Meet the Camp Staff

Meet the Camp Staff

Marilyn- Inclusive Educator

I am a music teacher and music therapist.  I have been a teacher for 10 years. This is my first camp at KNC, but I have always wanted to work here!  I love the Nature Center! My favorite thing to do outside is to walk and look at wildflowers, and listen for birds.  I'm super excited to hang out with the campers this summer!

Beth- Inclusive Educator

Hello my name is Beth.I have worked in education for over 26 years. Many summers I have worked the camp program at the school. I have 3 children of my own and as they grew up camping was one of our favorite activities.Recently I visited Arizona and now can say I have a new favorite place to travel to. I enjoy hiking trails and seeing nature. I am looking forward in getting to know the children at the Nature Center Camps this summer.

Allie- Day Camp Coordinator

My name is Allie DeGraaf and I am very excited to work as the Day Camp Coordinator this summer! I am currently working towards a major in rhetoric and writing with a minor in biology at Western Michigan University.  This is my first time working at the Kalamazoo Nature center but I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, slack-lining, hammocking, swimming, and playing frisbee. In my free time, I like to draw, spend time with my family, and practice yoga.  

Miles- Outdoor Adventure Educator

My name is Miles Coleman, I am a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who loves learning through play and exploration of the natural world. My favorite summer snack is black raspberries and my favorite instrument is the drums. Although this is my first year at the KNC Camp, I have worked as an Outdoor Adventure Educator for other organizations in Michigan and have been a camp educator and backpacking guide since graduating high school in 2015. I am so excited to explore the diverse habitats of Michigan's two beautiful peninsulas this summer!

Rowan- Farm Educator

My name is Rowan, and I’m the camp Farm Educator! I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with my Bachelor of Theatre Arts, and since then have been studying and pursuing herbalism and environmental education/justice. This will be my second summer at KNC - I was a Farmyard Educator in 2018. I love to work in the garden and make medicine with herbs I harvest sustainably in the wild. I intend to be ever-curious about the amazing planet on which we live and to spread that curiosity far and wide. I am so excited to do this at camp this summer!

Sara- Art Educator

My name is Sara Rio and I will be the summer camp art instructor this year. I graduated from WMU with a degree in fine arts four year ago and have been working as a freelance artist ever since. My favorite mediums to work in are ceramics, printmaking, and tie dye.  Currently, I keep my studio out in my backyard garden because I love to make art outside. In my personal practice, I try to stay environmentally conscious when making art. I think it's really important to work with the world around you instead of against it when creating something beautiful. I'm super excited for camp! I've got some big (and messy) projects planned this year so make sure so stop by and see me this summer.

Marley- Nature Educator

My name is Marley Guy and I am so excited to be returning to KNC camp for a second year! This year, I will be the camp Naturalist and I can’t wait to take on this new role! In my free time, I love to read and draw and jump in mud puddles. My favorite animals include frogs, turtles and cats— hopefully we will see some this summer! Can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces!

Clayton- Senior Educator

Hi! My name is Clayton and I'm a senior counselor here at the KNC! I'm currently going into my fourth year at WMU studying environmental sustainability and this is gonna be my THIRD summer at camp and I am so excited to be here. When I was younger, I didn't get to go to any camps so this is really the first camp I've ever experienced and I love it here. My favorite thing to do outside has got to be hiking, and lucky for me we do a ton of hiking here at camp! I'm so excited for this summer and can't wait to meet some new friends!

Madee- Senior Educator

I am a senior studying environmental science, sustainability, and geography at Western Michigan University. I love to be in the great outdoors with family and friends. I enjoy hiking, biking, and running. My favorite thing about camp is creating new memories! This will be my first year at KNC. Can't wait to meet all of the campers!

Jen- Senior Educator

I currently attend Walden University Ph. D program for Public Policy and Administration, with an emphasis is social justice. I have a masters in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University. I hold two bachelors from Grand Valley, one B.A. in Criminal Justice minor Spanish and Religion. The second is a teaching instruct B.S. in Physical Education, minor in psychology. I attended an outdoor adventure school from 3rd grade till sophomore year of high school. I am looking forward to giving others a similar experience of outdoor learning that I was able to experience growing up.

This is my first year working for KNC. I have previously worked for day camp programs. While doing so, I enjoyed the different personalities and creativity each student expressed.

Crystal- Senior Educator

My name is Crystal. I finished Master degree on April in 2019 at Western Michigan University and my major was sport management. My position at camp is Senior Educator. This is my first time working at KNC. I enjoy working with children and outside. I am very excited to be working at KNC.

Nathalie- Senior Educator

Hello Everyone! My name is Nathalie! I just graduated from Calvin College in December 2018 where I studied secondary education which is fancy for how to be a middle school and high school teacher. My major at Calvin was biology which is where my love, appreciation, and respect for nature came from. This is my first year at KNC, but I am so beyond excited to be a Senior Camp Counselor! The thing I’m most excited for is spending time outside with all my campers, and fellow Senior and Junior leaders, learning something new about nature everyday. When I’m not at camp, I’m probably at home playing with my doggy Sparky, feeding our chickens, or tending to our little garden of veggies. I hope you are all just as excited as I am! I can’t wait to meet you all!

Breanna- Senior Educator

My name Is Breanna, I studied Natural Resources Management with a minor in biology at Grand Valley State University and graduated in April of 2018. This summer is my first summer working for the KNC, but I’m so excited for all of the new opportunities and all of the people I will meet along the way! My favorite thing to do outside is hike and observe all the wildlife and native ecosystems. My favorite thing about camp is meeting new people and sharing awesome experiences with them! I’m so excited for camp 😊

Patty- Senior Educator

My name is Patty Spitzer. I am a recent graduate of Kalamazoo College. This is my second summer as a senior educator at KNC. My favorite thing to do outside is birdwatch. I love keeping track of the birds I find, and every new bird i encounter feels like a celeBIRDY sighting. I am so excited for camp this year and to spend everyday outside enjoying nature.

Lance- Senior Educator

Hi, my name is Lance Abbott and I am a Senior Educator at camp. I am a recent graduate from Central Michigan University and will be a High School Science Teacher in the fall. I have spent my past three summer working on a Dude Ranch in Steamboat Springs, CO where I wrangled horses, climbed mountains, and caught local trout. My favorites things to do outside are hike, fish, and look for wildlife. I am so excited to be a part of KNC and I cannot wait for camp!

Micheal- Senior Educator

Hello everyone! My name is Micheal! I have just graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Social Work. I will be attending Western Michigan University to get my Masters in the Fall. I am new to the Kalamazoo Nature Center, but I am already so excited to be here! My favorite thing to do outside is actually during the winter months; I love to go out west and snowboard. I used to work at a different camp and if I learned anything it's that my favorite thing has always been getting to know new people. I can't wait to get to know all those who will be coming out this summer! See you there!!

Rebecka- Senior Educator

My name is Rebecka and I’m a Senior Counselor. I just finished my sophomore year at Michigan State University studying Environmental Biology/Zoology and French. This will be my second summer working at KNC Camp and I’m so excited for this season! I love exploring with the kids and learning along with them about the many natural “wonders” in our own backyards.

Maddie- Senior Educator

My name is Maddie Gervais and I am a senior educator. I have been working with children for over 3 years. I worked after school with preschoolers at a Montessori school and for the YMCA for elementary schoolers before and after school as well as over the summer. I am in my last semester at WMU with a degree in child and family development, hoping to get a master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling.

Growing up, my dad instilled a love and appreciation for the world around us. I was obsessed with learning about animals and rocks/crystals. My favorite animal is tied between the Red and Giant Panda and the river otter. I can’t wait to meet everyone!!

Sophie- Junior Educator

Hi, I’m Sophie Canfield. I am a rising Sophomore at Kalamazoo Central High School and the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center. This will be my  second year as a junior educator/counselor at the KNC after volunteering for a year as a CIT during both the spring and summer camps. Before that, I was a camper at the KNC camp for 7 years! So I know the Nature Center by heart and have such happy memories of my time spent here. I love kids, animals (especially dogs, frogs, turtles, goats and marine mammals!) and hope one day to be a marine mammal scientist. I look forward to spending this summer with you!

Brandon- Junior Educator

My name is Brandon Mosley. I will be a senior at Kalamazoo Central, so this is a very exciting time for me. This is my 3rd year working at the Nature Center - I will be a Junior Educator this year. I have attended as a camper in years past as well. I love just about everything when it comes to nature, but mostly the peace and serenity. I am looking forward to camp this summer!

Amberle- Junior Educator

Hi, I am Amberle Stratton, a Jr. camp counselor. I am a Gull Lake 2019 graduate and I will be starting classes at KVCC in the fall. I plan to stay at KVCC for two years and then transition to WMU where I will be pursuing a bachelors degree in Culinary Arts. I have volunteered at KNC for the past two years and this year I am an official Jr.  My favorite thing to do outside is hike in the woods, or read a good book. My favorite thing about camp is watching the campers learn and appreciate nature. I am looking forward to a great summer!