by Bill McMahon, Co-Director
It takes plenty of heart, smarts, resources, and dedication to run a great overnight summer camp. It also takes a lot of people! Moosilauke, which is a camp of 140 campers, has 72 full time individuals on staff—a 2 to 1 ratio of employees to campers. The 72 folks are comprised as follows: 48 activity/cabin counselors; 5 junior counselors; 7 kitchen staff; 2 nurses; 2 maintenance staff; 3 office staff (including 1 who takes stills and video full time); 3 associate head types; and 2 directors.
Here are some fun facts about the talented and diverse staff at Moose:
100% of the 6 top administrators have worked at the camp before.
65% of all staff that work directly with the campers (as counselors, nurses, and administrators) are returning and/or have gone to the camp.
Our staff come from 9 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Latvia, England, Holland, Scotland, Hungary and Poland.
50% of our counselors are Lifeguard certified.
50% of our counselors are over 21.
More important than the high return rate and qualifications is the quality of the people running the camp. Here are brief bios on some of the people at Moose. As you will note, Moosilauke is the definition of a family business.
Sabina and I have been directing Moosilauke for almost 25 years. When we are not at Moosilauke, we live and work at The Thacher School in Ojai, CA. I am the Director of Enrollment, Communications, and Planning, and Sabina is the Dean of Students. We both attended Colgate University and received graduate degrees from Columbia. (I earned an M.B.A. and Sabina her Masters in Education.)
Associate Director and Office Manager
Ken Miller, Sabina’s brother, is our Associate Director and second in command. Ken was one of Moose’s perennial star athletes as a camper. He attended Colgate, where he played 2 varsity sports, and he also has his Masters in Teaching. In the off-season Ken lives, teaches, and coaches baseball in Colorado.
Sabina and Ken’s sister Ingrid Hale, who most recently directed Colgate University’s community service center, the COVE, helps manage the business end of things, along with the office and all our social media postings (pictures, videos, etc.). She and her family will be relocating from upstate New York to Richmond, VA this fall.
Other Key Administrators
Ken’s son Preston is our Head Counselor and Director of Baseball. Preston graduated from the Honor’s Program at Colorado State where he also recently received his Master’s in History. My oldest son Quinn is one of our Heads of Hill and Ken’s middle son Jake is the other one. Quinn, who also directs our lacrosse program, is finishing up at Colgate (where he walked on to the lacrosse team) and Jake, who also co-directs the waterfront, just graduated from Colorado State. Both Quinn and Jake are ACA certified canoe instructors and help lead our white water trips.
We are also thrilled to have Todd Gelfand back to help be our all around administrative troubleshooter. Todd has a one-of-a-kind Moosilauke story. He was a camper for eight years and then a counselor at the camp in the 1970s. Recently, two of his kids have attended camp. When not at Moosilauke he is the Managing Partner of a C.P.A. firm with offices in Los Angeles and Connecticut. Four plus years ago, for his fiftieth birthday, he asked his wife, kids, and Bill and Sabina, whether he could celebrate by spending a session working at Moose. It turned out so well that Todd has built a house a stones throw from the camp and now spends much of the summer helping us run Moose.
Charlie Slaybaugh, who is the Director of Physical Education and Health for his school district in New York, is back as Director of Athletics. Charlie went to Moose for 7 years and worked as a counselor for 3 before returning to the fold four years ago.
Chrissy Mazzola is back to help run our tennis program during the first session. Chrissy was a phenomenal player back in the day: she won her state tournament all 4 years in high school and she used to hold the record for most tennis match wins at Dartmouth. When not at Moose she is head of the upper school at St. Anne’s Belfield in Virginia.
Given that many camps have staff made up of only college kids, we feel blessed to have so many adults working at Moose who are experienced in the ways of boys.
As referenced previously, many of our staff went to Moosilauke and now attend some of the nation’s great colleges. Here are a few examples: Jordy Diamond, who is a canoeing counselor, attended Moose for 11 years, and is currently at Cornell; Colin McMahon, who heads our kayaking program (and is a certified ACA whitewater instructor), attended Moose for 11 years, and is currently at Colgate; Brad Garczynski, who is a baseball counselor, attended Moose for 9 years, and is currently at Dartmouth; Stephen Povich, who is a soccer counselor, attended Moosilauke for 7 years, and is currently at Dartmouth; Andrew Stone, who is a baseball counselor, attended Moosilauke for 7 years, and is currently at Boston College; Chris Smith, who is swimming counselor, attended Moose for 7 years, is currently at Hobart; and Travis McElroy, who heads our sailing program, attended Moosilauke for 6 years, and is currently getting his PHD in Math at UNC.
And of course many of your kid’s other favorite counselors are returning like Quinn, Colin, Preston, Jake, Sean, Timmy, Christina, Marin, Travis, Jimmy, Lanx, Eamon, Ethan, Teddy, and the legendary Ingvars!
Counselors New to Moosilauke
Every year, along with our great returning staff, we hire talented people from around the country and world to join our ranks. Here are a few who have joined us for summer 2013. Amanda Wheelock, who is a Backcountry Leadership Program counselor, just graduated from Dartmouth. She has her Wilderness First Responder, and is also certified in Kayak Swift Water Rescue. Emily Shelden, who is also a Back Country Leadership Program counselor, just graduated from Hobart-William Smith. Just before camp she competed at the Division III Collegiate Rowing Nationals where her team placed 4th. And Kyrien Edwards, who will be teaching lacrosse, is off to Williams this fall where he hopes to play lacrosse and football.
Finally, and as always, the guiding spirits of the whole operation are our owners Port and Heide Miller, the parents of Sabina, Ken, and Ingrid. Gordon “Port” Miller grew up at Moosilauke and attended the Horace Mann School, Colgate University, and he received his doctorate from Columbia. He was the hands-on director for over 20 years before turning over the reigns to Sabina and me in the late 1980s. He has written a number of books in the field of decision making, including Teaching Your Child to Make Decisions and The Little Book for Big Decisions. Port’s wife, Heide, is the Camp Business Manager.