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 45 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 with her 2 daughters who also attend Towanda.
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.
So the Head Counselor Team looks like this:
Bob Miller & Michael Pelton on Boys' Camp and Amy Miller and Lisa Pelton on Girls' Camp.
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.
CMR (Camp Mom Ryan)'s endless energy and fun-loving spirit helps girls camp feel extra loved and supported during camp. With a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, CMR is ready to cheer her campers on with encouragement! Also an avid tennis player and singer, Ryan joins us from Florida, where she is a mom of two campers.
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.
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.
“Charney” leads and supervises our youngest boy campers, helping them thrive and become independent, happy campers! There’s no challenge with boys that Charney isn’t ready for and his campers have excellent manners in the dining hall! Jason is a middle school science teacher and soccer coach. He is also the father of four campers!
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!
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!
Howie & Terry are another husband/wife duo who join us from Weston, Florida where they are both teachers. The who, what, where and when at camp happens because of Howie’s attention to detail. Howie is responsible for all on camp athletics and special events, as well as optional activities including culinary and trips. He also supervises the daily program with creative managerial skills that balance variety, interests and feedback. Howie is also a Physical Education teacher. Terry works in our summer office and is the camp tutor with certifications in English, Secondary Education and Special Education. Howie and Terry are also parents of two great kids!
The who, what, where and when at camp happens because of ASAP’s attention to detail. The daily program is based upon his 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.
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.
Jared was born and raised at camp and is our Head Tour Guide and resident Lego Master. He is also in charge of our staff relations, working closely with the returning staff and alumni staff that help make our camp family so strong. Jared is also the camp’s Certified Safety Director, Certified SafeServe Food Manager and has a Master’s in Camp Administration. He is certainly not afraid to get down and dirty; helping with many of the onsite projects at camp.
“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”.
Matt grew up at Towanda, starting at the age of 6, and is from the 4th generation Towanda Miller family. He works with Jared and Z in our laundry, kitchen, transportation, hiring and baggage departments making sure camp runs smoothly. In addition, Matt assists by fine-tuning special events for the our program and takes the lead in our staff orientation program training, overseeing our orientation programs, and our ACA Standards Accreditation process
Our opening and closing week Doctor and Infirmary Orientation Leader, “Dr. Mark” is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician who has worked in the adult and pediatric emergency department of several hospitals. He coordinates prehospital care (EMS) for approximately ½ of New Jersey. He is Vice-Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, New Jersey. Dr. Mark is also Associate Professor, Rutgers School of Medicine/School of Public Health and has published over 60 papers on pediatric and adult emergencies. Additionally, Dr. Mark is a former long-time camper and in his spare time he “comes to Towanda.”
Mia coordinates and manages our Nurses, EMT and Emergency Room Pediatric Physicians at our Health Center. A mom of a camper herself, Mia comforts, communicates and exceeds parents’ expectations.
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.
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
For over 10 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.
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 GMT Tennis Academies in Torrent and La Balaguera. Va’mos Towanda Tennis!
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.
Mary is the Head of a private school art department and is a top level creative instructor and manager. Mary runs our fantastic arts & crafts department and leads creative projects ranging from woodworking, ceramics, mosaics, glass projects and more! Mary and Stephanie Reiter make a great team, inspiring creativity in our huge art barn!
Experienced Head Chef at various restaurants, Chef Lee heads up our very popular optional culinary cooking classes. The kids love this delicious opportunity to learn kitchen basics to impressive entrees. Each year his menu exceeds the year before!
Coach Steve underlines the advantage of having adults on our staff. As a father, teacher and coach, he brings strength, insight, skills and the ability to help our kids develop and grow.
Chef Jonesy has been the consistent leader of our Mess Hall for over 20 years. He is the coordinator and cook behind the daily meals, snacks and treats . A beloved camp character, Chef Jonesy works closely with his kitchen staff, nutritionist and camp moms to make certain everyone eats…and you gotta have one of his famous Jonesy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies… it is a Camp Towanda Favorite!
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.
“Penner” coordinates the accounting/ bookkeeping/ contracts/ payments end of things with our Financial Services department. He also is quick to jump on the lawn tractor or power up the leaf vacuum. Penner is a former Group Leader and Olympics General and works for camp year-round. He was born and raised in Kansas.