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A Look at our 2016 Global Community

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Every year, Camp Pinnacle welcomes campers from all over the United States and even the world. So far in 2016, our camper population comes from 16 countries and 35 states!

We love being able to celebrate so much diversity at camp, and we know the campers truly enjoy getting to know others from different cultures and backgrounds. Through our welcoming community and super-fun activities, Camp Pinnacle kids easily find common ground and quickly make great, long-lasting friendships.

Check out the graphic below to see where our 2016 campers come from.

Global community blog 2016 CP 600

Our map may expand as we add our last few campers for the summer. While many of our campers come from North Carolina and the southeastern region, we know how important it is to embrace and expand the breadth of cultural diversity at Camp Pinnacle. Regardless of your native country, state, or tongue, we are so excited to see you this summer!

A Few Words from Chef Richard

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Chef Richard

Chef Richard

Food and chef Richard are a central part of the Camp Pinnacle experience. Chef Richard is completely involved in camp. He joins cabin groups for evening circle, teaches cooking and baking classes with executive director Jane Dockendorf, and when not in the kitchen, can frequently be sighted on the disc golf course or the campfire ring. He knows how important great food is to making the camp experience special. The Pinnacle kitchen is already open, as Richard prepares food for weddings, school groups and other special events held at camp this spring. Below he shares some thoughts on summer 2016:

What I’m excited about: Everything! But mostly I am very excited to see old friends and meet new ones.

One of the many things that’s got me really excited for this summer is at the end of each camp session, our final dinner will be a cookout and beach party barbecue. There are two words to describe this event: yum and fun!

Improving our milk: Who doesn’t like a nice glass of cold milk with dinner? We are partnering with a local dairy, Mills River Creamery, to give us the fresh and wholesome milk healthy campers deserve. This fourth-generation family dairy is just 12 miles from camp. Mills River Creamery’s milk is as close as you will get to “fresh from the cow.” Their milk has been pasteurized, but not homogenized, which means that after it sits undisturbed for a period of time, the cream will rise to the top. We can then skim it off for use in cooking, making fresh butter, baking pies and cakes, or creating other wonderful food!


Mills River Creamery’s pasteurizes their milk in a low-temperature vat instead of the more modern high-temperature flash pasteurization process that has become the standard process in the big commercial dairies over the years. This leaves the milk with an incredible natural flavor and protects many healthy enzymes that make it a healthier product. Using a food service, our milk used to come from Texas; now it’s all from local cows!

What parents should know about the CP kitchen: I am committed to proving meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. We do this by getting the best ingredients we can. We are committed to purchasing local, farm-fresh products whenever available. Our produce comes from the Western Carolina Farmers’ Market, where we use wholesalers to buy all our fruit and vegetables locally and in season. This is more work for us than getting our food unloaded off the Sysco truck or opening a bunch of cans, but we know it is worth it. The smiles on our campers’ faces after a healthy, delicious meal make the extra work worthwhile. And yes, I will share recipes!

What campers should know: We have the best desserts—cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream—around! But you will have to eat your dinner, keep your cabins clean, etc. And we will be doing even more cooking classes this summer. When you come to Pinnacle, make sure you bring a healthy appetite with you!

Counselor Spotlights: Rachele Harvey & Wyatt West

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Name: Rachele Harvey

Where do you go to college? I graduated from University of Florida in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.

Years at Camp Pinnacle: This will be my fifth, and BEST, summer at Camp Pinnacle!

What is your role at Camp Pinnacle? I’m the head of girls’ camp, so my role is to make sure every female camper has the best summer of her life!

What do you do when you’re not working at camp? I just returned from Rome, Italy, where I was enrolled in an emergent program, studying Italian language and culture. I also recently visited the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando and, of course, it was magical.

What’s your favorite adventure been? This past holiday season, I traveled to New Zealand with my parents. It was absolutely breathtaking. My favorite experience was hiking the Tongariro Volcano (the volcano from Lord of the Rings). It was 11.5 miles and very windy, but easily the most beautiful view I have ever seen.

What is your favorite camp song? Ra Ra for Pinnacle!

Tell us a cool fact about yourself. I can speak cat.

Where would you like to go on your next adventure? Iceland to see the northern lights.

Why did you decide to return to Camp Pinnacle? It’s my home. I love Camp Pinnacle more than I love most things. There isn’t another place I would rather be, and I absolutely cannot wait to share the summer with more than 600 campers!

What are you most excited about for the summer? Making new friends! I am excited to see returning faces and cannot wait to meet new campers—it’s going to be another great summer of fun and friendship!


Wyatt West

What do you do when you’re not working at camp? I’m a full-time student at Ohio State University, majoring in history with minors in geography and city and regional planning. While I’m not busy with school, I enjoy listening to music, watching and playing soccer, and hiking.

Years at Camp Pinnacle: This is my second summer.

Why did you choose to work at camp? I did the Alaska Expedition for Adventure Treks going into my senior year of high school. It was an amazing experience, and I really enjoyed the Adventure Treks philosophy. Camp Pinnacle shares that philosophy, and I knew I would love working in this part of the country with amazing campers.

What has been your favorite traveling experience? Traveling through Europe in May 2015!

What is something that you are proud of? This past semester, I participated in a huge service project with the Columbus Metropolitan Library Driving Park Branch. A partner and I built a map board game that taught the kids at the Homework Help Center about the electoral college, and they loved it! Definitely the highpoint of my semester.

Tell us a cool fact about yourself. I’ve been to 12 national parks, and I have an identical twin brother who will also be working at camp this summer.

Where would you like to go on your next adventure? I would not mind going back to Europe! But for something new, Asia would be intriguing.

What are you most excited about for the summer? Getting to meet all the great new campers and seeing all the awesome returners!