We are so excited to introduce to you the 2023 Camp Echo Lake Leadership Team! This summer we have an incredible team of seasoned CEL staff that are dedicated to making 2023 the best summer ever. Their passion for camp, love of working with children, and hard-working nature make this team of individuals the perfect people to bring summer 2023 to life!
The 2023 CEL Leadership team has an impressive combined 255 years of Echo Lake experience – we can’t wait for you and your campers to get to know them this summer!
- Juniors – campers entering 5th grade and younger
- Inters – campers entering 6th and 7th grade
- LITs – campers entering 11th and 12th grades
- Main Village – campers entering 7th grade and younger and our LITs
- Senior Village – campers entering 8th through 10th grade
Junior Boys Head Counselor: Conor Vandendries
Conor is thrilled to be back at camp for his 8th summer! He lives in Warrensburg, NY, with his wife Amanda and their dog Teddy, and spends the year hiring amazing counselors for camp. Conor’s favorite camp activities are Sky Village, Jason’s Jungle, and the Rock Wall! He also loves golf, and he is super excited about pickleball! He is most looking forward to enjoying canteen each night in our brand new building. Conor hopes that new campers create a strong connection to Echo Lake this summer, and leave feeling like it’s their second home! He hopes that all campers have a happy, healthy, and FUN summer!
Inter Boys Head Counselor: Jakob “BCJ” Weisblum
BCJ can’t wait to spend his 15th summer at CEL! He spends the year finding and hiring the best staff for Echo Lake and living in New York City. His favorite camp activity is fishing! BCJ is most looking forward to the energy that comes with 750+ people excitedly arriving in June. He wants to ensure that every Inter Boy feels supported and motivated to take advantage of every moment!
Senior Village Boys Head Counselor: Marcus Golczyk
Marcus is so excited to be back at camp for his fourth summer! During the year, Marcus is a teacher in Yellowknife, Canada (the far north). His favorite camp activity is basketball! This summer, Marcus hopes to keep things fun and help others take risks and try new things. His goal is for all campers to expand their comfort zones, make new connections, and enjoy the incredible opportunity that is Camp Echo Lake!
Junior Girls Head Counselor: Amanda Saperstone
Amanda is so excited to return to camp for her 19th summer! She lives in Warrensburg, NY with her husband Conor and their dog Teddy. During the year, she works in the CEL office as the communications director. Amanda’s favorite activities at camp are dance and Group Sing. She is most looking forward to another summer full of laughter and spirit on Girls’ Camp! Amanda hopes that each camper leaves camp having tried something new, made wonderful connections, and learned that they can do hard things.
Inter Girls Head Counselor: Annie Simms
Annie is looking forward to spending her 5th summer at CEL! She currently lives in Urbana, Illinois, and has spent her off-season being a stay-at-home mama to her two boys, Louis and Cal (whom she shares with her husband, Jake, the Activities Director). Annie’s favorite camp activities are swimming and TREK! She is most looking forward to seeing all of the campers and staff she knows again and meeting all the new ones. Annie’s goal for the summer is to help campers and staff feel confident and secure, and to create an environment of kindness with one another!
Senior Village Girls Head Counselor: Emma Satin
Emma is thrilled to return for her 10th summer at Echo Lake! Emma lives in New York City and spent the year working as an editor for a digital media company. Her favorite activity is campfires! Emma is looking forward to getting to spend every day outside, having fun with her favorite people, and grilled cheese for lunch, of course! She hopes to bring a silliness and genuine love of camp to the Senior Village. Emma’s goal is to help her campers shake off the stress of the school year, and to grow into spirited and confident future leaders!
LIT Head Counselor: Nikki Rumizen
Nikki is excited to be returning to camp for her 11th summer! She is currently finishing up her second year of teaching in Chicago. Nikki’s favorite activity at camp is boating. She can’t wait to meet her amazing LITs and help them have the best summer ever! Nikki’s goal is for each LIT to feel like they made the most out of each day at camp, and for them to grow as leaders and humans.
Program & Support Staff:
Program Director & CEL Assistant Director: Sam Wilkinson
Sam is thrilled to be returning to camp for his 11th summer! He dedicates his year to camp as a member of the year-round team with his main role being CEL’s Staffing Director. His favorite activity at camp is soccer! Sam is most looking forward to seeing all of the campers enjoying the numerous activity areas we have on camp! He looks forward to watching our activity specialists in action teaching what they are passionate about and extending that to our campers. Personally, Sam is looking forward to welcoming a new baby girl to his family this summer with his wife Kelly and daughter Isla! Sam wants to ensure that he supports all of the activity staff so they can provide the highest quality instruction to our campers. In addition, he wants our campers to receive a diverse schedule that allows them to try new things, find new passions, and step outside of their comfort zones.
Activities Director: Jake Simms
Jake is so excited to be back at camp for his 8th summer! He lives in Urbana, Illinois during the year and is studying for his PhD! His favorite camp activity is Tribal. Jake is looking forward to spending time with friends and helping the campers have fun at each activity. He wants to help ensure that our activity areas are fun, challenging, and progressive throughout the summer!
Boys’ Camp Program Coordinator: Brian “Bri Bri” Cavanaugh
Brian is pumped to be returning for his 6th summer at camp! During the year, he has been teaching first grade and working as a swim coach. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Brian’s favorite camp activity is Tough Lakers. He is most looking forward to swimming in the lake! He would like for every camper to try at least one new thing this summer program-wise.
Girls’ Camp Program Coordinator: Bethany Moses
Bethany can’t wait to spend her 4th summer at CEL! During the year, she lives in Chesterfield, Michigan, and is a Music Director and Assistant Producer at a local semi-professional theater. Bethany is getting married in June, and by the time camp begins she will be Bethany Tesner! Her favorite activities at camp are general swim and silent disco. Bethany is most looking forward to sharing this summer with her new husband and puppy, and getting to experience a new job at camp! She wants everyone that she works with this summer to feel organized, prepared, and that instructions are easy to understand. That way, everyone can just enjoy their daily and evening activities and soak in every fun moment with the kids!
Senior Village Program Coordinator: Annie Herbert
Annie is so excited to be back at camp for her 3rd summer! She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and teaches 6th grade ELA. In her free time, Annie enjoys hiking, camping, and cooking. She is most looking forward to just being back at Echo Lake after a few summers away! There is something so special about spending the summers in a community of people dedicated to growth, development, and meaningful experiences. Annie wants to help create an encouraging and safe environment where campers are able to try new things, make new connections, and enjoy all that Echo Lake has to offer.
Outdoor Program Coordinator: Josiah Hallman
Josiah is looking forward to spending his 4th summer at Echo Lake! During the year, he lives in Red Deer, Alberta, and is studying in the seminary. His favorite activity at camp is TREK, of course, and also lunch! Josiah wants to help make sure that campers and staff learn to enjoy the outdoors safely this summer, and leave with a better understanding of the importance of time spent in nature!
Program Utility: Shawn Buchanan
Shawn can’t wait to spend his 6th summer at CEL! He lives in Hillsdale, New Jersey, and is a high school English teacher and swim coach during the year. His favorite camp activity is The Amazing Race! Shawn is looking forward to helping the Program team create an amazing summer for the campers.
Office Director: Jamie Thomas
Jamie is thrilled to be back at camp for her 3rd summer! During the year she is a full-time school librarian in Westchester, and she runs a ski and snowboarding program at Gore Mountain. Jamie’s favorite camp activities are slip n’ slides on Special Days and the Silent Disco. She is looking forward to working with families that call camp in the summer, hearing familiar voices, and getting to know new families too! The office is a central spot on camp and she and her team strive to be as helpful and welcoming as possible to everyone who comes in, and all our families who call and email too!
Health Center Director: Mike Jowers
Nurse Mike is very excited to be returning to camp for his 4th summer! During the year he is a home health nurse and lives in Saluda, South Carolina. Mike’s favorite camp activity is volleyball. He is looking forward to a safe and healthy summer, and wants to create a healthy camp community by empowering a health-positive culture throughout all areas of camp and beyond!
Main Village Director & CEL Assistant Director: Kelly Wilkinson
Kelly is looking forward to being a part of Camp Echo Lake for her 17th summer! She is lucky to get to work for camp and think about camp year-round. During the year Kelly enjoys helping prepare for the upcoming summer, talking to prospective families, and hiring terrific staff! She lives in Syracuse, New York. This summer will be an unusual one for Kelly, as she will be leaving camp to welcome her new baby girl into the world! She is excited to return to camp when she can for visits to see all of the campers and staff and introduce the newest addition to her and Sam’s family to her summer home! Though this summer will be a little different for Kelly, it is always her goal that the campers and staff working in the Main Village have a summer of growth, connection, and of course, fun!
Senior Village Director: Nick “Stew” Stoulig
Stew is thrilled to be back at camp for his 22nd summer! He is a middle school teacher in New Orleans during the year. His favorite camp event is Off-Track Betting. Stew is looking forward to another AWESOME year in the village! He wants to make sure that all campers and staff are provided with a safe place to make lifelong connections and memories this summer.
Owner & Director: Laurie Rinke
Laurie is so excited to be spending her 38th summer at Echo Lake! Laurie lives in Warrensburg, New York, and has the pleasure of being part of CEL all year round! Laurie’s favorite camp activities are dance and campfires. She is most looking forward to creating a community where campers and staff feel good about themselves, are connected to friends, and know that they belong to something that matters to them! Laurie hopes to create such a positive, happy, and fun summer that campers and staff take that magic with them all year round. #12for12
Owner & Director: Tony Stein
Tony has been at camp for 50+ years, and is as thrilled as ever for the summer to begin! Tony lives in New York City, and spends his year thinking about camp! His favorite activities are running Flashlight Sing and Special Cookout with his wife Emily. Tony is looking forward to hearing the laughter of Echo Lake campers and staff throughout the summer! He wants everyone who comes through the gates of Echo Lake this summer to feel like a loved and appreciated member of our community.