Adventure Camp Summer Camp Leaders
Summer camp is just around the corner and the Capital District YMCA would like to introduce you to the Summer Camp Leaders at the YMCA Adventure Camp!
Jennifer Rittner, Camp Director
Jennifer has worked at the YMCA for nearly 15 years. This will be her second summer as Camp Director for Adventure Camp. Her favorite thing about working at Adventure Camp are the campers and staff! The staff are great role models who enjoy camp just as much as the children. The relationships, the friendships and the lasting memories are what makes Adventure Camp so special! She believes summer camp is important because it teaches important life skills such as relationship building, confidence and team building. Children learn to trust their fellow campers and learn about team building through group games and other fun activities. Because of the Y, Jennifer is able to help people reach goals, build lasting relationships and change lives.
Hobbies: Yoga, hiking, kayaking, running (currently training for her first marathon) and maintaining a small food business
Dallas Garven, Assistant Camp Director
Dallas has worked at the YMCA summer camp for 12 years. She loves seeing new smiling faces each summer and inspiring the children everyday. She believes summer camp is important because of the relationships the children and staff built with one another every year. Because of the Y, Dallas has friends for life and her teamwork skills have flourished.
Dallas graduated Buffalo State with a degree in Elementary Education.
Hobbies: Swimming, tether-ball and lawn games
This will be Morgan’s fifth summer working at Adventure Camp. She enjoys working at camp because the children and the counselors are able to learn, grow, and have fun together. She believes summer camp is important because it allows kids to develop new skills, build confidence, and establish relationships in a unique setting. Because of the Y, Morgan is able to continue her love of teaching throughout the summer.
Morgan is currently a ninth grade, special education teacher at Schenectady High School.
Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, exercising, cooking, and traveling
Heather has worked at the YMCA summer camp for three years. She enjoys teaching arts and crafts to children. She believes summer camp is important because it is a place where children learn new skills and independence, which is very important in the development of children. Because of the Y, Heather is able to help children grow and succeed.
Hobbies: Painting, singing and hiking
This will be Maria’s first year working at Adventure Camp. She loves working with children and teaching them to live an active and healthy lifestyle in a fun way. She believes summer camp is important because it teaches children how teamwork, keeps them active, and is a place where they gain special relationships that can last a lifetime. Because of the Y, Maria has the opportunity to meet bright and passionate children who teach her something new each day.
Maria is pursing a Mater Degree in Childhood Education at the College of Saint Rose.
Hobbies: Spending time with family. traveling, basketball, baseball, music and teaching
This will be Brandon’s first summer work at Adventure Camp. He loved going to camp when he was younger and wants to give the kids the same fun times he experienced. He believes camp is important because it builds character, friends, and gives the children a structured and fun day full of activities and learning. Because of the Y, Brandon can continue to do what he loves, teaching and working with kids!
Brandon has a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education and is pursuing his Master Degree in Physical Education at SUNY Cortland.
Hobbies: Love sports, the outdoors, and hanging around good people
Blake has been with the YMCA for five years. This will be her third year working at the summer camp. She loves working with children. She believes camp is important because it helps keep children outside and teaches them how to make friends. Because of the Y, Blake has become a better person.
Hobbies: Loves playing sports
Mark has worked at the YMCA summer camp for four years. He loves seeing the kids from his after school program during the summer and enjoying the chance to participate in many games, activities and help ensure the children have a fulfilling summer. He believes camp is important because the children have the chance to make new friends, build stronger relationships and lean many important life lessons. Because of the Y, Mark has been able to step out of his comfort zone and succeed in different roles within the YMCA.
Mark is pursing a Master Degree in Mental Health Counseling at the College of Saint Rose.
Hobbies: Video games, comic books, basketball, playing Magic: The Gathering and maintaining two YouTube channels
This will be Rachel’s third summer working at the YMCA camp. She loves the fun activities that are offered each year at Adventure Camp and she is proud to be a part of making every summer great. She strives to make campers just as excited as she is to come to camp everyday. She believes summer camp is important because it provides a place for children of all ages to come together to explore a new environment and make lifelong friendships. Because of the Y, Rachel has a second home each summer to come back to not only to make memories of her own, but hopefully make a difference in the lives of the campers so that when they look back at camp they will remember all the things they’ve learned and done.
Rachel studies Biology/ Pre-Medical Studies at Hofstra University.
Hobbies: Swimming, hiking, traveling to new places and playing the violin and piano
Marygrace has worked at the YMCA summer camp for the past three years. She likes working at camp because it’s a fun and new adventure every single day. Helping, influencing, and teaching children is something that only a handful of people have the opportunity to do. She believes summer camp is important because it is a fun and awesome time to meet new friends and stay in contact with old ones! Because of the Y, Marygrace is able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while helping others achieve their own personal goals.
Marygrace is studying Communications at Le Moyne College.
Hobbies: Running, crafting, hiking, and cooking
Josh has worked at the YMCA summer camp for six years. This will be his first year working at Adventure Camp. He enjoys working at camp because it allows kids to try something new and build self confidence. He believes summer camp is important because it allows kids to find out what their interests are. Because of the Y, people can walk away with life experiences.
Hobbies: Soccer, basketball, hiking, fishing and swimming
Danielle has worked at the YMCA summer camp for seven years. She enjoys working at camp because she gets to work with kids to grow their skills and become leaders. She also loves being outdoors and helping others. She believes summer camp is important because it allows children to grow and explore new ideas. Because of the Y, Danielle has made new friends and has an opportunity to work outside.
Danielle is pursuing a Master Degree in Literacy and Special Education at The Esteves School of Education .
Hobbies: Spending time outdoors, playing softball and camping
Scott has been with the YMCA summer camp for three years. When he was younger he was a camper at Adventure Camp and had so much fun. As a counselor, he now has the chance to help create those fun summer memories. He believes camp is important because it allows campers to build independence and have fun while not in school. Because of the Y, Scott has 14 years of good memories.
Scott is studying Biology at Canisius College.
Hobbies: Weight lifting, sports and being outdoors
John has worked at the YMCA summer camp for three years. He enjoys camp because it is a fun and active atmosphere. He believes camp is important because it allows kids to remain active as well as strengthen current and new friendships. Because of the Y, John has grown as a person by learning new skills that will help him later on in life.
John is studying Business Administration at the College of Saint Rose.
Hobbies: Video games, watching movies and anything related to sports
Anne has worked at the YMCA summer camp for four years. She enjoys working at camp because it gives her the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives for the better. She believes summer camp is important because it can form a child’s future and leave a lasting impression. Because of the Y, Anne is able to use her imagination and have fun in any situation.
Anne is studying Criminology at Le Monye College.
Hobbies: Running, lifting and spending time with her pets
Dan has worked at the YMCA summer camp for the past two years. He enjoys camp because it offers a great, fun environment for both campers and counselors. He believes summer camp is important because it allows kids to spend time outdoors and helps teach them skills that can be useful for the rest of their lives. Because of the Y, Dan has learned many important skills that are useful in all aspects of life and can help kids make great memories.
Dan is pursing a Master Degree in Education at St. John Fisher.
Hobbies: Lacrosse, basketball, football, hiking, fishing, swimming, and running
Krist has worked at the YMCA summer camp for five years. She loves building relationships with the children each summer. She believes summer camp is important because it gives children an opportunity to learn life skills outside of a school setting. Many children leave camp much more confident and outgoing than when they entered. Because of the Y, Krist has found a job that has more meaning to her than any other job she has had before.
Krist is studying Education at the College of Saint Rose.
Hobbies: She coaches the varsity diving team for Guilderland and the swimming and diving team in Voosheesville
“Miss Penny” Shaw
Miss Penny has been with the YMCA for 18 years. She has worked at the summer camp for the past 16 years. She enjoys helping children make nature discoveries at camp. She believes that camp is a great place to make lifelong friendships and learn positive character building skills or caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Because of the Y, Miss Penny is able to show children and their families how to truly live out the Golden Rule… walk the walk, not just talk the talk!
Miss Penny has degrees in Early Childhood Education and Art.
Hobbies: Singing, writing, directing and acting in plays, playing the piano and guitar, drawing, nature walks and camping
Becca has worked at the YMCA summer camp for the past five summers. She loves the kids and the fun activites the counselors get to participate with them. She believes summer camp is important becuase it allows kids to make new friends. Because of the Y, people can learn new skills and have new experiences.
Beeca has a Bachelor Degree in Social Studies Education and a Master Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Hobbies: Teaching, reading and baking
Stephanie has worked at the YMCA summer camp for 19 years. She enjoys working at camp because she is able to be outside with children all summer long having fun. It is the best job in the world! She believes camp is important because children are exposed to the outside, make friendships that last and walk away with new skills that they get to improve on every year. Because of the Y, Stephanie has grown as a person.
Stephanie has graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Hobbies: Reading, traveling and exercising
Brooke has worked at the YMCA summer camp for 16 years. She enjoys working at camp because it is a place where everything pieces together so well and the whole experience is what makes it so awesome. She believes summer camp is important because it is a special type of community where kids come together to have fun. The camp setting allows the children to develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home. Summer camps are known for providing a safe environment where children gain self confidence and a variety of skills.
Hobbies: Designing beaded jewelry, zen gardens and painting