Eliza Aldrich — Wabasso Cabin Staff
Eliza was a camper for six summers and this is her first summer on staff. Eliza is from Briarcliff Manor, New York, and currently attends Colgate University. During high school Eliza played varsity soccer and basketball. In college she intends to be a Psychology major with a minor in Sociology. In her free time, she loves to hang out with friends and spend time outside. What Eliza loves about Songa is the long lasting friendships campers make and their profound experiences on trip.
Izzy Arroyo — Mattagami Cabin Staff
Izzy is from Brooklyn, NY. She’s currently going to Washington University in St. Louis (or just WashU), and absolutely loves it. Right now, she is planning on majoring in a dual program for Math-Computer Science and minoring in Music! In her free time, she loves spending time with friends, watching movies or shows, playing her guitar, and going for walks. She is so excited to be returning back to camp as a counselor this year, especially after years of being a camper.
Lou Beaupre — Mattagami Cabin Staff
Lou was a camper for six summers and has been on staff for two summers. Lou is from Middlebury, VT and attends UNC Asheville. During the school year, she works at an Early Learning Center in the infant room. In her free time, Lou loves to make art, play piano or guitar, and hang out outside! Her favorite part of Songa is being part of such a special community of staff and campers.
Gabriella Begleiter — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
This is Gabby’s second summer on the Songa staff. Prior to being on Staff, she was a Songa Camper for nine summers including Songa Wilderness. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York and currently lives in Medford, Massachusetts. When not not working at Songa, she attends Tufts University where she’s studying Classics. What Gabby loves about Songa is that it is a welcoming environment where girls can be themselves.
Britney Bilodeau – Laundry Staff
This is Britney’s 21st summer on the Songa staff. When not at Songa, she works at Middlebury College. She graduated from PSU in 2009 with a Physical Education degree. She loves spending time outside, exploring nature and seeing sunrises and sunsets, playing softball, kayaking, hiking, biking, snowboarding, mowing her lawn, relaxing in her hammock, and being at peace. What she loves about Songa is the very friendly staff and happy campers. It’s a great place to work!
Meredith Blanchard — Willoughby Tent Staff
Meredith was a camper for seven summers before she went on Wilderness. Meredith is thrilled to return for her second summer on staff. She is from Riverside, Connecticut and attends Harvard College. At school, Meredith enjoys DJ-ing for her college’s radio station and studying mechanical engineering. In her free time, Meredith loves to paint and rollerblade. Meredith never stops talking about camp and is so excited for a rewarding summer where she can watch all of her favorite campers grow (every camper is her favorite!).
Alex Bliss — Wabasso Grove Director, 2nd Month
Alex is returning to camp for her sixth summer. She lives in London, England and works as a primary school teacher. In her free time, Alex loves to explore new places and spend time with friends and family. She can’t wait to be back at camp surrounded by the trees, the lake and all the chipmunks!
John Brodowski — Arts Village Staff, 2nd Month
John Brodowski is from Brandon, Vermont. John received his Masters of Art in Teaching from the Upper Valley Graduate School of Education in 2013 and received a BFA in Painting from Montana State University in 2004. He has been teaching art at Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon, VT since 2016. In his free time, John loves to be with his family, go mountain biking, draw comics, and play chess. He is very excited about being part of the Songa community!
Sofia Brozost — Wabasso Cabin Staff
Sofia Brozost was a camper for seven summers and this is her first summer on staff. Sofia is from Manhattan, New York and attends Bucknell University. During high school and college, Sofia was a day camp counselor and babysitter. In her free time, Sofia loves to read and spend time with her friends and family. What Sofia loves most about Songa is the sense of community and sisterhood she feels as soon as she steps foot onto the camp grounds.
Helena Bryant — Willoughby Tent Staff, 1st Month
This is Helena’s sixth summer on the Songadeewin Staff. She was a camper for eight summers, including Wilderness. She is from Berwyn, Pennsylvania and is currently a theater teacher at her alma mater in Newtown Square, PA. Her favorite part about camp is leading trips and teaching campers how to whitewater canoe. She has been the Head of Drama for a number of years, and loves putting on the weekly Saturday Spectacular; it is what inspired her to become a theater teacher.
Kempley Bryant — Wabasso Grove Director, 1st Month
This is Kempley’s 16th summer on the Songa staff. She currently lives in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. When not working at Songa, she teaches kindergarten at a PreK-12 school outside Philadelphia. What she loves about Songa is the opportunity to work with girls and young women, supporting and cheering them along as they discover their passions and their unique gifts. She also loves sharing her love of sailing, sewing, and singing all while living together in the beauty of the Vermont woods.
Lolo Cappio — Willoughby Grove Director, 1st Month
This summer is Lolo’s 12th on the Songa staff. They live in Waltham, Massachusetts. When not working at Songa, Lolo teaches 6th grade science in Newton, Massachusetts. Their favorite things to do at Songa are to play campfire games and to go on whitewater canoe trips!
Maddie Cochran — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
This is Maddie’s first summer on Songa staff. She was a Songa camper for six years. She is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. When not working at Songa, she attends the University of Vermont where she studies psychology. In her spare time, she loves rock climbing, hiking, spending time in the outdoors and with her friends. What she loves about Songa is the girls supporting girls mentality in everything we do.
Kira Dobson — Camp Nurse, 1st Month
This is Kira’s fifth summer on the Songa staff. She was on the Keewaydin Staff for four summers. Originally from Arroyo Grande, California, Kira currently resides in Oceano where she works as a Home Health nurse and Wound Care Specialist. Her first summer camp experience was at seven years old at a girls’ camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where she stayed for eight weeks!
Fred Dunnington — Driver
2023 is Fred’s 11th year working at Songa. He grew up in Montreal, and moved to Vermont to major in Environmental Studies at UVM. He retired in 2013 from a career in land use planning, the last 32 years as Town Planner in Middlebury, Vermont. When he’s not working at Songa, he and his wife spend their time cruising on Aviva, a 42′ sailboat, in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, and working around their Middlebury home.
Beth Eberly — Camp Nurse
Beth goes by Nurse or Nurse Beth. She has worked as a school nurse at an elementary school in Virginia for eight years and previously she was an emergency room nurse for fifteen years. This is her first time at camp. She loves the outdoors and having fun in the summer while enjoying friends and nature!
Karl Eberly — Driver
This is Karl’s first summer on Staff at Songa. He is originally from New Jersey but currently lives in Manassas, Virginia. Karl has been a high school teacher for 26 years and just recently started driving the athletics teams to their events. He enjoys hiking and fishing with his family in his free time and is looking forward to helping the campers connect with the great outdoors.
Carmen Epstein — Mattagami Grove Director, 1st Month
Carmen never got to be a camper at Songadeewin but was part of its inaugural staff in the summer of 1999. Originally from New York City, Carmen now lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. She attended Rutgers University for her undergraduate degree in Dance and Widener University for her masters in Human Sexuality Education. After teaching many years at many different schools both in New York and in Pennsylvania, she now works independently as a Health Educator. Carmen loves to cook and have dance parties with her family. She is delighted not only to come back to Songa and be on the shores of Dunmore, but also to share the magic of camp with her family.
Annette Franklin — Office Staff, 2nd Month
Annette works for the Keewaydin Foundation year round as Office Manager, and will support the Songa Office this summer. In her free time, Annette is a musician at heart and can be heard all over Vermont, she is also an amazing cook and mother of six. Annette lives in Middlebury, VT with her family.
Karen Freisem — Office Staff
This year will be Karen’s fifth summer as office staff at Songa. Her first summer camp experience was right here on Lake Dunmore many years ago, when her father was on staff at Keewaydin and she was two years old. She grew up in Western Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and has lived in Seattle for many years. She is now retired from working as an instructional consultant for the University of Washington for over 30 years. She loves spending time with her five granddaughters and hiking and skiing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. What Karen loves about Songa is watching the campers develop friendships and self-confidence over the course of the summer while participating in enriching and fun activities that they so clearly love. She also enjoys listening to the owls from her tent at night!
Kat Goodell — Camp Nurse, 2nd Month
This will be Kat’s first summer at Songadeewin! She lives in Putney, Vermont and graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2016. She has worked in long term care, Women’s Health, Home health, Intensive Care, and for the Department of Health through the COVID pandemic. Kat found it to be very exciting to be a part of one of the first COVID vaccine clinics in Vermont. She currently is an elementary school nurse during the school year as well as the school district’s Wellness Coordinator. She absolutely loves empowering students to take charge of their health and wellness. When Kat’s not working, she’s spending every possible minute outside riding dirt bikes, camping, building and gardening. She’s very excited to work at camp this summer!
Tilly Greensit — Wabasso Cabin Staff & Head of Waterfront
This is Tilly’s second summer on the Songa staff. She’s originally from North Yorkshire, England and currently lives in Perth, Western Australia. When not working at Songa, Tilly works as a swimming instructor. In her free time, she loves to go to the beach, read a book, and explore new areas. What Tilly loves about Songa is how connected to nature you are.
Maggie Griffis — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
This is Maggie’s second summer on the Songa staff. She was a Songa camper for six summers. Originally from Mill Valley, California she currently attends Claremont McKenna College in Southern California where she’s studying philosophy and public affairs. Her first summer camp experience was a hiking day camp in Teton National Park. What she loves about Songa is the sense of community made up of unique individuals and the sense of adventure that each day holds.
Jenn Hare — Assistant Camp Director and Nawaiwan Grove Director
Jenn has been on the Songa staff for 15 summers. During the year, she teaches history and theater in the Philadelphia school district. At camp, Jenn loves sailing, canoeing, the Saturday Spectacular, and ice cream sandwiches.
Naty Hernandez — Mattagami Cabin Staff
Natalia comes to Songa from Armenia, Colombia. She is a proficient rock climber and coach with more than ten years of experience. Naty also enjoys practicing soccer, hiking and swimming. This is her first summer at Songa, and she is excited to be at camp.
Rivers Holzmann — Nawaiwan Assistant Director and Cabin Staff
This is River’s fourth summer on the Songa Staff. Prior to being on Staff, Rivers was a Songa camper for six summers. Originally from Ashland, Oregon, Rivers currently lives in Burlington, VT. When not working at Songa, Rivers likes to spend time outside, create art, and cook. What they love about Songa is the opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and frolic in the woods for two months.
Fiona Jenkins — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
Fiona is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is attending Bowdoin College. After high school, she spent a year volunteering and backpacking in Central America and Asia. She loves spending time outside, especially rock climbing and whitewater kayaking, reading, and listening to music. Fiona recently completed her yoga teaching certification. Fiona’s favorite aspect of being a part of the Songa community is the genuine warmth and support everyone has for each other. This summer will be her second summer on staff.
Erin Jinishian — Willoughby Tent Staff
Erin was a camper for three summers and joined the camp staff last summer. Erin is from Menlo Park, California, and attends Santa Barbara City College. In her free time, Erin loves to travel, hike, play soccer, surf, and hangout with her dog. Erin loves working at Songa and sharing her love for the outdoors with her fellow staff and campers!
Therese Jones — Saplings Staff 1st Month, Wabasso Cabin Staff 2nd Month
This is Therese’s first summer on staff at Songa. Therese is from County Westmeath in Ireland and is a student in Dublin City University. She has just completed her second year of the Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education. She hopes to pursue a masters degree in speech therapy following graduation. In her free time, Therese loves to dance, go for walks up the countryside where she lives and spend time with her friends. Therese is so excited to meet the Songa family and hopes everyone has the best summer ever!
Anna Knight — Mattagami Cabin Staff
This summer is Anna’s second summer on the Songadeewin staff, and her 11th on Lake Dunmore. Anna will be a sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles next fall and will continue to study and major in Critical Theory and Social Justice, while minoring in Black Studies. Her favorite part about Songa is connecting with the outdoors in order to stay grounded. She is thrilled to be back on staff for Summer 2023!
Noah Knight — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
Noah was a camper for nine summers, and this is their sixth year on staff. They are from Bedford, Massachusetts and moved to Waltham after graduating from Stanford in 2022; Noah studied English and film studies, and they hope to one day attend graduate school for screenwriting. In the off season, they work on scripts and have a job as a middle school teaching aid. They spend most of their free time walking outside, crocheting, or watching movies. Noah loves to share their love for the outdoors with campers and hopes to inspire greater admiration for nature.
Jenny Koopman — Office Manager
Jenny has worked in the Songa camp office for two summers. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio and recently completed a graduate program specializing in Literacy at St. Michael’s College. Jenny has taught in Mexico, South Dakota, Colorado, and Vermont. In her free time, she loves to play pickleball, hike, and paddleboard. Jenny loves watching Songa staff and girls empowering each other in the outdoors.
Kirsten Leavstrom — Office Staff, 2nd Month
Kirsten works year round in the Development office at the Keewaydin Foundation. She brings her passion for providing children with growth opportunities coupled with her ability to jump into different roles as needed. In her free time, Kirsten enjoys reading, cooking, listening to music and connecting with nature. She lives in Vergennes with her daughters Harper and Elliott and their dog, Tuukka.
Cilla Leng — Arts Village Staff
After she retired from her Keewaydin Foundation job of 14 years, Cilla came to Songa on a part-time basis to teach sewing in the morning activity program. It gives her great satisfaction to teach campers to create interesting and useful projects as they learn to use a sewing machine. Cilla is delighted to see the satisfied faces and smiles of the girls when they have created something that really pleases them. She is a long-time resident of Middlebury, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!
Rose Lindsay — Wabasso Cabin Staff
This is Rose’s second year at Songadeewin. When she’s not at camp, Rose spends her time in Scotland where she studies at Stirling University. She enjoys hiking and playing rugby in her free time. Rose’s favorite thing about Songa is seeing the campers being themselves and enjoying being free out in nature.
Nancy Ludeau — Camp Nurse
This is Nancy’s first summer as a camp nurse. She was a girl scout for 12 years and loves camping and the outdoors. She worked for 33 years as a floor nurse in cardiology. Currently, Nancy is retired and looking forward to working at Songadeewin.
Sarah Lynn — Driver & General Staff
This is Sarah’s 23rd summer on the Songa staff. She’s originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and has a BS in Forestry from Colorado State University. Sarah and her husband lived in Kansas for five years and then moved to Middlebury, where they raised three daughters. After teaching elementary school for 28 years, Sarah retired in 2019. She now helps care for her four grandchildren as needed and stays active with racket sports. Sarah’s first summer camp experience was at age nine and she has been a camper at heart ever since.
Allie MacDonald — Wabasso Cabin Staff 1st Month, Saplings Staff 2nd Month
This is Allie’s first summer on staff. Allie is from Oakland, California and currently attends Merritt Community College. Starting in her senior year of high-school, Allie began working as a Swim Instructor and Lifeguard at the Claremont Club and Spa, a Fairmont Hotel. In her free time, Allie loves to dance, babysit, read, cook and help others in any way that she can. Allie enjoys working with kids, teaching them new skills and encouraging kids to learn new ways to help them be safe in the water.
Saheedah Majolagbe — Mattagami Cabin Staff
Saheedah was a camper for three summers and this will be her first year on staff. She’s from New York City and currently enrolled in Long Island University. During high school, Saheedah was a director in the theater program for two years and student council for all four years. In her free time, she likes going rock climbing, hanging out with friends, and going to the gym. Saheedah loves everything that Songa stands for and can’t wait to embark on this journey with fellow staff members while getting to know the campers this summer.
Nancy Margolin — Head of Wangan Room
This is Nancy’s 11th summer on the Songa staff. She was a camper at the ‘old’ Songa on Lake Willoughby in the 1960s and a Songa parent when her daughters were campers here on Lake Dunmore. Prior to being on staff, she was a school librarian in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she now spends her time volunteering, gardening, trail running, and doing other retired person activities! What Nancy loves about Songa is seeing girls and young women trying new activities and acquiring new skills.
Chloe Martelon — Mattagami Cabin Staff
This is Chloe’s second summer on Songa’s staff. Chloe is from Telluride, Colorado and attends the University of Vermont. Chloe studies Parks, Recreation, and Tourism and loves to ski, play badminton, and spend time outdoors. Chloe loves Songa because it is such an empowering and uplifting environment for campers to grow!
Drew McDowell — General Staff
Drew is spending his second summer at Songadeewin and first year on staff. For the past year, he has supported his family making a big move and life transition to Middlebury, Lake Dunmore, and the Keewaydin way. With over twenty-five years of experience in education centered on experiential learning, career counseling, and organizational development, Drew is excited to play the role of husband, dad, and partner to the new director of Songa. Drew is the founder and practice leader at Sounding Line Career & Educational Counseling.
Lauren McDowell — Camp Director
This is Lauren’s second summer at Songadeewin. She hails from Worcester, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Washington and Lee University. Before coming to Songa, Lauren lived and worked in southern Vermont for 21 years where she created and directed summer programs abroad for middle and high schoolers focused on service and culture. She and her family live in Middlebury, VT. Lauren enjoys hiking with her dog, soaking up Vermont’s seasonal extremes, speaking Spanish, being a mom to her three kids, and traveling.
Elena McGahey — Program Director
This year marks Laney’s fourth summer on Songa’s staff, and her 11th at Songadeewin. She lives in New York City, where she works as a tutor and ADHD Coach. She’s originally from San Francisco, California. At camp, she loves paddleboarding, ceramics, nature activities, yoga, the Saturday Spectacular, Running Club, and Sandwich Bar.
Annika McGraw — Wilderness Trip Leader
This is Annika’s seventh summer on the Songa staff. She was a Songa camper for eight summers. She’s originally from Boston, Massachusetts and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. When not working at Songa, Annika attends Harvard Extension School. What she loves about Songa is the connections that are fostered among girls and women from so many different walks of life.
Sophie Melvin — Mattagami Cabin Staff
Sophie is a second year staff from Glasgow, Scotland. When at home, Sophie is an assistant manager in a retail food store. During her free time, Sophie loves to read and go on long walks. Songa is a place Sophie feels safe and confident to be herself and be close to nature.
Liz Miles — Nature Staff, 1st Month
This is Liz’s fifth summer on the Songa staff — her first being 20 years ago when she was in college and the subsequent four have been since 2020. She now has three daughters who call camp home for the summer while Liz primarily teaches Nature. She has a background in science and outdoor education and lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Songa continues to call Liz back as she cherishes the time spent around campfires, happy faces, and joyful music.
Stuart Miles — General Staff, 1st Month
Stuart is the father of three Songa campers, and will be living on campus with his wife Liz and helping out with activities in the first month. He is from Barnardsville, North Carolina and works remotely for Jupiter Ed, an EdTech platform. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and exploring back roads. He loves how Songa inspires confidence and a love of outdoors in girls.
Claire Misko — Arts Village Staff
Claire was a camper at the original Songa on Lake Willoughby in the early 70’s. She returned in 2012 and has been on staff for ten years. She lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania and brings her experience of teaching middle school art to the Arts Village. In her free time she teaches yoga, cooks, knits and loves to garden. Her favorite things about camp are being outside, helping girls find their individual strength and confidence and to play!
Rebecca Modell — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
This is Rebecca’s third summer on the Songa staff. Prior to being on staff, she was a Songa Camper for six summers. She’s originally from Wayne, Pennsylvania and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. When she’s not working at Songa, she attends Boston University in where she studiesHealth Science. Her favorite ice cream flavor is rocky road!
Kelsey Monet — Wabasso Cabin Staff
This is Kelsey’s second summer as Songa staff. She’s from Jersey Channel Islands, UK where she is busy studying for her Master’s in Youth and Community work. Her favorite thing to do is swimming or being active, and she loves campfires under the sunset.
Daniela Morales — Saplings Staff
Joining us from Mexico, Daniela was part of the Saplings program last year and is excited to be at Songa again this summer. She enjoys outdoor activities, all kinds of arts and crafts, and baking. She enjoys being and playing with children, both inside and outside of the classroom. Daniela can’t wait to be back on Lake Dunmore this summer.
Nicole Murillo — Mattagami Cabin Staff
This is Nicole’s first summer on staff. Nicole is from Armenia, Quindío, Colombia, and she recently finished her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Universidad del Quindío. During high school, Nicole was a Colombia Scout’s association member. In her free time, Nicole loves to go hiking, photograph, and take yoga lessons. What she loves about Songa is the opportunity to disconnect from the city and connect with strong women, girls, and nature!
Rebecca Olson — Mattagami Cabin Staff
Rebecca is from Essex, United Kingdom and this is her second summer on staff. She’s currently studying for her BSc in Biology at the University of York. In her free time, Rebecca loves traveling to other countries, rowing, and knitting. She can’t wait to be back at Songa and take campers on trips!
Abby Opar — Mattagami Grove Director, 2nd Month
This summer will be Abby’s fifteenth working at Songadeewin. She has worked in every Grove and is thrilled to be the second month Director of Mattagami— where she has spent the most of her summers at Songa. Abby is a 6th grade ELA teacher and lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts with her family. She and her husband, Matt, have three daughters — Deirdre who is three and the twins, Phoebe and Josie, who are one. They also have two dogs and a cat and love their very busy household! Abby grew up in Vermont and is always so happy to return for summers on Lake Dunmore — canoeing, hiking, Saturday Spectaculars, Campfires and more!
Mariel Park – Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
This is Mariel’s second summer on the Songadeewin staff. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, she currently attends Virginia Tech, where she is studying history and Mandarin. She loves to cook for friends and spend time outdoors. Mariel’s favorite things about Songa are the genuine friendships she’s made and the opportunity to teach the next generation about the beauty of our world.
Steph Patch — Activity Staff
2023 will be Steph’s 20th summer on staff at Songa. She was a camper at Songadeewin for four years when it first opened back in 1999. She’s from Asheville, North Carolina. When Steph’s not at Songa, she teaches elementary school in a rural school outside of Asheville. Her favorite thing about camp is the sound of girls singing their hearts out and feeling free to be themselves.
Candelaria Perez — Wabasso Cabin Staff
Candelaria is from Armenia, Colombia, and she is very excited to be joining Songa’s staff for the first time this summer. She is an outgoing, friendly and hard-working person. She was a Colobia Scout for almost 12 years and is currently a business administrator. Candelaria loves camping and working with children.
Ava Plachter — Willoughby Tent Staff
Ava was a camper for six summers and this is her first summer on staff. Ava is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will be attending Penn State University in the Fall. After high school, Ava took a gap year working and traveling in the United States and Central America, and studying for her Pilot’s License. In her free time, Ava loves to play guitar, hike, and cook. For Ava, nothing beats being on Dunmore sharing the Songa spirit with others, and she couldn’t be more excited for this season!
Em Plotkin — Willoughby Tent Staff
This will be Em’s third summer on the Songa staff, and before that she grew up coming to camp on Lake Dunmore for six years. Em is from Dobbs Ferry, New York and will be moving to Boston, Massachusetts at the end of the summer. In her free time, she loves listening to music and making it, exploring new art forms, and spending time outdoors and with friends. Em can’t wait to be out on the water in a green canoe again!
Olivia Primeaux — Willoughby Assistant Grove Director 1st Month, Grove Director 2nd Month
Olivia was a camper for nine years and has been on staff for six summers. Olivia is from New Orleans and attended Washington University in St. Louis. Now she lives in Boston with a friend she made working at camp her second summer. Olivia has spent the last few years working in grant administration but is starting her career as a teacher at the Shady Hill teacher training program in the Fall. In her free time, she likes cooking, roller skating, and hiking. Olivia’s favorite things about camp are living in the shadow of Moosalamoo and getting to see campers grow and bond over the course of the summer.
Jon Pryor — Driver
Jon is a retired forester and maple sugar maker. He graduated from UMass with a degree in Forest Management. This is his second year driving for Songa.
Tony Rifelj — Driver
Tony is a retired accountant living in Middlebury, Vermont who enjoys driving and being outdoors. This is his third season driving for Songa.
Kailah Russell — Wabasso Assistant Grove Director and Cabin Staff
Kailah is from the Bronx, New York and was a Songa camper for 5 years. This will be her 6th summer on staff, and she feels like she has spent her whole life at Songa. When Kailah is not at camp, she is a nanny. In her free time, she likes to read or go for a walk around the neighborhood. What Kailah loves about working at Songa is helping campers love being outdoors as much as she does.
Julia Shaw — Wabasso Cabin Staff
Julia was a Songa camper for seven summers and this is her first year on the staff. She is from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will be graduating from Cambridge Rindge and Latin this June. She is moving to Pittsburgh in the fall to attend Carnegie Mellon University, where she plans to study computer science and math. Her favorite part about Songa is being able to get away from the city for the summer and spend more time outdoors. She loved her time as a camper and can’t wait to return to the staff.
Kate Somerset — Arts Village Staff, 2nd Month
Kate has spent many summers on Lake Dunmore and is excited to assist this summer at Songadeewin with Arts and Crafts and Fiber Arts during our second month of camp.
Brian Trask — Driver
Brian and his wife have lived in Brandon, Vermont since 1973. They have two grown children, nine grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He grew up in Maine, served two years in the Army, and worked as a service tech for IBM until 1980, when he started his own office machine business. In 1995, he began driving tractor trailers. He “retired” in 2012, and then began driving the city bus in Rutland, Vermont and driving part time for a local business. Brian is interested in most anything mechanical, and enjoys woodworking. He has a private pilot license, and has owned several motorcycles. This will be his first year driving for Songa. He is looking forward to helping provide a safe and fun summer camping experience and making happy memories that will last a lifetime.
Jecca Turner — Office and Store Staff, 1st Month
Jecca is thrilled to be at Songa for her first summer. During her childhood, she spent summers at Camp Waukeela in New Hampshire where she experienced the magic and power of camp. Jecca is from Putney, Vermont, attended Bryn Mawr College, and currently works as a math teacher and tutor during the school year. In her free time, she runs around after her two sons, x-country skis in the woods, and paddles her solo canoe down the Connecticut River. Jecca feels that life is meant to be lived outside and is grateful to the Songa community for welcoming her this summer.
Vanna Vinser — Mattagami Assistant Grove Director and Cabin Staff
This is Vanna’s seventh summer on the Songa staff. She is from Zagreb, Croatia where she works in different fields of kinesiology. In her free time, she loves to work out, hike, bike, or travel. What Vanna loves about Songa is the community and all the activities that can be done in its beautiful natural surroundings.
Ainsley Vyse — Wabasso Cabin Staff
This is Ainsley’s first summer on staff at Songadeewin. She is from Glastonbury, Connecticut and attends UTICA University in upstate New York where she is studying psych child life and is on the swim and water polo teams for Utica. In her free time, she likes to swim, hang out with friends, and go for bike rides. Ainsley loves working with kids because she gets to be a role model and someone they look up to and because she is able to bring out her inner child.
Aven Williams — Willoughby Assistant Director 2nd Month and Tent Staff
Aven is a proud Vermonter, and this is her fifth summer on staff! Last spring, she graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in literature. This past year, Aven worked as a writing fellow at Al-Quds Bard College in the West Bank. In her free time she enjoys biking, hiking, and reading. Aven’s counting down the days until she’s back at Songa, soaking up another summer in the woods.
Hannah-Jane Wilson — Wilderness Trip Leader
This is HJ’s fifth summer on the Songa Staff! She’s from Durham, New Hampshire where she’s finishing her senior year at UNH studying Recreation Management and Policy with a focus in Outdoor Leadership and Management. What HJ loves about Songa is all the Songa sisters who support and love her from Dunmore and beyond!
Omalina Wolfe — Nawaiwan Cabin Staff
Omi was a camper at Songa for five summers. Keewaydin and Songadeewin have been a tradition in her family; relatives going all the way back to her grandmother have all been campers and staff at both camps. She is a hippy dippy gal from Los Angeles, California, who spends the majority of her time outdoors and in the water. She is going into her sophomore year at Syracuse University in the fall where she is majoring in Human Development and Family Science, and minoring in Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies. Omi has been a dancer all her life. If you see her walking around, she is most likely dancing and wearing bright colors. She is excited to be on the other side of things as a first year staff at Songa. She cannot wait for a summer back at this home.
Pat Wood — Driver
This is Pat’s second summer driving trips for Songa. She’s originally from Brandon, Vermont and grew up on the vegetable farm that supplied corn for the Songa corn roasts! Pat retired in 2022 from a career as an engineer, moved back home to Vermont, and now lives on Lake Dunmore. She works several part time jobs doing things that allow her to give back to the wonderful community where she grew up. Pat’s first camp experience was the Vermont State Conservation Camp on Lake Bomoseen. She loves about Songa is a place where kids who might otherwise never get to experience the outdoors can do so.
Lelia Yerxa — Head of Tripping
This is Lelia’s 19th summer on the Songadeewin staff. When she’s not working at Songa, she teaches elementary school in Seattle, where she grew up and now lives with her partner and three daughters. What Lelia loves about Songa is the trips – opportunities to spend time with amazing and supportive people in the beautiful outdoors!
Eme Zelis — Willoughby Tent Staff
Eme was a camper for five summers and this is her second year on staff. She grew up in Brandon, Vermont and loves spending time outdoors. Eme is attending New England College and is majoring in Outdoor Education with the intention of turning her love of the outdoors into a career. In her free time, Eme likes to draw, read, and practice violin.