One of the greatest gifts of the summer camp experience is the opportunity for children to form relationships with impressive role models who will be remembered forever. This summer, we are bringing together some of the best young leaders from around the country to be exceptional role models for your children. We’ll have close to fifty leaders who will hail from 36 colleges and 21 different states. We all share one goal: To give our Camp Pinnacle campers the experience of a lifetime.
As the Assistant Director, one of my main focuses throughout the year is keeping up with our returning staff and spearheading our interview process for new staff. We have an extensive hiring process that includes three separate interviews in order to allow us to really get to know our applicants. This is followed by three reference checks and a complete background check. When assembling our counselor team, we look for a group of well-rounded counselors who have a passion for working with kids. We have partnered with these staff because of our belief in their ability to focus on safety, to be positive role models, and to best facilitate our camper’s personal growth and fun. As a staff, we work with our campers to create an emotionally and physically safe environment where everyone can grow and become their best selves.
I could not be more excited to share details about our 2015 Pinnacle Staff team!
Rachele Harvey will be joining us for her fourth summer at Camp Pinnacle as the head counselor for Girls’ Camp. She has recently graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in International Studies and minors in Italian and Anthropology. Rachele spent part of her winter in Peru and the Galapagos, hiking Machu Picchu and swimming with sea lions.
Carson Gernert will be the head counselor for Boys’ Camp. Like Rachele, he has been with us since 2012 when we reopened Camp Pinnacle. Carson is graduating from the College of Charleston this May with a degree in Business and Finance. He spent part of his winter traveling across southeast Asia, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Jasmine Siemer-Dunbar and Andrew Buckless assist our Outdoor Director, Hoyle Adams in leading our outdoor programs. Both are returning for their third summer at camp. Jasmine is graduating from the University of Redlands in California, summa cum laude, with an emphasis in Integrative Psychology. Andrew, aka “Bucky”, is receiving his degree in Adventure Education from Plymouth State University. Bucky spent his winter climbing his way through Spain and Jasmine recently spent a semester in Indonesia.
Charlie Kendrick, our alumni director, will be returning for his 30th+ summer at Pinnacle to assist in our ongoing program improvement. Former Pinnacle camper Amanda Byrne will be returning to add some fun to our arts and crafts program. Jessica Eblen, a former tennis standout at University of North Carolina–Greensboro and head coach of the Hendersonville High School tennis program, will be returning to lead our tennis program. Ed Majzlik will be back for his fourth summer at the riflery range. Managing a nuclear power plant prior to “retirement” gave Ed the necessary experience to keep the range safe! Our mountain biking program is sure to be a knock-out again this summer under the leadership of Steve Drewry, who will be returning for his second summer. Frank Burch will be joining us as our waterfront director. He spent 10 years at our sister camp, Camp Champions. Frank has recently graduated from LSU with a degree in English.
Richard will be running our kitchen again this summer. (Our returning campers know that Richard = incredible food!) Tom built Richard a test kitchen on property last fall – so he now has a place to hold his cooking classes! Who wants to learn how to bake?
Adam Kleiman will lead our talented group of musicians again this year. Adam spent most of his year with his a cappella group, the Pikers, at Washington University in St Louis. He will be joined by Hunter Tredway, who will be bringing back “the funk” on his bass guitar. Both are excited to share their love of camp songs with new counselors Ben Brown and Liam Arnade-Colwill. Ben plays guitar and recently joined UNC-Asheville’s chamber vocal ensemble. They were even invited to sing at the White House! Liam plays trumpet and recently joined the Yale Symphony Orchestra. A strong music program is one of the keys to an incredible summer, and we are excited to soon be able to hear camp songs reverberating from the dining room and amphitheater.
We could not be more thrilled to have a solid crew of returning counselors. Our returning campers will see many familiar faces! Third-year returners include Hannah McKinley, Wells Jones, Haley Sullivan and Laura Horowitz. They will be joined by rock-star, second-year counselors, Page Nevel, Evan Seklecki, Hunter Tredway, Adam Kleiman, Josh Keener, and Tyler Weller. All have improved their outdoor and leadership skills, and many have recently earned Wilderness First Responder certification.
We have known many of our new counselors for years, as 65% were former students in our Adventure Treks program. Our counselors are currently finishing classes at Yale University, Kenyon College, University of Michigan, UNC–Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, Brown University, Tulane, University of Mississippi, University of Massachusetts, Oberlin, Georgia Tech, Appalachian State, UNC–Asheville, University of Texas, Ohio State, and other great schools.
The anticipation for the summer is growing every day in the Camp Pinnacle office, and we cannot wait for our staff team to finally arrive! We begin with incredible people but then train our staff thoroughly so they can do the best possible job this summer. That’s why Our counselor Orientation is two-weeks long (as long as a camp session.) Staff Orientation begins May 31.
Make sure to check out our counselor page on the web-site around May 15 for a complete list of our 2015 counselors and their biographies.
This is Fayssoux, signing off!