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Meet the Leadership

Kathy Jonas, Camp Director

Kathy

I have the best job on earth!  It is with continued excitement and anticipation that I look forward to my 8th summer as Director of Camp Walden.

My lifelong passion for overnight camping began as a camper and staff member at Camp Whippoorwill, a camp for girls in Keeseville, NY.  At Whippoorwill I learned many wonderful skills, made life-long friends, and developed a love of the outdoors.  In so many ways I am the person I am today because of my experiences as a camper and staff person at Whippoorwill.

I always understood that camp was a special place. At Whip my self-confidence grew while I learned to sail, enjoyed camping and hiking trips and made great friends. I brought my camp experiences home each year and was able to be the self-assured person I was at camp, at home! This is why after eighteen years as a college administrator I returned to camping with one goal in mind, to create the opportunity for as many children as possible to have the same exceptional overnight camping experience as I had as a child and young adult.

For eight years, 2003 to 2010, I was the Director of JCC Maccabi Camp Kingswood. I am proud of the experiences I created for and the relationships I developed with hundreds of campers, staff and their families. I am thrilled to be a member of the Walden community, a very special camp community, and to continue this wonderful and amazing journey.

Wishing summer lasted all year,
—Kathy Jonas, kathyjonas@campwalden.com

Jen Levi Gammill, Assistant Director

Jen Levi Gammill

Beginning as a 4th grader, I have spent 22 summers at Camp Walden. Over the years Walden has meant different things to me; from serving as my childhood dreamland, to a beautiful summer escape, and finally to the place where I find great purpose in providing the valuable experiences I enjoyed to our campers.  No matter the meaning at the time, it remains my happy place.

After 7 years as a camper, I became a staff member in 2004—teaching swimming, waterskiing, waterfront head and Head Counselor until becoming Camp Walden’s Assistant Director in 2014. I studied Studio Art at Colorado College and taught Art to students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 4th for the past 10 years at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT.  This fall I will begin a new journey as Walden’s year-round Assistant Director.

As long as I can remember Walden has been my summer home.  This summer I shared this home with my 8 month old son James.  Each summer I enjoy sharing with our campers the traditions and community that makes Walden special.  Even after 21 years, I still count down the days until the first day of camp!

—Jen Levi Gammill, jenlevi@campwalden.com

The Trustees of Camp Walden

trusteesphotaFor the past ten years, the Trustees of Camp Walden have been working closely with experienced and dedicated staff members to maintain Walden traditions and preserve its legacy for future campers.

From 1916 through 2008, Walden’s leadership was passed on through three generations of a single family.  Camp Walden was founded by Blanche Hirsch in 1916.  In 1938, Blanche’s niece Helen Herz Cohen (Miss Herz) became the Director, and led Walden until 1995, when her daughter Wendy Cohen assumed this role and held it until her death in 2008.

Miss Herz and Wendy were committed to preserving the traditions and values of Walden and designated us, Trustees with deep Walden connections, to steward camp into the future.  We represent a range of constituencies, including fourth generation Herz family, camp alumnae, parents and friends.

In 2011, Kathy Jonas joined Camp Walden as Director.  Kathy has a wealth of camping experience and is as committed as we are to the magic of Walden.  The Trustees support Kathy in the management of Walden through weekly conference calls, summer visits and strategic planning.

In addition, we continue to work closely with parents and staff to make improvements, as well as to protect the traditions that make Walden so special.  We share an unwavering commitment to the Walden community of nearly a century, and are dedicated to preserving the Walden experience for the generations to come.

Cordially,
Kim Phillips,  Sassy Kohlmeyer,  and  Gwenn Scheuer Herz

trustees@campwalden.com