"best of both worlds". . .
during the week
AND home with the
family on weekends.
For boys and girls,
2 weeks up to full season
Campers can call home!
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- Programs Operations
With hidden talents like playing the trombone and knowing exactly how to make someone smile, James has been a part of the Campus Kids family for a number of years now and we’re happy to have him at camp. When he isn’t at camp, music fills his life. Whether it's performing, teaching, conducting, or just listening, he can’t get enough! James also has a passion for helping others, taking a special interest in supporting Cystic Fibrosis and creating an annual music event to support and raise awareness.
James chooses to work at Campus Kids because of the people and the atmosphere. He has worked at camp long enough to now see counselors being hired who were campers when he first started working at camp! “They have matured and learned so much over the years. It’s nice to be a part of that growth.” James loves how he can continue to come back to camp and leave every summer learning something new or growing as a person. He thinks kids get so much out of camp that they don’t get in their everyday lives, like building strong interpersonal relationships with peers and adults. “At camp, you’re put in situations where you can grow into the person you want to be without being judged, and then take that person into the real world and feel confident in who you’ve become. Some kids even learn how to clean up after themselves!”
Update: James recently got accepted to the University of South Carolina graduate school program for orchestral conducting. Congratulations!
James is also be co-leading and supporting our staff assistants.
Gemma Schofield - Office Manager
If you’re looking for a friend who geeks out on exercise science journals and loves to talk about food, we think we found your new bestie! Gemma is originally from England and decided to work at Campus Kids a few years ago after her first phone conversation with Tom. She loved the idea of working for an organization that placed a huge emphasis on being yourself, and focused on bringing out each individual in a loving and open environment. “I keep coming back to camp for the same reasons! Camp changed my life in many positive ways, from the bunk meetings, to the fun activities, to the people I worked with and the connections I made.” She believes that camp is an important place that creates positivie connections between peers and role models in a unique environment. Camp allows everyone to reconnect with nature and just have fun. One of the coolest parts of working at CK-NJ for her is how each day is filled with such variety. “The number of activities offered are the same, as is the structure of the schedule. However, the interactions you have with the kids are constantly changing, just like the activities being offered each day are changing. The greatest feeling is seeing a camper try an activity for the first time and then seeing a new confidence develop after one activity period.” Outside of camp, Gemma recently graduated with a degree in Nutrition and loves to put it to good use by cooking delicious and healthy meals. Her favorite food is sushi and she probably eats more than her weight while she’s in America because it’s very hard to come by in the United Kingdom. In her spare time Gemma enjoys staying active by going to the gym and playing squash, and her favorite hobbies are hiking, running, and playing water sports as much as she can. Gemma is also co-leading and supporting our staff assistants.
Ross Clark - Younger Boys Head
At first glance, you might think Harry Styles from One Direction is working at CK-NJ. But if you take a second look, it’s just our very own Campus Kids rock star, Ross! He chose to return for another summer at Campus Kids because of the friends and memories he had made last summer as a counselor. “I’ve never had an experience which has been so life changing like working at camp.” Ross believes kids learn a lot of important life skills from camp like teamwork, independence, friendship and much more. He loves that camp creates a second family for campers and staff members. Campus Kids provides safe place where everyone is free to be themselves. “One of the coolest parts about working at CK-NJ is that my job is to teach and learn from the campers and fellow counselors, and to make sure everyone is just having a good time!” Outside of camp, you can find Ross jamming out on his guitar, going to see live concerts or traveling the world making new friends. He loves to draw and design artwork. His new favorite hobby is talking about camp!
Ross is also co-coordinating the fine arts activities
Chelsea Semeraro - Younger Girls Head
If the camp breakfast buffet wasn’t enough to get Chelsea out of bed in the morning, the chance to try new things and make new friends each day certainly does. “I chose to work at Campus Kids because I love learning new skills. At camp each camper and counselor comes with hobbies and interests they’re willing to teach me.” Camp is important to Chelsea because it allows kids (and staff members) to have new experiences and learn skills in an environment where it's safe to step outside of their comfort zones. One of the coolest parts about working at camp for her is helping kids learn to solve their own problems. “When they are struggling with a problem, I get to be with them, helping them figure out how to handle a situation until the light bulb goes off in their head and we’ve figured out the best solution for them.” In her free time, Chelsea enjoys crafting out of a huge craft box she’s filled with random supplies over the years and also watching HGTV shows like Fixer Upper. Chelsea is a big Disney fan and if she could travel anywhere in the world she would choose Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Once there she would not only experience the amazing culture but to also see the differences between the Disney parks.
Chelsea is also co-coordinating the fine arts activities
Dani DeGraw Middle Girls Head
If you’re looking for someone to play a friendly pick-up game of any sport you can imagine, Dani is your girl! “I chose to work at Campus Kids because of the energy and positivity. It’s hard not to be smiling at camp.” For Dani camp is great because it gives kids more confidence to be themselves and allows them to step out of their comfort zones to find new interests and skills. The coolest part about working at CK-NJ for Dani is having the opportunity to meet awesome people she wouldn’t have met otherwise and find long-lasting friendships. Dani thinks kids get a unique summer experience that allows them to grow as individuals while also having a blast. “I feel that I get an amazing opportunity to be around great kids while being active and playing all the sports I love.” Dani loves how every day at camp is different and comes with new memories that will stay with forever. One of her favorite camp memories involved her bunk group playing a game of sardines in Armstrong-Hipkins (our theater & performing arts center) during a bunk meeting; “the competition was real.” Outside of camp, Dani loves to play ultimate, hang out with friends and go longboarding.
Update: Congrations are in order as well! Dani recently got her first teaching job in Summit, NJ! Those students are lucky ducks!
Dani is also co-coordinating the sports activities.
Andrew Imbalzano- Middle Boys Head Counselor
As strange as it seems that Andrew can still fit into his very first camper t-shirt from 2005, he couldn’t be more excited to break it out for another amazing summer at Campus Kids. “I chose to work at camp because it’s a place that lets kids escape the tedium of their school lives and allows them to learn about themselves as individuals.” He believes camp is important for that reason. Also, because camp teaches kids important skills like how to handle new situations and learn how to work with all different types of individuals. Andrew keeps coming back to camp because he feels it’s truly a place that anyone can be themselves. “Seeing everyone from all the different towns and countries coming together to share their different perspectives and learn from each other’s experiences is really cool.” The best part about camp for Andrew is the lifelong friends he’s made every year since he started coming as a camper in 2005. Outside of camp Andrew is a student of P.P.E.L. (which stands for Politics, Philosophy Economics and War). He enjoys paddle boarding, country music and long walks on the beach… to pick up trash! His favorite memories at camp involve hosting Thursday night talent shows and co-directing a musical last summer. If there was any place Andrew could travel to in the world, it would be Istanbul because it has so much history still left standing to explore.
Andrew is also co-coordinating the performing arts activities.
Naomi Hardy - Older Girls Head
Since leaving camp last summer, Naomi has been counting down the days until she could return to create more camp memories and eat some more of the delicious camp pierogis. Campus Kids is her happy place. If she could be at CK-NJ 24/7, year round, she certainly would. “Camp, to me, is a place where everyone is accepted for being different. It is a place where both campers and staff can become better versions of themselves.” In Naomi’s opinion, the coolest part about working at camp has to be the campers! “Being a part of a bunk group is like being a part of a family. The kids become brothers and sisters and the staff become proud parents. I was definitely proud every time one of my kids tried a new activity or took part in a talent show or play.” She loves how much the campers grow during their time at camp. She loved seeing campers discover friendships that wouldn’t have happened outside of camp or trying new activities they would have never dreamed of trying on their own. The best part about camp for Naomi is the positivity. “Camp is the happiest place on earth and it makes me the happiest person on earth.” Apart from talking about camp, dreaming about camp and counting down the days until she comes back to camp, Naomi has started working at a secondary school (high school) in England. In her free time, Naomi likes to relax by watching some TV shows and playing squash for her local club. The funniest thing to happen to Naomi at camp last summer was when she broke her toe and Jeremy changed her name on the schedule to “Ugly toe”. “This resulted in campers all day asking, Are you Ugly Toe? Can we see it? That’s gross… Thanks Jeremy!”
Naomi is also co-coordinating the performing arts activities.
Brian Zilberberg- Older Boys Head Counselor
We're not sure if it’s his passion for Ro-Sham-Bo (like rock paper scissors) or the Wednesday night barbeque dinner that keeps Brian coming back summer after summer. Whatever the case may be, we’re happy he’s going to be a part of Campus Kids this summer. “I chose to work at Campus Kids because it’s my favorite place in the world! I have been coming to Campus Kids for almost half my life and every summer is its own new and exciting experience.” Brian believes camp teaches you everything you need to know about functioning in life. You learn how to trust yourself, to play and work well with others, and most importantly how to laugh at yourself while enjoying whatever you are doing. For him, the coolest part about working here is that he can still be a kid himself. “I can’t really think of another job in which the primary duty is to make sure that everyone is having fun.” Outside of camp, Brian plays tennis at his university and takes every opportunity he can to try out some new sports like rock climbing or white water rafting. He also has been practicing his foreign language skills by speaking to prospective students or participating in multi-cultural clubs. One place Brian would love to travel to Spain, because Spanish is his favorite language and he would love a chance to be able to practice his speaking skills and learn about the culture first hand. At the end of the day, “There is no place where I’m happier than I am at CK-NJ.”
Brian is also co-coordinating the athletics activities
Nicole Fanelli - Camper Support
Nicole has a passion for traveling the world and experiencing new cultures, even traveling to Peru where she taught children English. After spending the fall living in Spain, she realized she could travel the world but never find another place like Campus Kids. Nicole chooses to work at Camp because she believes in our camp philosophy and is amazed that despite the diversity of the staff members from year to year, the culture of camp always stays constant. “Camp is always a safe, non-judgmental environment that encourages, staff and campers alike, to be true to who they are while continuing to explore new interests.” Nicole believes it's essential for children’s development to have these types of experiences that teach children autonomy and resilience, with caring mentors to support them every step of the way. One of the coolest parts about working at CKNJ for Nicole is witnessing the transformation of the campers as they discover their independence, sometimes for the very first time. “Camp has given me the opportunity to meet people from around the world, who have forever changed my outlook and always being greatly rewarded by the campers and staff I supervise while I watch the magic happen.” Her favorite food is pizza (and specifically the New York/New Jersey style). Outside of camp, Nicole enjoys practicing her Spanish and is just returning from a year long adventure in Spain.
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