At Camp Eagle Ridge, we take pride in having one of the highest staff retention rates in the nation! Most of our staff have been a part of Camp Eagle Ridge for 10 years or longer! We believe that it is the staff that works with your child that matter most.
Emma Diamond returns for her tenth summer at Camp Eagle Ridge. Emma has been coming to Camp Eagle Ridge since she was nine years old and has been a counselor-in-training, a junior counselor, and part of our kitchen staff.
Emma is from Sacramento California, where she plays field hockey and dives for her high school. She also enjoys painting and any kind of arts-n-crafts. At camp, Emma enjoys ultimate frisbee, sailing, field hockey, and kayaking. She also loves the dances and trips.
Emma says, "Camp is where you can learn to be the absolute best version of yourself. You learn life skills there that you can't learn almost anywhere else and make friends with the most unexpected people."
Melanie Kohls returns to join our 2014 counseling staff! Melanie has been a part of Camp Eagle Ridge for the past 11 years. Melanie is originally from Hales Corners, Wisconsin and is currently attending UW-Madison. She is studying zoology and environmental studies. Melanie lives in the GreenHouse Learning Community at Madison, which is a floor for people focused on sustainability and the environment. She also recently began working in a research lab focusing on the nutrient cycle of Lake Tanganyika in Africa, which she’s very excited about!
Melanie loves biking and going to the farmers' market at the Capitol. She hopes to study abroad her junior year. She’s currently a member of the UW Wildlife Society, which gets students involved in ecology programs such as owl banding and prairie restoration. When Melanie isn't at camp or in class, she enjoys listening to music, hiking, downhill skiing, reading, and cooking (and eating) delicious food.
Nick Staffaroni is overjoyed to be joining staff this summer. Nick has been coming to camp for 6 years (starting at the age of 13), and has been a Counselor in Training as well as a Junior Counselor. This year, Nick will be the Counselor in Explorer (generally ages 13 & 14).
Nick is from Dallas, Texas. Nick loves to play soccer, and has been playing since he was in kindergarden. Nick plays for his school's varsity team, as well as a local club team. Nick also enjoys origami, and is the Co-President of his school's origami club. Nick is intrigued by the arts, and likes to be active. Being goofy is one of his specialities.
There is no activity at camp that Nick doesn't enjoy, but his favorites are Archery, Improv, Kayaking, and Soccer.
Nick says, "Variety is the spice of life. You can never limit yourself to just one thing. What I really love about camp is, you'll never run out of things to try. Even if you do the same activity twice, there will always be a new friend to share the experience with. No two days are exactly alike at camp, especially when you're surrounded by so many great people."
Alex Ingram joins our 2014 counseling staff all the way from England! Alex will be the counselor in Adventurer, our 2nd oldest boys' cabin.
Alex loves a variety of sports, especially basketball! Alex has coached both boys basketball and girls basketball and was awarded "Coach of the Year" in 2011.
Alex is also a talented dancer and performer. He performs with a local street dance club called "Street Vibes".
Alex is a skilled camper and has earned his Silver and Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards by working with a team of six to complete several overnight camping trips with 2 to 3 day hikes.
Last year, Alex worked at an after-school program with children ages 3-7. He ensured everyone was happy and having fun by setting up and overseeing activities such as games, arts and crafts, role plays, puzzles and reading stories.
We think that Alex is going to make a great addition to our Camp Eagle Ridge family!
Katie Goldberg returns to our 2014 counseling staff for her 14th summer! Katie (Goldie) has been a part of Camp Eagle Ridge since she was 8 years old. She went through our Counselor-in-Training and Junior Counselor programs. Katie is the counselor for our 13-14 year old girls in Challenger. She is from Atlanta, GA and loves being on the water. Katie is also an American Red Cross lifeguard.
Katie is pursuing her degree in Elementary Education at Florida State University. At school, Katie is also involved in various clubs and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Lady Spirithunters, a service organization on campus that helps spread the Seminole spirit! In her free time, Katie enjoys being out on the water and participating in other water activities like sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.
This past summer, Katie went to Israel for the first time on a Taglit Birthright Trip. She loved the experience so much that she will be applying to return to Israel as a group leader for other Birthright trips in May before camp starts! Katie believes that camp is a place that anyone, no matter where they may come from, can be themselves, enjoy the loving environment and have an unforgettable time! Some of her favorite camp activities include theme nights and spending time with her girls in the cabin!
Sara Westman is excited to be back for her 11th year at camp! This year, Sara will be working with our oldest girls.
Sara is originally from Racine Wisconsin and attends the University of Wisconsin Stout where she is in the Industrial Design program. Within the school, Sara is very involved in the arts and plans to get involved in the volunteer organizations that the campus has to offer.
Sara says "At camp, a lot of the activities I teach are art based including drawing, painting, and crafting. I also enjoy teaching many sports, fire building, and my new favorite activity: crawfish hunting! Camp is the place to learn living, social, and leadership skills to practice and apply to the world you live in. This is done through an amazingly supportive community that will cheer you on. That’s why camp is amazing and so many of us come back year after year only knowing we will leave better than we were."
Katie Shields returns for her 11th year at Camp Eagle Ridge! Katie is attending the University of Tampa majoring in Biology and Marine Science with a minor in dance. In high school, Katie was on a competitive dance team where she was committed practicing 30 hours a week. She says "It has helped me to be able to have great time management skills." Katie is currently teaching dance classes to ages 2-10 in Tampa, Florida.
Katie's favorite camp activities include: kayaking, volleyball, canoeing, archery, and leadership workshops. Katie was responsible for introducing Stromboli to the camp menu and says her favorite camp food is egg bake.
Katie says "I like to think of camp of a really pure place. You can go and feel so happy everyday and the people there are so incredible and they are people you could never meet anywhere else."
Matt McDowell joins our counseling staff for his second year! This will be Matt's 10th summer at Camp Eagle Ridge. Prior to becoming a counselor, Matt was a Counselor-In-Training and a Junior Counselor. Matt is originally from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, but moved to Raleigh, North Carolina when he was thirteen. In Raleigh, Matt attended Ravenscroft School and played football, wrestling, and baseball. Matt is now a sophomore at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York where he plays defensive line on the football team.
Matt is currently undecided in his major, but has a strong interest in medicine. Matt enjoys listening and singing along to music, playing sports, hanging out with friends, and reading. Matt says "What I love about camp is that it offers a healthy environment for kids to be themselves without worrying about what other people will think. Camp is also an amazing place to build relationships with wonderful people that care and want only the best for you. Looking back, I can't think of another place on Earth that would have had such a positive and profound effect on me as a leader and as a human being as Camp Eagle Ridge has."
Chris Paris is thrilled to be returning to our 2014 counseling staff. Chris has been a part of camp for the past 10 years as a camper, Counselor-in-Training, Junior counselor, Counselor, Waterfront director, and Health manager. He is very excited to be back counseling once again in the cabin of Discovery, our youngest boys' cabin!
Chris is originally from Denver, Colorado. Chris currently lives in Boulder where he recently graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in physiology and neuroscience. He is helping to develop educational medical software with plans to apply to medical school in the coming year. Chris loves to ski and will take any chance he gets to head into the mountains for a ski day.
Chris credits camp for helping him learn and develop a healthy approach to facing problems and challenges every day. Camp frequently places children in new and different situations, but it does so in such a positive and supportive environment that it reinforces healthy ways of interacting with new and different situations that are encountered at home all the time.
Jack Nolan is returning to our 2014 counseling staff! Jack has been a part of Camp Eagle Ridge for the past 11 years and was a Counselor-In-Training and Junior Counselor.
Jack is originally from Wilmette, Illinois, where he attended New Trier Township High School. Jack currently attends the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is studying Environmental Sciences. Jack spends his free time at school playing for UNCW's club rugby team. Jack credits Camp Eagle Ridge for giving him the ability to be a role model and leader for his peers on his team. When Jack's not playing rugby, he spends time with friends and enjoys meeting new people. At camp, Jack loves spending time on the waterfront. He is a proficient sailor.
Jack says "I always try my best and put my best foot forward when confronted with a problem. I would like to encourage campers to try their best in everything they do, even if it pushes them outside their comfort zone."
This will be Kristina Rossi's 11th summer at Camp Eagle Ridge. Kristina began as a camper when she was 8 years old and has been a Counselor-in-Training and a Junior Counselor.
Kristina is from Port Washington, Wisconsin, where she enjoys sailing on Lake Michigan. Kristina attributes her Camp experiences for helping her develop the leadership skills she practices in her community. Kristina leads fellow team mates on her high school's tennis, gymnastics and track teams.
Kristina is also very involved in her school's Student Council and enjoys working with her peers to organize school and community events.
Kristina is looking forward to spending many hours on Lake Galilee this summer! She has been a Red Cross certified lifeguard since she was 16 and loves sailing, kayaking, canoeing and playing on the new water toys.
Her other favorite activities at camp include Capture the Flag (and the ice-cream after), Sumo Wrestling, Leadership Workshops, and Arts and Crafts.
Kristina says, "Camp is a place where kids can escape from their daily lives to a sanctuary where they are free to, and encouraged to, become the best person they can possibly be. In finding who that is, campers gain independence, self-confidence, and friendships that will last a lifetime."
We welcome back Jay Kinzel to our 2014 counseling staff! This will be Jay's 12th year at Camp Eagle Ridge and third on staff. Jay was a former camper, Counselor-in-Training and Junior Counselor.
Jay is originally from Middleton, Wisconsin. He currently attends UW-Milwaukee, where he is studying business. Jay is a member of the UW-Milwaukee Ultimate Frisbee team and enjoys a variety of sports. In particular, he loves to play basketball and golf. Jay is also an asset to our waterfront staff; as he has been a lifeguard since the age of 15.
In addition to sports, Jay is a very talented singer and guitarist. We look forward to him playing at campfires!
Jay believes "that camp is the place to go for kids to reach their full potential as individuals and also shows kids more important meaning in life besides a computer, television, or a video game. Camp brings people together to make life long friendships. It is in my mind the best place for a child to grow and become the person every parent wants their child to be."
This will be Mary Samson’s 13th summer at Camp Eagle Ridge! She was eight when she started as a camper, and later, she became a counselor-in-training, junior counselor, and a member of our kitchen staff. This year, Mary is taking on the role of Assistant Cook!
Mary is attending St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota. She is an Educational Studies major and is on the track and field team.
In her free time, Mary is very involved with Campus Ministry by participating in retreat team, volunteer mentors and going on missions trips regularly. She recently went to Madurai, India, where she volunteered at a boys' orphanage. Her group helped with building maintenance and played with the kids in the orphanage. Mary considered it a life changing experience.
Mary says “Camp is a special place where everyone accepts you for you. It’s where you can be pushed out of your comfort zone in order to grow as a person within a safe environment. Camp is where you meet the most amazing people who become lifetime friends.”
Jannelle Andrews will be returning for her 8th summer at Camp Eagle Ridge. This will be her first year on our kitchen staff.
Jannelle is from Overland Park, Kansas and will be graduating in May. She will be attending Colorado State University and will be studying Chemistry. She loves to cook in her free time, especially desserts.
Jannelle's favorite activities at camp include kayaking, canoeing, sailing, volleyball, and arts and crafts. Stargazing and hiking are some of her hobbies.
Jannelle says "Camp is a very special place. You can be who you want to be and everyone will accept you. No matter how long you stay, you always find out more about yourself and grow as a person everyday. At camp, I have met friends that I will have for the rest of my life."
Katy Ralph will be joining our kitchen staff this summer! Katy has not been back to camp for 4 years, but this will actually be her 6th summer at Camp Eagle Ridge. She is so happy and excited to be joining the camp family again! Before joining the kitchen staff, she went through the Counselor-In-Training and Junior Counselor programs at Camp Eagle Ridge. Katy moved to Chicago within the last couple of months, but is originally from Switzerland.
Back in Switzerland, she studied Hotel and Tourism Management at the Ritz Colleges. It was there that she discovered her love for the kitchen! She now has her Bachelor Degree in Culinary Arts! She moved to America so that she could attend the French Pastry School in Chicago and receive her Masters in Pastry.
Katy says “Camp became my home away from home while i was growing up. It always encouraged me to step out of my very shy, very quiet, comfort zone. I truly believe that it helped me become the person I am today. I was always so excited to have friends to go back to every summer and new friends to make. I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to return to camp and now work with so many people that I met, 10 years ago, on my first day of camp.”
Annie Ferraro is thrilled to join the 2014 Camp Eagle Ridge staff for her fourth year at camp! First a camper and then a counselor-in-training, Annie is very excited to become a member of the kitchen staff this summer.
Annie is from Eagan, Minnesota. In the spring, she will be graduating from Visitation School and will move on to her next adventures in college. She is heavily involved in the performing arts program as well as several other school clubs, and spends extra time playing piano and spending time with friends.
Annie’s favorite camp activities include kayaking, improv, sumo wrestling, and any arts-n-crafts. She always looks forward to some delicious applesauce bars, a camp specialty.
She says, “I found Camp Eagle Ridge only four short years ago, but it feels like I’ve been a part of the community for so much longer. Camp is such a unique environment that pushes each member to try new things, meet new people, and make some incredible memories.”