Who’s Who at Camp – April, 2021

Hi Folks,

We’re all ready for some normal in our lives, and for those of us who get to spend our summer at camp, this summer in particular, while not entirely normal, will bring us a long way there.  We can’t wait!

In the most “normal” years, some kids are very excited to get to camp, and some kids are very nervous about it.  And, of course, some kids are both excited and nervous.  Those feelings are entirely normal.

But this has not been a normal year, so it is likely that those feelings may be exaggerated this year.  

This has been a stretch of more than 12 months during which we have all spent intensive time together as families, isolated from others out of necessity.  That is not normal, and as a resulting side effect, our kids have grown more accustomed to having their parents close by.  Interestingly, parents have also grown more accustomed to having their children close by.  That includes knowing exactly where they are at all times, what they’re doing, when they’re doing it.  

Human nature is sometimes unpredictable.  While we might expect kids to be chomping at the bit to get out from under their parents’ watchful eyes and garner some independent experiences, the precise opposite may, in fact, be true.  Your kids may be more anxious about spreading their wings this summer than they’d otherwise be.  

Children, especially younger kids, thrive with routines.  Going to camp is always a disrupter of at-home routines, but it may be far more so this year because the routine of being home and with their parents will not have been disrupted for more than 15 months by the time June arrives.  Yikes!

Here’s the big take away: these concerns actually make going to camp much more important and valuable for our kids this year than ever before.  THEY NEED CAMP NOW MORE THAN EVER!  Maybe so do their parents.  

It may be comfortable having your kids at home and knowing their whereabouts every second of every day.  Comfort is nice, but as youth development experts have told us forever, that kind of comfort actually deters growth.  This is why camp is so vital.  It is safe, it is healthy, and it introduces enough challenge and disruption of comfortable routines to facilitate important growth in our kids. 

Our mission is to help kids develop into caring, confident, and socially connected adults.  Parents choose to let their kids go to camp because they share those goals, and they know camp provides a unique opportunity to let kids learn what they are capable of, INDEPENDENT from their parents.  

So if you or your kids seem especially uneasy about separating for camp this summer, of course it makes perfect sense.  Let’s work together.  Reach out to us, and we can help you.  We have the same goals.  Once we all get to camp, we will make great strides getting there.  And when your kids return home with more confidence and independence (not to mention stories, smiles, exuberance, new friends, etc), it will be abundantly clear how important this camp summer was for them and for you.


Blake AblinChicagoILEthan MaydewGlencoeIL
Toby AskenaziDenverCOOliver MoralesDallasTX
Bennett CrosbySan DiegoCANoah MoralesDallasTX
Eli GarberGlencoeILShea ReynoldsColumbusOH
Leo GarberGlencoeILCJ RizzoBreckenridgeCO
Jeremy GroverLos AngelesCAJack SargentSan AnselmoCA
Isaac GuthmannGlencoeILJack SchwarczNashvilleTN
Emmitt HechtmanNorthbrookILJudah Vallejo-McCannCleveland HeightsOH
Sam KlineChicagoILJaden WalkowiakThousand OaksCA
Pierson LipschultzRiver ForestILOwen YoffeLouisvilleKY
Milo LopezTempeAZ


Abbott ArthurColumbusOHNathan LibermanMequonWI
Arlo ArthurColumbusOHAbram LopezTempeAZ
Klay BaronMiddletonWIAidan McConvilleDes PeresMO
Teddy BrownKansas CityMOTeddy MerrittEvanstonIL
Dawson BurnsNeptune BeachFLAvery OppenheimGlencoeIL
Ben EastCheyenneWYAndrew SachsSt LouisMO
Heath EsteppMemphisTNJasper SandelFarmingtonNM
Charlie FalconeiriHinghamMALex SilbermanGlencoeIL
Aaron GepnerMiddletonWIHudson SmithWilmetteIL
Evan GourdjiChicagoILLincoln SmithWilmetteIL
Grady HootenDurangoCORyan StenanderChicagoIL
Leo LeGaultLyonsCOThomas StenanderChicagoIL
Charlie SzotHighland ParkIL

Our invitations to last summer’s staff to return in 2021 have just recently gone out, and we already have some great folks who will be back again.

Even though it’s only December, we have a great group of returning staff to tell you about. Welcome back to:


This is going to be summer number 4 for Will. He will be joining our great group of Junior Counselors. You’ll see him all around camp, helping out at Skiing, Lacrosse, and Basketball. He is 17 years old and a Junior at Evanston Township High School. Something you may not know about Will: “I have two dogs who I like to spend time with.”


You may recognize Joey from his time at camp as a camper, but he is back this summer for his first year on staff! Joey will be 19 this summer and is a Freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. He has started playing on the Tulane Club Lacrosse Team, although they aren’t yet able to play other schools. Joey will be a Cabin Counselor helping out at Water Skiing, Weights, and Floor Hockey this summer. Something you may not know about Joey: “I have a twin brother who used to go to camp with me, both of our pictures are up in Navajo.”
EMILIO RODRIGUEZ After a couple years off from camp as a camper, Emilio is now joining us on staff as a Cabin Counselor and will be in charge of our Mountain Biking program. He will be 19 this summer and is studying Computer Science at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Puebla, Mexico. It is great to have Emilio back at camp! Something you may not know about Emilio: “I love playing video games, especially Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Sadly none of my friends play so I am yet to find someone who can give me a good fight, I am currently suffering from my greatness, waiting for someone to match my power. Maybe some day…”
JAVIER VALLEJO Javier is coming back for his 8th summer at camp! He is 18 years old and will be a Junior Counselor helping out with our Sailing Program. After camp he will be starting school at the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences to study Music Production and Recording Arts in Gilbert, Arizona. Something you may not know about Javy: “My favorite color is red and I can’t do a backflip!” Ask him about it.


Jacob is 17 years old and a rising senior at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, TN. This will be summer number 8 for Jacob. He will be a Junior Counselor helping out at Skiing, Rock Climbing, and soccer. 
ALEXANDER ZLOTNIK This will be summer number 12 for Zlotnik! Alexander is 20 years old and a Sophomore at the University of Colorado-Boulder studying Environmental Studies. Alexander has been getting a lot of practice on the ski slopes this off-season, taking advantage of a snow filled winter in Colorado. He will be joining us this summer as a Village Director, helping out at the ski docks along with a number of other areas around camp. 



DIEGO PENAGOS Diego is 19 years old from Puebla, Mexico where he is studying Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla. Diego has a passion for sports and being outdoors! This summer Diego will be a Cabin Counselor as well as Riflery Director and helping out at Mountain Biking. 



Hannah is from Buffalo Grove, IL where she is a Senior at Stevenson High School. She is planning on attending Savannah College of Art and Design in the Fall to study Animation and Creative Writing. This summer she will be capturing all the great moments of camp as our Photographer. Something you may not know about Hannah: “Back when I was at summer camp, I set record on the climbing wall, earning me the nickname ‘Spider-Monkey’”

This is the last post from our Chicago office. Things are getting packed and we are ready to move up to camp!

Benches up,

Sam & Prestin