructor, a safety guru and on top of her game all around. “Waterfront Mara” is the dictionary definition of who we would want running our waterfront program. The kids love her and the staff respects her. You will find her with a megaphone and a whistle at all times! She lives in Florida with her husband and two kids who are also campers.
“Z” is the man who takes care of overseeing our staff recruitment team, traveling the country and the globe to face to face interview our staff. He is an experienced camp professional with over 40 years of handling every possible position (truly from bottle washer to chef). “Z” has been an ACA Camp Standards Accreditation Visitor for 35 years and has served the ACA as a Board member and Committee chair. In addition, “Z” leads the PA Camp Association as a government affairs liaison with the camping industry in PA. In regards to logistics, we have no problems at camp, we have “Z”.
Lauren Cohen has spent over 15 summers as a camper (and then counselor!) before coming back as our Nutritionist. She has her Masters from New York University in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics (RD) where she specializes in pediatric care and is on the full time staff of DuPont Children’s Hospital in Delaware. Lauren’s philosophy on eating is that all foods fit. Here at camp, she focuses on balancing the “always foods” and “sometimes foods” paying special attention to campers with allergies and picky eaters. As a reformed picky eater herself, she is thrilled to be back helping campers and parents navigate the camp menu.
Deb is a school psychologist who coaches and consults our staff with guidance and tools to help properly care for our campers.
Passion, stamina, integrity, accountability, experience, and professionalism are a few of the ingredients our Senior Staff brings to our program. Similar to all of our Department Heads, Dani Gil, brings a fresh and energetic approach to our exciting USTA Tennis Program. Dani supervises and manages his tennis coaches and is “right there” on the courts with the campers helping develop and improve their individual skills. During the off-season, back in Valencia, Spain, Dani is the owner and director of the Focus Academy. He is considered among the most important coaches in Spain! Vamos Towanda Tennis!
For over 15 years, it’s really “Erica Media” who helps us tell our story through FridayNiteFlix.com, The Towanda Times, flyers, graphics, photo uploads, live camera feeds and anything else technical and creative that we need, she’s got the skills.
As a camp of 2nd, 3rd and now 4th generations; tradition, legacy, spirit and on-going involvement is important to the Camp Towanda family. Our alums return each year for reunions, special events, guest judging and incredibly embellished recollections of the past! Our current campers enjoy hearing about Towanda lore. Spiz epitomizes the fact that everyone takes a little bit of Towanda with them, wherever they go
MTP lives and loves every blade of grass on camp. It is his home year-round and he takes great pride in the maintenance, care and new projects and works closely with the W.O.C. team and Mitch.