The key to the success of our waterfront, is the entire staff. All staff are hired for their training, performance, and teaching skills in a specific waterfront activity. Please scroll through to read about each waterfront department’s staff to learn more about their particular certifications, training and skills.
Eva Nilsson has just the right skill set to manage the waterfront. She is kind, supportive, fun loving and no nonsense. In her native Sweden she is a school superintendent who has the responsibility of running both the schools and preschools in her jurisdiction. On the Brown Ledge waterfront, Eva keeps an eye on the five waterfront departments and supports the twenty senior instructors to make sure that everything runs smoothly and safely. You may find her behind the wheel of the ski boat or you may see her with an ear to the weather radio and an eye on the sky, gauging incoming weather fronts and ready with the air horn to signal an approaching storm. Eva is an athlete; formerly a competitive volleyball player and now active in aerobics and long distance running. Hans Nilsson (see diving) works together with Eva to direct the waterfront.
Santiago Amaya returns for a seventh summer, his fifth on the canoe/kayak dock. Santiago began his BLC career in the kitchen and one evening he was invited to join some other counselors heading out for a paddle. Santiago fell in love with the sport immediately and he became determined to perfect both his paddling and teaching skills. Santiago is from Colombia and he lives in the capital city of Bogota. He graduated from university with a degree in English education and he is now an English teacher and tutor. This year, Santiago teamed with a friend to begin the creation of their own English instruction company.
Noa Cohen grew up in London, England and she has been coming to Brown Ledge since she was 11. Noa was a canoeing and kayaking junior counselor and she received her Vanguard in 2012. She spent her first staff year in the office and she is returning to her home on the canoe and kayak dock for a second summer. Noa has just finished her junior year at the University of Edinburgh where she studies politics. In addition to kayaking on Lake Champlain, Noa has been whitewater kayaking in Scotland and she has led children’s sea kayaking groups in Israel.
New to Brown Ledge this summer is Julia Blanding. Julia grew up in Rochester, New York and she is a rising junior at the University of Vermont where she studies psychology and music. Julia aspires to a career in the field of music therapy. Julia honed her paddling skills at summer camp and she is now a UVM Outing Club canoe instructor and she is certified by the American Canoe Association. Wilderness camping in Vermont and the Adirondacks have helped make nature (and its protection) a priority for Julia.
Andreas Landin returns for a seventh summer on the ski dock. Andreas is currently in his last year as a law student at Uppsala University in his native Sweden. Growing up in a “summer town” that comes alive with water sport enthusiasts encouraged his love of waterskiing, wakeboarding and boating. Sports are an important part of Andreas’s life and he enjoys tennis and running as well as skiing and snowboarding in the Alps. Brown Ledge also allows Andreas to indulge two other passions; teaching and meeting people from around the world.
Christy Harris is from Plymouth, Vermont and this will be her ninth year at Brown Ledge, her third on the senior staff in waterskiing. Christy grew up as a downhill skier and she became passionate about waterskiing at Brown Ledge. Christy is entering her senior year at the University of Vermont where she studies Spanish and English literature. Christy worked in a vineyard in the Spanish Pyrenees and will study in Salamanca, Spain in the fall. Christy volunteers in an ESL (English as a second language) elementary classroom in Burlington.
Ashley Dubois returns to Brown Ledge after a skipped summer. Her home base is Milton, Vermont and she is entering her third year at the University of Vermont. Ashley is majoring in social work and she will be starting a year-long internship in the fall. Ashley was a camper for two summers and she graduated from the JC program in 2012. Ashley is at home on the waterfront; she taught canoeing and kayaking in 2014 and she has been waterskiing on Lake Champlain since the age of eight. Ashley is excited to spend her seventh BLC summer in the waterskiing department.
Kate Pastore also learned to ski on Lake Champlain before coming to Brown Ledge though, unlike Ashley, Kate’s point of contact was the New York side of the lake. Kate may have first learned to get up on skis before her days at camp but she developed a passion for the sport as a camper and during her two summers as a waterskiing JC. Kate returned as a counselor on the ski staff last summer. She has just completed her sophomore year at the University of Vermont where she studies psychology and archeological anthropology.
Many of our diving counselors are “home grown”, learning over the years not only how to execute complicated dives, but how to communicate well to break down all the components of a dive. If a counselor has not been coached at Brown Ledge then he/she has competed at the high school or collegiate level, coaches diving during the off-season, or has a high level gymnastics background with excellent teaching skills.
Hans Nilsson is returning for a 36th summer at Brown Ledge. Hans began coming to camp when he was a college student in the 70s and he has returned almost every summer since. He is a gymnast who was on the Swedish national team and then transferred his gymnastic and coaching skills to the diving board. In his native Sweden, Hans is a school superintendent. Hans also created a ski tourism business many years ago. He coordinates and leads multiple group trips from Sweden to the Alps each winter.
Henley Shull grew up in Berryville, Virginia. She is the third of the Shull sisters to attend Brown Ledge, starting as a camper in 2005 and continuing through to her JC years in 2011 and 2012. Henley was a self- described “diving dock rat.” She spent her two JC years on the dock, and is now beginning her third year as a diving senior counselor. Henley is entering her senior year at the University of Virginia where she focuses on elementary education and psychology. Henley spent this past semester with Semester at Sea, traveling to Asia, Africa, and Europe.
All of our swimming counselors are certified American Red Cross Lifeguards. In service trainings are conducted during pre-camp training, and throughout the summer.
Charlie Smith grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in December where he studied biology and nutrition and he will begin his first year of dental school in August. Charlie worked as a personal trainer while an undergraduate. He has been a lifeguard and has had a variety of other teaching and coaching experiences including giving swim lessons and coaching youth soccer. Charlie is happy to enjoy a reprieve from academic life and to “enjoy the positive and energetic atmosphere that Brown Ledge offers.” `
Sarah Haeckel grew up in Newton, Pennsylvania and she has just completed her first year at Colgate University where she intends to study political science and sociology. Sarah was a swimming junior counselor for two summers and our now annual “Swimming with the Campers” (based on Dancing With the Stars) was Sarah’s brainchild. The melding of dance and synchronized swimming makes sense; Sarah is a dancer as well as a swimmer and when asked about her own dance history, Sarah notes experience in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, and musical theatre. Sarah is also a member of two theatrical groups at Colgate.
Megan Quinn began her Brown Ledge career in 2007 as a camper in Skunk Junction and now she looks forward to her eighth summer at camp, her first on the senior staff. Megan is a certified life guard and she has spent the past two summers lifeguarding at a club near her home in Weston, Connecticut. Megan has completed her freshman year at Boston College where she intends to study psychology. Megan says that field hockey and waterskiing are two other athletic interests.
Charlotte (Lottie) Granger grew up in the small village of Alewas in the Staffordshire area of England and writes, “I love the rural village life.” She has completed her second year at the University of Cumbria where she studies drama. Lottie has extensive experience teaching and caring for children through swim, drama, and girl guides. In swimming, Lottie worked to first dissect and then perfect her strokes in order to be a better instructor, swimmer and competitor.
Sam Walker is here for his first Brown Ledge summer.
Alex Grosvenor grew up in Stowe, Vermont and he attended Brown University where he majored in mechanical engineering and sailed with the Brown University Sailing Team (BUST!). After graduating, Alex moved to San Francisco where he worked as a project manager in two construction firms. Alex has spent the last year traveling in Asia and then working with fellow Brown Ledger, Wayne Banks in a small ski town in Switzerland, “perfecting my French and eating cheese!” We welcome Alex back to the sailing dock after a hiatus of several years.
Samantha Newbery is returning for a second summer on the sailing dock. She comes to us from Carmarthen, a small town in South Wales. Sam has completed her second year at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David where she studies outdoor education. She began sailing at age 10 and by 13 she had gained the highest award at youth level, RYA Stage 4. She sailed throughout secondary school, representing her school in competitions while also teaching beginners the fundamentals of sailing. Sam is an avid rugby player, and she captained her university team this year. In the winter months, Sam works part-time as a rock climbing instructor.
Marie Stuart Morency is back for a second summer on the sailing dock. She grew up in Montreal, Canada and she has completed her degree in business at Marianopolis College. She plans to further her business education in the fall and hopes to secure a position in marketing within the art or fashion industries. Marie Stuart first came to camp in 2007. She was a sailing JC in 2012 and 2013 when she was recognized for her skill as a sailing instructor. For the past four winters, Marie Stuart has been a ski instructor at Mont-Tremblant in Canada, working with children ages three to seven.
Sam Kellett is from the small village of Llandyrnog in Wales and he is headed to Oxford Brookes University to study biology. Sam learned to sail in school at age 12 and this will be Sam’s second year on the sailing staff at Brown Ledge. He writes, “there is no way I could be anywhere else!” This year, Sam has been teaching sailing at a local watersports center. Sam is a multi-sport athlete; he lists rugby as a favorite and he has been playing the sport for over ten years.
Olivia Osburn is returning for a sixth summer at Brown Ledge, her first as a senior staff member. Olivia was a sailing JC and Vanguard recipient. She is currently on the sailing team at the University of Miami where she is a rising sophomore. Olivia is an anthropology major in the university’s pre-medical program. Olivia is a multi-sport athlete and she has competed in both tennis and swimming. As the daughter of two military parents, Olivia has called many places home, most recently Helotes, Texas.
Olivia Pepin grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark. She began her BLC career as a staff kid (her parents met at Brown Ledge!) and she transitioned to a camper, finding a home on the sailing dock. Olivia became a sailing JC, graduating from the program in 2014. Olivia’s academic interests are in the social sciences. She plans to take a gap year before heading to college to focus on political science. Olivia writes that camp is her home (very far) away from home and she looks forward to giving campers the amazing experience she had.
The theatre staff typically includes three or four directors, a choreographer, a technical director, and a musical director. All continue their theatre interest, often professionally, year-round. They demand and get good theatre.
Last year Richard Currie celebrated his 50th year at Brown Ledge! This year he will once more leave his lighting design work in New York City to head the talented professionals of the Brown Ledge Theatre. You will find Richard directing plays, taking on a variety of roles onstage, and lighting each production to perfection. He leads by example, watching over the myriad details that go into the Saturday night productions. Richard was, for many years, the resident lighting designer for New York’s acclaimed comic troupe, The Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Richard has happily incorporated international travel into his winter life in recent years and this year the destination was Cuba.
Though she started at Brown Ledge as a camper and then theatre JC, it was twenty years ago that Franny Shuker-Haines returned to the theatre staff with her young family in tow. How fortunate we are that the Shuker-Haines family has integrated Brown Ledge into their lives. Franny directs our full length theatre productions, the mid-season three-act play, the stock company production, and the end-of-season musical. When not at camp, Franny is the associate director of Buxton School, a small, progressive boarding school in Williamstown, MA. In addition to being an administrator, you will also find Franny writing, editing, directing plays, and teaching classes. This year she added a course in magazine journalism.
Although Timothy Shuker-Haines is the technical director of the Brown Ledge Theatre, he is called on to do so much more. For the past 20 years, he has been in charge of designing and building sets for our productions. In addition, Timothy directs several plays each summer and he is regularly on stage. Timothy received his PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. When he’s not at camp, Timothy teaches history and social sciences at Buxton School in Williamstown, MA. This year, his course offerings included Chinese history, history of the Middle East and the law in practice.
Catherine Alston is back for her 19th summer at Brown Ledge. Catherine is in charge of costuming and her home is the studio, which is packed to the rafters with the most amazing assortment of garments, shoes, and accessories. Catherine advises directors on costume choices and researches period clothing, in addition to endless hours spent creating, mending, altering and fitting. Campers and JCs come to hang out with Catherine and to assist in dressing the next week’s productions. Catherine studied costume design in New York and she has designed for plays, magazines, and film. Catherine lives in Burlington, Vermont and in the winter she works with Kevin Christopher’s Saints and Poets Production Company, most recently costuming A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail.
Isabelle Fenn returns for a third summer in the theatre. Originally from Burlington, Isabelle completed her third year at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York where she is pursuing a BFA in drama. Isabelle was a Brown Ledge camper, theatre JC and Vanguard recipient. In the fall, she trained at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, focusing on directing and designing. This school year also saw her acting in a wide variety of plays, directing Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and helping classmates develop their shows from the ground up. In the spring she focused on commedia dell’arte and clowning. Nest semester she will be learning about film and television work.
Katie Willard is returning for her seventh summer at Brown Ledge, her first on staff. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and has completed her freshman year at Vassar College where she is planning to double major in drama and political science and minor in French. Katie has long been involved in the theater. She attended Denver School of the Arts and, as a BL theater JC, Katie earned her Vanguard and an invitation to the Brown Ledge Stock Company. At college her interests are diverse; she is a member of the Vassar Shakespeare Troupe and the Vassar College Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.
Lucas Olscamp comes to us through Isabelle Fenn, a fellow NYU student. Lucas is focusing on directing and design at NYU Abu Dhabi and he previously graduated from Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific. He grew up in Prince Edward Island, Canada and theater is a life-long passion. He attended the 2011 Canada Games National Artist Program as an ambassador of theater and poetry, and he also directed puppetry at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Lucas writes that he is excited to share his love of theater, dance, puppetry and poetry with Brown Ledgers this summer.
Kari Stevermer is back! Kari taught dance for two years at Brown Ledge and she is returning after a skipped summer. Kari grew up in Minnesota and she was a theater and dance major at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2012. Kari has been living in southern California for the past two years, but she temporarily relocated to Washington DC this winter to intern at Dance/USA where she helped plan the organization’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. During her time in college, Kari choreographed musicals and taught hip hop and jazz and competed with the dance team. More recently, Kari developed and led an after school dance enrichment class. Kari writes that, after living in the mid-west and both coasts, Vermont is still her favorite place. During August, Kari will be joined by Annie Zanger who headed the dance department last summer.
Brown ledge typically employs 3 counselors in the arts and crafts department. They usually have a background in crafts or art; either professionally or by education.
Stina Pepin has a long history at Brown Ledge, starting as an au pair in the 90s. She now comes to camp each summer from her native Denmark to head the arts and crafts program. Brown Ledge alums may remember arts and crafts as a sleepy department that only comes alive on rainy days. Stina has developed the program over the years and now arts and crafts is one of the most popular places in camp no matter what the weather. Stina developed the popular “sewing license” which, once attained, allows girls independent access to the bank of sewing machines in the back room where dresses, skirts, and handbags are among the items that are crafted there. During the winter months, Stina has been training with a program for at-risk youth and she will begin an advanced degree in the fall.
Ally Stevens is returning for a second summer in arts and crafts. Ally is a second generation Brown Ledger and was a camper from 2006-2008. She graduated in December from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual major in applied developmental psychology and marketing. Education and art form the basis of Ally’s career pursuits. Art therapy is a special interest and Ally has volunteered with children with cancer at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. After camp, Ally plans to travel to Southeast Asia to work with children in a nonprofit setting.
Chrissy Alford was also a second generation Brown Ledge camper. She grew up in Warwick, New York and she has just graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where she majored in textile and interior design. Chrissy studied drawing, painting, and photography and she has designed multiple collections of textiles for interiors and apparel. In addition to the arts, Chrissy loves outdoor adventure. She plans to travel after camp before moving to the west coast.
Richard “Dicky” Hayward returns to Brown Ledge for year number twelve. He graduated from Buckingham Chilterns University College in outdoor education and then went on to be certified in primary education at Canterbury Christ Church University. Dicky worked as a primary school teacher in London before becoming engaged and moving to Vermont! He holds numerous certificates in shooting range management and safety and is nationally ranked in the UK in short-range smallbore.
Mark Nations studied mechanical engineering at North Carolina State University and since then he has concentrated on growing his business, Black Rock Precision LLC, a company he developed that specializes in equipment and accessories for rifle target shooting. In college, Mark was a member of his division one rifle team. He holds NRA shooting coach certification and he coaches junior shooters on various teams during the winter. This will be Mark’s sixth summer on the range at Brown Ledge.
We are happy that Nikki Schachman has a free summer to devote to Brown Ledge! A long time Brown Ledger, Nikki was a riflery JC and Vanguard recipient, Brown Ledge’s highest award. She returned to BLC as a staff member in 2013. Nikki has just graduated from Middlebury College (hence the free summer) where she double majored in Chinese and neuroscience. In the fall, Nikki plans to head to Washington DC where she will pursue a career in health care and policy. When not on the range, you will likely find Nikki indulging her other passion, running.
Mark Gawronski is from Nottingham, England and he attended the University of Worcester where he studied geography. In the past few years, Mark’s life has centered around camp and travel. This winter, Melbourne, Australia was his home base and he worked a variety of agricultural jobs there. Mark first came to Brown Ledge to work in the kitchen. He spent his free time on the range, learning to shoot and teach, and he went on to achieve his level 1 archery instructor certification. This will be Mark’s second summer in archery. Photography, video editing, and short story and play writing are some of Mark’s hobbies and Brown Ledge is the fortunate recipient of Mark’s talents.
Jenny Aguiar is from Long Island, New York and she has completed her freshman year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. There, Jenny studies the social sciences, runs track, and coaches students in cross country running. Jenny attended Brown Ledge for seven years and she was an archery JC and Vanguard recipient. She reminds us that as an 11-year-old first year camper, she wasn’t strong enough to pass her basic swimming (“crib”) test. Jenny has gone on to become a certified life guard and swim instructor.
Jamie Dalgleish is returning for a second summer on the archery staff, her ninth at Brown Ledge. Jamie grew up in New York City and she attends Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada where she is an environmental studies major. Jamie is a certified archery coach (USA) and a member of Archery Canada. She has competed extensively in both the US and Canada and in college she is an active archer and coach. Jamie sailed across the Atlantic and did oceanographic research while studying with SEA Semester during the fall of 2015.
Ted Nilsson grew up at Brown Ledge as a staff kid and he will now be joining us for his seventh consecutive summer on the tennis staff. In his native Sweden, Ted began playing tennis when he was a toddler, eventually competing nationally and internationally at an elite level. Ted attended college in the US where he competed in Division I tennis for four years. He went on to coach high performance tennis players in New York. Ted now coaches all levels in Denver, CO., where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Sport Performance and Psychology.
Hunter Whalen returns for a third Brown Ledge summer. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and he attended Coastal Carolina University where he majored in recreation and sport management. After competing at the highest collegiate level, Hunter returned to Kansas City this year to work at the Northland Racquet Club, where he is a tennis pro. Hunter is enthusiastic about both Brown Ledge and tennis; “I am passionate about teaching campers the sport that has given me so much.”
This will be Alejandro Zepeda’s second summer at Brown Ledge. He grew up in London and he has just completed his second year studying aerospace engineering at the University of Hertfordshire. Alejandro has played in competitive tournaments around the UK. He runs tennis groups for children aged three and up and he also organizes tennis tournaments, the most recent being a seniors event in London. Alejandro is on staff at David Lloyd, a sport and fitness company where over 500 children participate in tennis groups through their DL All Stars program.
Paris McNeill comes back to Brown Ledge whenever her schedule allows it and we’re happy to have her join us for the first session. Paris grew up in Melbourne, Australia and she is finishing her MBA at Monash University, majoring in marketing and business law. Paris began playing tennis at age five and continued to play and compete as a teenager and young adult. While in school, Paris works for Tennis Australia, training and supervising ballkids and overseeing the program during the Australian Open. In addition, Paris is the program coordinator for Vision Impaired Tennis Australia, overseeing trainings and tournaments throughout the year.
Murray Chatham lives in Cumbria in the north of England, on the border of Scotland and he returns to us after a skipped summer. Murray was on the tennis staff at Brown Ledge from 2012-2014. Murray attended Swansea University in South Wales where he studied English literature. Murray currently works as an outdoor activity instructor, teaching a range of outdoor adventure activities, including climbing and canoeing, to both students and teachers.
Liza Johnson is excited to return to Brown Ledge for the ninth time after a summer away. She worked in the tennis department two summers ago and she spent seven summers as a camper and (tennis) junior counselor. Liza was on her varsity high school tennis team and was a vanguard recipient as a JC. Liza grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and she studies environmental engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She spent the past semester studying in Sydney, Australia.