Staff Profiles

Jon Allberry

Activities: Head Cook
Years at BRC: 5
Hometown: Canton, MA
Cabin: Albert’s
Certifications: Serve Safe
Education: Bridgewater College ’76 (Biology)
Favorite outdoor activity: hiking
Favorite indoor activity: playing cards
Favorite snack: peanut butter filled pretzels
Proudest accomplishment: owned and operated three restaurants
Spirit animal: castor Canadensis (beaver)
The weirdest thing I’ve ever seen is … the predawn sky in Florida after the Cassini Rocket launch

Jon hails from Sarasota, FL where he has been cooking and baking for years. With family in Poland, ME, Jon decided to come to Birch Rock a few summers ago and help us out by cooking many of our dinner meals. After two summers in the kitchen, he is now the Head Cook, and the community is looking forward to whipping up some new food and old favorite this summer.

Tim Bigonski

Activities: Dishwasher
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Albany, ME

Tim is an incoming freshman at Fryeburg Academy and is working his first summer in the Birch Rock kitchen. When not feeding the Hobart and drying off dishes, he enjoys riding his bike around the woods and hanging out with his parakeet named Blue. He also has two cats and five dogs and likes to rock out to Panic! At the Disco.

Peter Brewster

Activities: Basketball, Tennis & Swimming
Years at BRC: 8
Hometown: Concord, NH
Cabin: Chipmunk Hole
Certifications: Lifeguard
Favorite outdoor activity: Super Knockout
Favorite tree: palm
Greatest fear: cold cuts on Pizza Friday
Spirit animal: alces alces Maineus (Maine moose)
The meaning of life is … coming back to Birch Rock every summer.

Peter is happy to be back for his eighth summer at Birch Rock and his second on staff. He just finished his junior year at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, where he participates on the basketball and tennis teams and is active in the art program. His medium of choice is film photography and especially likes shooting landscapes in black-and-white and developing his own photos in a dark room. At home he has a three-year-old black lab named Bean.

Jacob Brophy

Activities: Kitchen
Years Experience: 3
Hometown: Norway, ME

An avid reader, Jacob is excited to be part of Paul’s hard working kitchen staff this season, keeping those dishes and floors spic-and-span all summer long.

Mike Bryer

Activities: Cook
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Newport, RI
Cabin: Yurt
Certifications: Serve Safe
Education: Oxford Hills Regional HS
Favorite outdoor activity: gardening
Favorite indoor activity: watching movies
Favorite tree: pine
My future aspirations are to … be the best father I can be.

Mike got his start in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at an Italian-Guatamelan diner in his hometown and has worked his way up to be a cook here in Maine, where he has lived for the past 25 years. In the off-season he works at Sunday River in Bethel and spends time with his three-year-old daughter whenever he can. His favorite dish to prepare is baked stuffed shrimp, which we hope to taste sometime this summer. He’s looking forward to meeting lots of new people and learning more about cooking from chefs Jon and George.

William Christenfeld

Activities: Soccer, Nature & Campcraft
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Easton, NY
Cabin: Tourmaline
Education: Harvard ‘20
Pets: Winston & Molly (dogs); Seamus & Langston (cats); Eleanor & Franklin (donkeys)
Favorite outdoor activity: skiing
Favorite indoor activity: silent contemplation
Favorite snack: Fruit by the Foot
Greatest fear: hitting my ankle with a Razor scooter
Spirit animal: tapirus (tapir)

Will comes to Birch Rock courtesy of high school friend and classmate Gordon Hargraves, both of whom just graduated from Middlesex School. He enjoys both playing sports and being outdoors, so he expects to fit right in here. One time he ate a really big hamburger – like, well above average size. And he also claims to have seen a duck being struck by lightning. At any rate, he’s a swell guy and is looking forward to having a great time with a great group of boys.

Chris Cogswell

Activities: Trip Leader
Years at BRC: 10
Hometown: Victor, ID
Cabin: Pat’s
Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & Maine Trip Leader
Education: Williams College ’14 (Economics & Chinese)
Favorite outdoor activity: backcountry skiing
Favorite indoor activity: sleeping
Greatest fear: sharks in Lake McWain
Spirit animal: macaca fascicularis (monkey)
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is … making the Trip program great.

Known for his high energy, Chris is a second generation Birch Rocker (and cousin of Head Counselor Bob Donahue) who has returned for another tour of duty as Trip Leader. Back in the day he enjoyed trips, campcraft, pre-bedtime hill sprints, and swimming, where he retains the record for the youngest Seal ever swum and the 3rd fastest Whale. Originally from Chicagoland, Chris graduated from Williams College in 2014 with degrees in Economics and Chinese, and his passion for the outdoors has led him to the adventuring mecca of Victor, Idaho, in the shadow of the Tetons. In addition to working in a mountain equipment shop and skiing, hiking, running and mountain biking, he aspires to form his own backcountry tour guiding business.

Mike "Mystro" Davis

Activities: Office Manager
Years Experience: 8
Hometown: Auburn, ME
Cabin: Lion's Den

The Mystro returns to Birch Rock Camp for part of this season as the Office Manager, and will again be seen on the rifle range and initiating a bit of music around camp. In the off-season he serves as Principal of The Walton School in Auburn, Maine. His wife Sue and two sons Nick and Caleb are excited to return to Birch Rock in 2015.

Sue Davis

Activities: Office Manager
Years at BRC: 8
Hometown: Auburn, ME
Cabin: Lion's Den
Education: University of Southern Maine ’11 (M.S. Education)
Favorite vacation spot: Myrtle Beach, SC

Sue returns to the BRC community for her 8th summer as the Office Manager, running the camp store and being the camp mother. If you call Birch Rock during the day odds are that she will be the first to pick up. In the off season she is a school counselor at Fairview Elementary School in Auburn.

Rich Deering

Activities: Alumni & Community Director
Years at BRC: 45
Hometown: South Portland, ME
Cabin: Onie’s
Certifications: American Camp Association Visitor, EMR & Real Estate Broker
Education: Colby College ’86 (Sociology) & Univ. of Southern Maine ’94 (M.S.)
Favorite outdoor activities: skiing & bicycling
Favorite snack: salty snacks on the Lodge porch
Spirit animal: otus jolandae (owl)
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is … celebrating 90 years of generating the future of BRC.

Rich started attending Birch Rock at the age of 9. His mother was sure that he would come running home; instead, he signed up for more, and was a camper for 6 summers before matriculating into the staff ranks. He worked his way up from swimming instructor to Waterfront Director to Head Counselor, and, after a few summers off, he returned as the Assistant Director for Brad Smith. He took over as Director in 1995 and held this position until 2001, during which time he used his business acumen to reorganize BRC’s structure. Thanks to him, the camp has never been so strong. A Maine native, he is a graduate of Colby College and the University of Southern Maine where he earned a Masters in Adult Education and Counseling. In his current role Rich is responsible for marketing, alumni development, and external affairs, and helps facilitate the Birch Rock community. A long-time member of the American Camping Association and past President of Maine Youth Camping, he is currently a Realtor with the Buckspan Deering Group at ReMax Shoreline in Portland. Wherever you find Rich be sure that his dog, Bella, is close behind.

Robert Michael "Bob" Donahue

Activities: Head Counselor, Woodshop & Inspection
Years at BRC: 14
Hometown: Geneva, IL
Cabin: Pete’s Palace
Certifications: Lifeguard
Education: University of Illinois ’15 (Mechanical Engineering), 2nd year graduate student
Favorite indoor activity: turning wrenches in the garage
Proudest accomplishment: making the 2015 BRC plaques
Spirit animal: sciuridae (squirrel)
The weirdest thing I’ve ever seen is … a VW Beetle towing a huge two-axle trailer loaded with newspaper bales down I-57.

Bob the Builder is back and beardier than ever for another summer as Head Counselor. In his long, illustrious career as a camper, he excelled in sailing and woodshop, and still proudly displays the model wood airplane he crafted back in the day on his bookshelf at home. Bob loves a nice piece of rough-finished cedar, crediting its durability out in the elements, and his favorite tool is something called a pickle fork. All in all Bob is a swell dude and is once again looking forward to bringing loads of fun and energy to Birch Rock every single day while making sure the cabins are kept squeaky clean. If you want to know how to make your bed properly, Bob will happily give you a free lesson.

Bob Dow

Activities: Nature Specialist
Years at BRC: 6
Hometown: N. Waterford, ME
Cabin: Nature Center

Birch Rock is delighted to welcome back Bob Dow as our Naturalist. We call him "Dancing Owl" due to his incredible wisdom, energy and sheer enthusiasm, and he brings experience, love of the natural world and his outdoor classroom to the boys of BRC. He has a degree in Environmental Studies, teaches and coaches locally in Fryeburg, and has worked at The Environmental Camp. It's great to have Bob back on the BRC team this summer.

Gabriel Dreyer

Activities: Junior Maine Guide program, Trip Leader & Videographer/Camp Historian
Years at BRC: 11
Hometown: New York, NY
Cabin: Owl’s Perch
Certifications: Maine Trip Leader, Wilderness First Aid & Lifeguard
Education: New York University ’16 (History & Documentary Film)
Favorite outdoor activity: chopping wood
Favorite indoor activity: standing in the BRC Kitchen with Don & Janice
Favorite tree: tamarack
Spirit animal: meleagris (wild turkey)

Gabe has run the gamut of camper accomplishments at BRC and is back after a few years away pursuing his passion of filmmaking, which he will be putting to work this summer as the camp videographer and historian. In addition to producing a documentary on BRC’s 90th season, he will once again be heading up the Junior Maine Guide program, which is a rigorous examination of campcraft skills that many attempt but few pass. The weirdest thing he has ever seen is diet tonic water and he enjoys a stiff breeze on Lake McWain while piloting a Sunfish.

Ben Duvall

Activities: Waterfront Director & Swimming
Years at BRC: 8
Hometown: Newton, MA
Cabin: 8
Certifications: Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard & Powerboating
Favorite snack: salted plantains
Proudest accomplishment: being the first to grow a beard in his high school class
Greatest fear: putting on a shoe with a scorpion in it
Spirit animal: canis lupus familiaris weinerus (dachshund)
My future aspiration is to … art direct for a design firm.

An exquisite swimmer in his own right, Ben has ascended to the rank of Waterfront Director after a three-year absence from BRC. While not drilling the campers on the finer points of swimming technique, he enjoys tossing the disc around, driving the Honda Odyssey van named Jackie O. that he recently purchased from Gabe Dreyer, and frolicking about the piney woods with his miniature schnauzer, Rylie. He is looking forward to bathing in sunscreen every day this summer.

Martin Earle

Activities: Mountain Biking
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Walkingtown, Dublin, Ireland
Cabin: Buzzards’ Roost
Certifications: too many to count
Education: 2nd year Sports Science
Pets: Sheba (bichon frise)
Favorite outdoor activity: cycling & water sports
Favorite indoor activity: weightlifting
Favorite snack: gummy bears

Martin joins us from Dublin, Ireland, where he is in university as a sports science major. Quite possibly the strongest guy at BRC, he will be heading up the mountain biking program this summer and leading many an excursion up and down the hill and out into the woods. His favorite tree is the oak, he loves Milan, Italy, and he is looking forward to good food, exercise, disconnecting from technology, and cultural integration while in the states.

Brian Farley

Activities: Trip Leader & MWA
Years at BRC: 2
Hometown: Portland, ME
Cabin: Pat’s
Certifications: Maine Trip Leader, Wilderness First Aid & Small Craft
Education: St. Joseph’s College (Sociology) & University of Southern Maine (M.A. Counseling)
Pets: Rozzie (a perfect 1-year-old Golden doodle)
Favorite outdoor activity: hiking with Rozzie
Favorite indoor activity: spinning with Rozzie
Proudest accomplishment: drinking a gallon of milk in an hour & holding it down
Favorite place visited: Site 15 on Students’ Island
Spirit animal: canis Rozzieus goldendoodleus (Rozzie the Golden doodle)

A native Mainer, Brian grew up in York, earned a Sociology degree at St. Joe’s College in Standish and finished his Master’s in School Counseling from the University of Southern Maine last year. An outdoor enthusiast, he spent many summers at his family’s camp on Long Lake, is big into road cycling, snowshoeing, swimming, riding ATVs, and hiking, and once spent two weeks backpacking along the upper Amazon River in Ecuador. Most recently he has worked as a spin class instructor, loves turkey and dressing, and is a regular at his local Starbucks. He is happy to be back leading trips and MWA, and after the summer he will be returning home to York to be the school counselor in his alma mater.

Steven Feit

Activities: Kayaking & Swimming
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Burbank, CA
Cabin: Buzzards’ Roost
Certifications: Lifeguarding & Kayaking
Education: Rochester Institute of Technology ’17 (Business)
Pets: Cleo (mutt) & Hermione (cat)
Favorite snack: Nature Valley granola bars
Greatest fear: giraffes
Spirit animal: giraffa camelopardalis (giraffe)

Steven got connected to Birch Rock through his college friend, Ben Duvall, with whom he has shared a number of cross-country road trips and nights playing intense games of pinochle. He loves to hike and paddle whenever he can get outside, and when he can’t he enjoys curling up with a good book or going to a Cirque de Soleil show. This summer he is looking forward to getting to know our stellar campers and getting away from the 24-hour news cycle.

Gordon Hargraves

Activities: Bushcraft & Woodshop
Years at BRC: 9
Hometown: Concord, MA
Cabin: Quartz
Certifications: Junior Maine Guide, Lifeguard & Justice of the Peace (online)
Education: Bates College ‘20
Favorite outdoor activity: rowing
Favorite indoor activity: rowing
Greatest fears: Ryan Royalty & pink glitter
Spirit animal: vulpes vulpes (fox)
Proudest accomplishment: the 2015 BRC plaques

Freshly graduated from Middlesex School, Gordo is back for more fun with knives, blades, hatchets and saws as a bushcraft and woodshop instructor. He is fond of the guitar and banjo, either of which may be found in his hands at Campfires once again this summer. Outside of camp he love hanging out with his border collie named India and five unnamed chickens and living in constant fear of falling prey to one of King’s diabolical pranks. He hopes to be a trophy husband someday and can’t wait to see what crazy stuff will come this summer.

Kerry Hewson

Activities: Assistant Camp Nurse
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Negley, OH
Cabin: Brewster Lodge
Certifications: Nursing, Wilderness Advanced First Aid
Education: Wayne State University (BA – Biology & Nursing, MS – Basic Medical Sciences)
Pets: Figaro (cat – Maine coon) & Kailua (dog – mutt)
Favorite outdoor activity: kayaking
Favorite indoor activity: fermenting
Favorite snack: peanut butter chocolate ice cream & blueberry ginger kombucha (separately)
Favorite place visited: Kerry, Ireland
Proudest accomplishment: earning master’s degree in Medical Science
The meaning of life is … being kind.

Kerry is excited to be here at Birch Rock for her first summer as a camp nurse filling in for Cathy a couple of times per week. An Ohio native, she attended college in the Detroit, Michigan, area and now lives in Maine. She is looking forward to getting to know all the campers here as she dispenses meds and attends to the usual scrapes and bruises that accompany boys at play. She hopes to become a nurse anesthetist in the future.

Jasper Jansen

Activities: Windsurfing & Sailing
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Brussels, Belgium
Cabin: Dogpatch
Certifications: all of them (really)
Education: Mater Dei Institute ‘15
Favorite tree: Lebanese cedar
Spirit animal: carcharodon carcharias (great white shark)
The meaning of life is … go with the wind.

A native of The Netherlands, Jasper is a multitalented addition to the Birch Rock staff. He plays the guitar and the piano, windsurfs and sails, and knows how to pick out the best apples. He is most proud of his becoming a certified sailing instructor in Belgium and is looking forward to teaching the ways of the wind on the breezy cool waters of Lake McWain.

Erik Joelsson

Activities: Program Director
Years at BRC: 18
Hometown: South Portland, ME
Cabin: Deneault's Den
Certifications: Lifeguard, Water Safety Instructor, Motorboat Safety, Sailing
Favorite outdoor activity: Swimming Lake McWain & Skiing
Favorite indoor activity: New York Times crossword puzzles
Favorite tree: silver birch
Favorite place visited: Costa Rica
Spirit animal: ramphastos (toucan)
The meaning of life is … being excellent to each other.

Erik was introduced to Birch Rock by his longtime friend Mark Sutherland at the age of 15, and, during his only summer as a camper, he tried to experience everything Birch Rock had to offer. He has never left. After several years of teaching Sailing he became the Waterfront Director in 2007, thus earning the radio handle “Captain Nemo,” and in 2013 he transitioned onto land to become Program Director. When not skiing and conquering crossword puzzles he studies Childhood Education at the University of Southern Maine and dogsits Bella.

Noah Keates

Activities: Campcraft & Lacrosse
Years at BRC: 8
Hometown: Hopkinton, MA
Cabin: Buck’s
Certifications: Junior Maine Guide & Lifeguarding
Education: Bowdoin College ‘20
Pets: Sebastian the turtle
Favorite snack: hummus
Greatest fear: boneless chicken wings
Spirit animal: trippus hippeus furreus (Chris Cogswell)
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is …

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s fire you’ll probably find Noah Keates. He once lit a fire on the bottom of Lake McWain with only a moldy fuzz stick and a piece of lint just to prove that he could. The first of many to come to BRC through the Bancroft School pipeline, Noah became a Junior Maine Guide in 2013, a CIT in 2014 and joined the staff last summer. He enjoys going to coffee shops for tea, spicy tuna sushi, and aspires to become a hockey arena organist.

Oisin Loftus

Activities: Kayaking & Football (soccer)
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Newport, County Mayo, Ireland
Cabin: Eagles’ Nest
Education: University of Galway ’16 (Science)
Pets: Finn, Chip, Bart, & Pippa (terriers)
Favorite outdoor activity: football (soccer)
Favorite indoor activity: watching football (soccer)
Favorite snack: Christmas tree cookies
Spirit animal: canis lupus (wolf)
The meaning of life is … being happy and living as long as possible.

Oisin (pr. Oh-shien) hails from the Emerald Isle, where he just graduated with a science degree with the intention of becoming a teacher in the near future. He is a huge football (soccer) fan and is looking forward to sharing his nifty footie skills with the kids this summer and experience America during and after camp. And you will never catch him wearing socks with sandals.

Eduardo "Lalo" Lopez Sotomayor

Activities: Soccer & Mountain Biking
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Cabin: Owls’ Perch
Education: ITESO ’14 (Communication)
Pets: Nedved (golden retriever)
Favorite tree: bonsai
Favorite place visited: Canada
Spirit animal: carcharhinus (shark)
The meaning of life is … be someone and be happy.

Lalo comes from Guadalajara, Mexico, and is excited to be spending the summer at Birch Rock with the boys of Owls’ Perch and those he will be teaching on the soccer field and on mountain bikes. He is keen on sports journalism and hopes to keep learning and get his masters degree in the near future while keeping touch with his new friends here.

Charlie MacDonald

Activities: Maintenance
Years Experience: 12
Hometown: Waterford, ME

Charlie is a true Maine-uh and is the mechanical genius around these parts. He is the hardest working gent on campus and cannot be stopped. He loves to keep us laughing and is usually busy at work before anyone on camp wakes up.

Mike Mattson

Activities: Camp Director & Professor of Nature Studies
Years at BRC: 34
Hometown: Portland, ME
Cabin: Chief's
Education: 30+ years of summer camping
Pets: Ollie (miniature Australian shepherd) & Percy (mutt)
Favorite outdoor activity: baseball
Favorite tree: the elm at the top of the hill on the Plates’ land
Spirit animals: canis lupus (wolf) & lutra canadensis (otter)
The weirdest thing I’ve ever seen is … Don gumming a brownie
The meaning of life is … look up, laugh, love, and lift

Mike has been a member of the Birch Rock community since he was a young lad of 12. As a camper, his highest honor was getting the 15th Archery badge, an accomplishment that has only been achieved around ten times in the history of Birch Rock. Once on staff, Mike taught many seasons on the field before moving to the waterfront and teaching swimming for many more. He moved up the ranks to Waterfront Director and then Head Counselor, joined Rich Deering as Associate Director for 6 years, and finally became Camp Director in 2002. Mike attended Towson State University in Maryland but feels his primary education in camping comes from a lifetime of leadership in a place he loves and calls home. He is a long-time member of the American Camping Association and his dogs, Oliver and Perseus, are camp staples.

Alyssa Morin

Activities: Kitchen Steward/Dishwasher
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Waterford, ME
Favorite outdoor activity: softball
Favorite indoor activity: softball
Favorite snack: Chex Mix
Greatest fear: snakes
Spirit animal: picidae (woodpecker)

Alyssa is a lifelong resident of Waterford and a senior-to-be at Oxford Hills High School, where she excels at soccer and softball. An avid outdoorswoman, she enjoys hunting deer, turkey and moose, the biggest of which was 800 lbs., and plans to enroll in the Game Warden certification program at Unity College in Maine. She loves country music and hanging out with her dog Tanner.

Don Munn

Activities: Maintenance
Years at BRC: 34
Hometown: Waterford, ME

Don is an icon and legend at Birch Rock where he and his long time love Janice have been working since the ‘80s as caretakers. His wisdom and love for the camp is evident over every square inch of the hillside, which looks better than ever this summer. If you wake up early you might be lucky enough to share a cup of coffee with Don, but you won’t catch him sitting around for long when there’s work to do.

Max Reed

Activities: Mountain Biking & Canoeing
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Falmouth, ME
Cabin: Hornets’ Nest
Education: Boston University ‘21
Pets: Buck (beagle)
Favorite outdoor activity: rowing
Favorite indoor activity: video games
Favorite snack: Twix
Spirit animal: pavo cristatos (peacock)
The meaning of life is … cake.

Max is a local fellow from just down the road apiece and he is thrilled to be spending his first summer out of high school here at Birch Rock. He will be splitting his time between the field and waterfront in his activities while training to be a professional whale watcher whenever he can. Although he has a reputation as a strong debater, having qualified for an international tournament, he is super chill and loves meeting new people and having a good time. After camp he plans to take a globetrotting gap year then start at Boston University.

Cathy Roland

Activities: Camp Nurse
Years at BRC: 14
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Cabin: Brewster Lodge
Education: Arizona State University ’15 (PhD in Nursing & Healthcare Innovation)
Pets: Jinx (cowdog) & Shadow (cat)
Favorite outdoor activity: running & swimming
Favorite indoor activity: knitting
Favorite snack: dates
Favorite place to visit: Arizona

Cathy has been the camp’s nurse and health administrator for 14 seasons. During the winter she works in a middle and high school clinic in Lewiston in addition to teaching pediatric nursing for the University of Southern Maine. A certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, she is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, received her Masters from Arizona State University and earned her PhD from there last summer. Cathy likes to keep moving and will surely be seen biking or kayaking with the boys this summer. Her favorite ice cream flavor is sunscreen.

Jeremy Rosa

Activities: Archery & Riflery
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Apollo Beach, FL
Cabin: Eagles’ Nest
Certifications: Archery & Riflery
Education: University of Tampa ’17 (English Education)
Favorite outdoor activity: eating
Favorite snack: beef jerky
Proudest accomplishment: 2nd place in 8th grade Geography Bee
Spirit animal: delphinus delphis (dolphin)

Originally from Connecticut, Jeremy has joined the BRC team in 2016 to teach shooting sports and lead the gentlemen of Eagles’ Nest. On his way to earning a degree in education, his heart is in teaching and mentoring, and he is looking forward to helping campers prosper into men and make a positive difference in their lives. He is a big fan of the pine tree.

Ryan "The King" Royalty

Activities: Wilderness Director
Years at BRC: 10
Hometown: Boston, MA
Cabin: Kennel
Certifications: Lifeguard, Wilderness First Aid & Maine Trip Leader
Education: UMass-Amherst ’08 (Mathematics)
Favorite outdoor activity: thru-hiking
Favorite indoor activity: board games
Favorite trees: Chinese blossom and willow
Greatest fear: grizzly bears (see Wheeler, Gage)
Proudest accomplishment: completing the Appalachian Trail in 2013
Spirit animal: pogona vitticeps (bearded dragon)
The weirdest thing I’ve ever seen is … Gordon Hargraves (see Hargraves, Gordon)
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is … joining the BRC Decade Club.

Ryan “The King” Royalty is energized about working his ninth summer at Birch Rock Camp and taking charge of the Wilderness Program. A graduate UMass-Amherst and certified Maine Trip Leader, he has worked as a teacher, math tutor, licensed secondary educator, and dog walker. His hobbies include hiking the Appalachian Trail, wearing kilts, and cultivating a magnificent beard, and his favorite trail breakfast is Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a Ziploc bag mixed with water and Carnation Instant Breakfast. The King is looking forward to spending more time on camp this summer in order to instigate more duels with Nerf darts.

Kieran "Squid" Sheldon

Activities: Campcraft
Years at BRC: 4
Hometown: Holden, MA
Cabin: Hilton B
Certifications: Junior Maine Guide
Education: Reed College ‘20
Pets: a Venus flytrap named Susie
Favorite outdoor activity: leading Hiltonites on monster-hunting expeditions in the woods
Favorite indoor activity: Legos. All the Legos.
Favorite place visited: Narnia
Greatest fear: ticks
Spirit animal: octopus vulgaris (octopus)
The meaning of life is … everything is a story.

Kieran is actually a fictional Birch Rock field game character who somehow came to life in the summer of 2013 and has been around ever since, first as a senior camper and CIT and now a fully-fledged counselor. For the past four years he has dazzled the world with his dapper top hat, tree-climbing ability and educating the camp on the many-splendored octopus. After he builds Hilton B into a bastion of joy and adventure, he plans to attend Reed College in Oregon and study creative writing and world

Edward Stafford

Activities: Soccer
Years at BRC: 8
Hometown: Belmont, MA
Cabin: Bees’ Hive
Certifications: Lifeguarding, First Aid/CPR
Education: Belmont High ‘17
Pets: Tiberius & Oberons (Burmese mountain dogs) and Andre (common cat)
Favorite outdoor activity: soccer
Favorite indoor activity: acting & singing
Favorite place visited: Rwanda
Spirit animal: canis lupus (wolf)
Proudest accomplishment: performing at Symphony Hall in Boston

Edward is a longtime standout Birch Rocker and is eager to get his first summer as a staff member underway. He brings a bevy of athletic and performing talent to the hillside and will be found doing a little of everything to bring his boundless energy and enthusiasm to the hillside. He loves meeting new people and teaching them fun new activities and hopes to someday become a materials engineer or stage actor. Or both.

Pamela Stock

Activities: Library & Tutoring
Years at BRC: 19
Hometown: South Paris, ME
Cabin: Allen Kearns Library

We are pleased to welcome back Pam to the Allen Kearns Library and BRC. Pam has worked with us for 19 seasons and is carrying on the longstanding tradition of tutoring those who need a little extra help with math, reading, English as a second language, and study skills. She is a special education teacher with a wealth of experience, certified in elementary education and as a reading specialist. She has taught in the Australian outback, a one room school house in Vermont, a special education school for the learning disabled in Virginia and a grade 4-6 resource setting in Maine. She is now retired and recently went on an epic road trip to numerous National Parks throughout the west.

George Viglakis

Activities: Cook
Years at BRC: 1
Hometown: Salonica, Greece
Certifications: Serve Safe
Pets: Minouche & Lilly (cats)
Favorite outdoor activity: walking the beach in winter
Favorite indoor activity: audiophiling
Favorite place visited: Crete
Spirite animal: columbidae (pigeon)

Born in Greece, George has been in the U.S. for 40 years. He inherited his cooking genes from his mother and has three successful sons. He enjoys movies, books, and a long time ago, in New York, he took some acting lessons from Stella Adler. He is looking forward to being helpful this summer and in the future hopes to successfully market his delicious baklava.

Janice Walker

Activities: Grounds & Landscaping
Years Experience: 31

Janice is Birch Rock’s matriarch and Queen Mother, and what she says goes around here! Her green thumb and Walker riding mower keep camp trimmed and beautiful all summer long. If you want something done correctly, you go to Janice.

Chris "Red" Wallace

Activities: Kitchen
Years at BRC: 2
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Cabin: Yurt
Certifications: Lifeguarding
Pets: a cat named Stormageddon
Spirit animal: vulpes vulpes (red fox)
Proudest accomplishment: saved 3 people from drowning
The meaning of life is … happiness.

Red, a native New Yorker, came to Birch Rock last year via his good friend Curtis Whiting and is bringing his talents to the kitchen this summer. He loves to spend as much time as possible outdoors and exploring the woods wherever he can find them. His favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies with milk, and his future aspirations are to become an electrician and work toward a career as an architect.

Gage Wheeler

Activities: Tennis, Canoeing & Volleyball
Years at BRC: 9
Hometown: Meredith, NH
Cabin: Walker
Certifications: Pending
Education: Drew University ’19 (Political Science)
Pets: Artie (black Labrador) & Klaus (1999 Volvo S70)
Favorite indoor activity: Netflix
Favorite snack: Hot Pockets
Proudest accomplishment: can make minute rice in 58 seconds
Spirit animal: ursus actos horriblis (the grizzly bear from The Revenant)
The meaning of life is … to make the most of it.

Once upon a time in New Hampshire, a spaceship from a distant galaxy crashed into Lake Winnipesaukee and from it emerged a man-child that called himself The Gage. This walking enigma has been baffling and amusing humankind ever since. After graduating high school last spring and bringing the crazy to Bee’s Hive, he loaded up his trusty 1999 Volvo named Klaus and took off for Drew University in the hinterlands of New Jersey. In his spare time he rocks an impressive collection of tank-tops and DJ’s weddings and funeral wakes. He is undefeated at the Frisbee game Kan Jam and his favorite invertebrate is still the starfish.

Jared Whichard

Activities: Kitchen Assistant
Years at BRC: 7
Hometown: Waterford, ME

After four years as a camper and a summer as a CIT in 2014, our friendly neighborhood Jared is assisting John in the kitchen this season, doing everything from hauling boxes to cooking to running the Hobart. He enjoys the perks of being homeschooled, spending eight months out of the year here on the lake, three months back in New Jersey, and a month on the road and at sea. The youngest member of the Waterford Historical Society, he was recently featured on WCSH-TV 6 for his work raising money to send veterans to visit war memorials through the Honor Flight program. He drives a fire-red 2013 Dodge Charger, is a licensed zombie hunter, and has a chocolate standard poodle named Chance.

Curtis Whiting

Activities: Nature & Swimming
Years at BRC: 11
Hometown: New York City, NY
Cabin: Hilton A
Certifications: Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard & Food Handler
Education: BMCC (Agriculture)
Favorite outdoor activity: hiking
Favorite indoor activity: reading
Favorite snack: goldfish (the cracker)|
Spirit animal: micropus giganteus (kangaroo joey)
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is … making sure Nature is the coolest.

Curtis is pumped about being back in Hilton A and sharing the love for nature he developed in his many summers as a camper. He just finished his second year of college in the liberal arts program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and is endeavoring to study Environmental Science in order to become a farmer. He loves all things natural, including everything from honey badgers to Siberian tigers to bees, and is planning to have a variety frogs, crayfish, praying mantises, lake fish, and mussels living down at the Fish Hatchery this summer.

Erika Whitman

Activities: Kitchen Steward/Dishwasher
Years at BRC: 3
Hometown: Norway, ME
Certifications: CPR & First Aid
Education: University of Maine-Farmington ‘20
Favorite outdoor activity: softball
Pets: Della (Australian shepherd/lab mix)
Favorite snack: mac & cheese
Favorite place visited: Disney Wide World of Sports
Proudest accomplishment: watching all 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in a month
Greatest fear: ticks

Working in the Birch Rock kitchen is in Erika’s blood, following in the footsteps of her mother, Patty, and her Grammie Janice, and she has the work ethic to prove it. A new graduate of Oxford Hills High School, she enjoys playing field hockey and just turned in another dominant softball season as a pitcher for the Vikings. Erika is excited to be back for another full summer in the kitchen, after which she will be attending UMaine-Farmington and working toward becoming a Kindergarten teacher.

Russell Wilson

Activities: Field Director, CIT Director, Staff Writer, & Itinerant Trip Leader
Years at BRC: 4
Hometown: Rapid City, SD/Eugene, OR/Gouldbusk, TX
Cabin: Omar’s
Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Archery, School Bus, & FAA Private Pilot
Education: Wayland University ’04 (Phys. Ed.) & University of Oregon ’16 (Journalism)
Favorite outdoor activity: snowboarding at high speeds
Favorite indoor activity: The Weather Channel
Favorite tree: Douglas fir
Spirit animals: vulpes vulpes (red fox) & praireus homeus companioneus (Garrison Keillor)
Proudest accomplishment: getting a free birthday Grand Slam from Denny’s for 16 straight years

“Coach” will once again bring a decade-plus of teaching, coaching, and summer camp experience to the hilltop in addition to heading up the CIT program and leading a trip or two. He loves writing, reading, running, plane-spotting, impromptu road trips, storm chasing, freshly-mowed grass and all things snow-related. Regarding his storytelling, “some things are truer than others, but all things are true enough.” He just earned a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to get established as a reporter and feature writer/editor in the near future.

Ruth Wilson

Activities: Library & Tutoring
Years at BRC: 7
Hometown: Otisfield, ME
Cabin: Allen Kearns Library

Ruth is returning once again to help Pam Stock run the BRC Library. A teacher in the off-season, she is a natural fit to help with both tutoring and the library, enabling us to have an open library on campus 6 days a week. She was instrumental in the creation of the Avid Reader Badge program a few summers ago, which was a HUGE hit! Reading is an important part of our summer, and Ruth pledges to help make sure every camper has a great book or books to enjoy.

Toby Young

Activities: Baseball, BB Guns & Swimming
Years at BRC: 10
Hometown: Burlington, VT
Cabin: Munn
Certifications: Lifeguard, BRC Whale & Advanced Baseball & Riflery badges
Education: University of Vermont ’20 (Undeclared)
Pets: Baxter (golden retriever), Twila (great Pyrenees) & Gerald (giraffe)
Favorite outdoor activity: checkers
Favorite indoor activity: checkers
Favorite place visited: Puerto Rico
Spirit animal: choloepus hoffmani (sloth)
Proudest accomplishment: finally learned how to snap his fingers
Greatest fear: The Man With His Eyes Sewn Shut
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is … Pizza Friday

Toby is an eclectic young chap from the south side of Burlington, Vermont, where he competed on state runners-up hockey and baseball teams in addition to playing the saxophone in jazz band. A fan aficionado, he has installed an art piece consisting of nearly three dozen air circulating devices in the Munn cabin that has received numerous positive reviews. He enjoys a vigorous game of ultimate Frisbee and skiing off-piste in places such as Stowe. He has continuously returned to Birch Rock because of the feeling of belonging here, and will start his college career as a UVM Catamount back in Burlington this fall.

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