GRP 2011 Summer Staff

By Sandy Schenck

We will update this page as the bios and photos come in.



catbloodwellAfter spending a summer working and jumping off of waterfalls in Wales UK, Cat is ready to jump back into another summer at GRP! Once upon a time a counselor in 2009, she’ll be returning this year as a mentor. Cat is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Recreation Management and a Biology minor. Cat is excited about telling epic bug tales, playing mystical melodies on the ocarina, and smelling like campfires. Most of all, she’s honored to have the privilege of spending another summer with the best campers in the universe.


elansolveson_mugElan will be returning to GRP for her fifth summer on staff. After spending the past two years trekking around the swamps of the Everglades working as project coordinator for an environmental education program based in the Big Cypress Swamp of Florida, Elan is ready for higher elevation! Elan is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for the natural world and to be a part of such an amazing community!


carolineellerbe_mugCaroline is returning to GRP for her fifth summer as a staff member and eleventh summer altogether.  Originally from Columbia, SC, Caroline has recently graduated from Princeton University with a degree in History and a teaching certificate in secondary English.  She loves reading, writing, playing outside, and all things camp.  The Preserve is one of her favorite places in the world, and she is thrilled to be exploring the property all summer! 


benwyrick_mugBen teaches photography and graphic design at Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia. The only thing he loves more than talking about Native American tipis is howling with his dog, Dante. 2011 will be Bentor’s tenth summer at the Preserve and he is honored to finally be worth four figures in Staff Hunt. Bentor has hiked the Appalachian Trail, bicycled the Blue Ridge Parkway, finished the Boston Marathon, and loves to brag in the third person.


jonrousseau_mugJon has been facilitating groups for nearly twenty years in a wide variety of settings. He holds a BS in Economics and a Masters of Social Work. His professional experience includes leading wilderness expedition programs with incarcerated male teenagers, founding and directing an experiential education organization, facilitating nature awareness programs for schools, leading naturalist and expedition programs for summer camps and facilitating high ropes and group challenge courses for adults and corporate groups. This diverse work experience has enabled Jon to develop an adaptive, flexible and effective style of genuinely connecting with a wide variety of group populations. Included in this repertoire are drumming, storytelling, primitive living skills, nature awareness activities, wilderness immersion experiences, vision quests and ritual.


richpreyer_mugRich is half-man, half-amazing, and one third unicorn. Although Green River Preserve asked him to be an exhibit at the new cord-wood cottage this summer, Rich has opted to take the more traditional route and become a mentor. Some skeptics say this is the more boring lifestyle and job choice, Rich, however believes that as a mentor he can bring an abundance of joy to the children of GRP while using a multitude of different talents—some of the most prominent being the ability to dance on rainbows, never EVER having ort, capturing the flag, and eating every single animal in “predator prey”. On hikes this summer, he will focus on catching the elusive venomous tree walrus, fishing and stream ecology with Leroy the River Otter, and beating the bludgeon with Fred and George Weasley on the Quidditch pitch. Rich cannot wait for the campers to get here for a truly magical summer. 



calebbeasley_mugCaleb is a rising Junior at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, where he majors in Civil Engineering while on a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship. He claims Shreveport, La and Naples, Italy as his “hometowns.” Caleb’s younger sister, Sophia (9) will be a second year camper at GRP and was the one who convinced Caleb to apply for a counselor position. Caleb enjoys all things outdoors including backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing to class during Vermont winters! Caleb also enjoys teaching kids; one of his favorite jobs in high school was working in a children’s cooking school. In his “spare” time, Caleb plays the drums for the Norwich Drum and Pipe Band and is known for his ironing board grilled cheese sandwiches. Caleb loves the mountains of North Carolina and is very excited about being a part of GRP!


kirstenfreeh_mugKirsten, who is from Arizona, is currently a sophomore at Arizona State University studying both Sociology and English while working at an amazing bakery here in Tempe. When she is not in class or at work you will find her at their local rock climbing gym or a small coffee shop writing away. When she has time she loves to meet up with her family at the lake to wake board and hang out with her two adorable little sisters. She is the second oldest of five, second only to her twin sister and a brother who is only a year behind them. She has lived in Arizona her whole life and is extremely excited to beat the heat this summer out in North Carolina. She is sure she will stick out for a bit, perhaps wearing jackets in 70 degree weather? However, she is also sure she will fit in (literally she is 5’2) and cannot wait to meet all the campers at Green River!


tedphillips_mugTed is currently a sophomore studying at the Duke University Marine Lab. In the fall, he will be transferring to either Brown University or UNC-Chapel Hill (acceptance notifications pending). Ted is passionately studying biology and hopes to one day study mammalogy or ornithology. In his free time, he enjoys backpacking, playing music, ultimate Frisbee, and being a goofball. This will be Ted’s second summer at GRP and he is ecstatic to be back!


lizziesmith_mugLizzie is a native of Western North Carolina and this will be her fifth year working at the GRP and third as a cabin counselor. After years of being a camper and expeditioner, she feels so fortunate to be welcomed back for the 2011 summer! Lizzie is a rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill where she is majoring in Global Studies and Spanish with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is currently spending a semester abroad in Costa Rica and loves hiking, waterfalls, Spanish, and continuing to explore the GRP property with her campers.


leighfairley_mugLeigh attends the amazing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill!! She is an sociology & political science double major and a potential history minor. She LOVES CAMP – hiking, wearing chacos, reading and singing (even though she can’t…), horses (any kind of animal really) and drinking English breakfast tea with milk!  She is super pumped to work at Green River Preserve this summer and can’t wait to meet all of the awesome campers!  We’re going to have a lot of fun this summer and hopefully we’ll all leave (herself included) understanding a bit more about ourselves and the world that surrounds us. 


matthewtylerThis will be Matthew’s sixth summer at the GRP and his second year as a GRP staffer! Matthew is a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia studying political science and public administration. At UGA, Matthew is involved in environmental activism, debate, and education policy research. In his free time, he likes to play Frisbee, read, and play guitar; he has also dabbled in Quidditch and is stoked about its inception at the GRP this summer! Among other things, Matthew is looking forward to capture the flag, campout, and (hopefully) getting a grand slam for the first time!


emmapark_mugEmma just finished her first year at Davidson College, a small liberal arts college near Charlotte, NC, where she is involved in the local food movement and plans to major in environmental studies. Emma loves cats, sunny weather, and every kind of cereal. She spends most of her free time hiking, traveling, gardening and cooking—and taking photos along the way. Growing up, Emma spent several summers at camps in Illinois, Michigan, and North Carolina, and loved every moment of it. She can’t wait to meet her campers at GRP!


rachelett_mugRachel Ett is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. She was a camper and expeditioner at GRP for three years, and now she is so excited to be returning as a counselor! Rachel is a student at Yale University, where she spends her hours avidly studying (major to be determined), working as a Master’s Aide in the Calhoun residential college, and having the time of her life. She loves hiking, coffee, and her family and friends.


averymcgaha_mugAvery is a rising sophomore at Elon University, where he is pursuing environmental studies. He is thrilled to be back home this summer, working at GRP for his third year on staff! In public you can see him playing guitar or promoting flannel. If left alone for too long, he might be caught reading under a tree, watching nature documentaries, or editing friends’ papers for fun. He cannot wait to be out of the library and into the woods with his favorite people in the world!


viviandelchamps_mugVivian is from Birmingham, Alabama. She just competed her first year at Scripps College (one of the five colleges in the Claremont Consortium in Southern California), where she’s studying English Literature, Dance, and French.  She loves to travel around the world and has been to Serbia, Italy, England, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Scotland (where she lived next door to J.K. Rowling for a week! But never got to meet her…).  In her free time she plays Scrabble, reads, dances ballet, watches musicals, eats ice cream, and climbs trees. She was a camper at GRP for five years and is grateful and excited to be working as a counselor this summer!  Vivian is looking forward to playing Quidditch, campout, Predator/Prey and meeting all the awesome campers.


kartiksethuraman_mugKartik is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and this will be his 11th year back at the Preserve. He’s been a camper, expeditioner, co-counselor and counselor, and will return to be a counselor again this summer!  Kartik loves music and plays the violin, guitar and mandolin.  He is obsessed with Ultimate Frisbee and also enjoys disc golf, capture the flag, backpacking and hiking.  Kartik loves spending his summers at the Preserve and can’t wait to get back!


robertgrier_mugRobert hails from Lynchburg, Virginia and is currently a rising sophomore at Christopher Newport University where he is studying Communications with a minor in Leadership. He spent five years as a camper at GRP and another two on the Blue Ridge Expeditions so he is thrilled to be back at camp on staff.  Robert enjoys hiking and playing basketball and Frisbee in his free time.  His favorite evening activities are Capture the Flag and Predator/Prey.  Robert is an Eagle Scout and looks forward to passing along his skills and knowledge to the campers this summer.


meganoleynik_mugMegan is from Greensboro, NC and goes to school at the University of Virginia. She a rising second year studying to be a civil engineer but would secretly prefer to be a poet. Megan loves sing-a-longs, line dancing, muddy tennis shoes and the gooey remains of a good s’more. Some of Megan’s best memories from her childhood are of summer camp in the North Carolina mountains, and she couldn’t be more excited about her first year as a counselor at GRP!


gilliansmall_mugGillian is a rising sophomore at Furman University, majoring in Political Science and Gender Studies. This will be Gillian’s 9th summer at the Preserve and 3rd on staff. She is from Georgia, but is lucky enough to call Green River Preserve her true home. At Furman, she is actively involved in Residence Life, Housing Staff, and Mock Trial. At camp, Gillian loves nothing more than laying down in the front field and looking at the clouds. She also loves hiking, attempting to be musical, teaching dance, doing yoga, and learning about plants. She is beyond excited for another beautiful summer filled with smiling, learning, and wonderful campers!


abbybishop_mugAbby is from Hickory, NC and is a rising junior at Appalachian State University (go Mountaineers!) where she is majoring in Applied Anthropology. Taking a break from studying different cultures of the world, Abby is thrilled for her first year as a counselor at The Green River Preserve. In her free time, Abby plays the fiddle, reads, and loves to color! If you are lucky, you might catch her attempting to excavate an archaeological site too. This year at camp she expects to find a summer filled with laughter and joy of epic proportions! She cannot wait to meet everyone! 


laurasegarra_mugLauren Segarra is a rising sophomore at Furman University. She has been a Red Cross lifeguard at her local YMCA since she was 15 years old. She has won various awards for her art including best in show at one of her high school art shows. She has been painting and drawing her entire life. She has played guitar for 7 years, and piano for the majority of her life. She has two siamese cats named Beethoven and Mewzart.


oliviacampbell_mugOlivia is a rising sophomore at Wake Forest University, where she plans on studying everything until someone forces her to pick a major. This will be Olivia’s 8th year with the preserve, after spending one at Little Tree, two at base camp, three at expeditions, and one as a co-counselor. In her free time, Olivia enjoys singing, dancing, playing any instrument she can find, running, doing other people’s math homework, climbing things, and frolicking in the rain. She could not be more excited about returning to play outside all summer long!


mattfreer_mugMatt is a rising junior at Appalachian State University, where he is studying biochemistry and is hoping to become a certified chemist before further education in the field. He has previous experience with summer camps, as he has helped run the zip line for campers at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC for the past two years. Raised in Asheville, Matt enjoys playing soccer, contra dancing, watching the discovery channel, and wearing purple skinny jeans. Between activities, he will be found strumming his guitar or banjo and singing his heart out to Avett Brothers, Bright Eyes, and Chase Coy songs. He is looking forward to his first year as a counselor at GRP, and cant wait to grow and learn together with his campers this summer.


jadepoteat_mugJade hails from Mooresville, NC, right outside of Charlotte. She is a rising sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill studying English, Photojournalism and Creative Writing. She was  born dancing and haven’t stopped since. She loves all kinds of arts from dance and music to writing and photography. She loves loves loves kids mostly because she is the oldest of four kiddos. Jade loves to read and she especially loves to read outdoors. She can’t wait to be a cabin counselor at GRP this summer!


leacrusen_mugLea is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She loves art, psychology, hammocking, reading, and pears! This past year she has picked up the viola and hopes to sound a lot better than she does now by the end of camp. This will be her first year as a counselor at GRP and she hopes to learn just as much as she teaches this summer!


cameronnalls_mugCameron is a senior at Appalachian State University where he is pursing degrees in Psychology and English. This is his second summer at GRP and he has done nothing but talk about how excited he was to come back since the end of last summer. Cameron enjoys being outside, chasing the horizon, stargazing, reading and being a complete dork about super nerdy things. He is absolutely thrilled to be back in one of the most magically and special places in the world for the summer.


samrawls_mugSam is from Charlotte, NC and a rising senior at Western Carolina University where he studies Criminal Justice and Parks & Recreation Management. He is happy to return to the Green River Preserve as a counselor after many years of being a camper at both Base Camp and on the Outer Banks Expeditions. At school, Sam enjoys participating in several musical ensembles, including the marching band where he holds an upper staff position. He also enjoys hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, sky diving, and photography. He is very excited to be a part of the Green River Preserve and can’t wait for camp to start!


caitlingraham_mugCaitlin is a rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill, studying Biology and Psychology. She works at the UNC Outdoor Education Center as an expedition trip leader and challenge course facilitator, where she gets to climb, backpack, kayak, and play outside all the time. She also loves painting and drawing, photography, snails, basset hounds, and honey. This will be her fourth summer back at GRP but her first summer as a counselor, and she couldn’t be more excited!


megarmistead_mugMeg is a sophomore at the University of the South: Sewanee majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity. She is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina where she attended Charlotte Country Day School. She rides horses, rock climbs and does yoga. Meg is SUPER excited to be a counselor at GRP this summer!


hughkoeze_mugHugh’s thrilled to be at GRP for the first time ever!  He’s spent his previous summers teaching sailing and racing in Maine, but he’s finally decided to make some moves and ditch the ocean for the mountains.  A North Carolinian by birth and by schooling (he’s studying English and Arabic at UNC), he lives in bustling metropolis of Grand Rapids, Michigan where his family makes wonderfully delicious candy, nuts and peanut butter.  If you ask nicely, he’ll show you where that is on his handy map of Michigan (get it? – handy? – Michigan is shaped like a hand….oh nevermind).  Anyway, he’s also lived in New Hampshire, South Africa, and few places he’s not at liberty to mention. Just kidding.  He enjoys hiking, sailing, making hilarious puns, reading and writing, learning new things like (hopefully) fly fishing, and, of course, rambling on. Moving on, he’s excited to meet everyone and can’t wait till the campers arrive!!



annahamilton_mugAnna is a rising high school senior at Cary Academy. She lives in Cary, North Carolina where she runs cross country and track, plays soccer, and interns at a local elementary school. Anna loves cooking, camping, writing, and being outdoors! She has spent six amazing summers with Green River Preserve as a camper and can’t wait to work as a co-counselor this year.


vikramsethuraman_mugVikram is a rising senior at Grimsley High School. This is his first year as a staff member, but he attended base camp as a camper for five years and then did both expeditions. He enjoys running, Ultimate Frisbee, capture the flag, and staying active. He will be working for sessions 1 and 2, and can’t wait for the summer!!!


willappleyard_mugWill is a rising senior at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. His interests include theatre, music, and of course, the outdoors. He is really excited about working at the Green River Preserve for the first time ever as he was a camper in the past and LOVED IT! GRP taught him a lot about nature and the importance of conserving Earth’s resources, and his goal for the summer will be to teach campers the same.


tylersmith_mugTyler, a rising senior at Norcross High School, is thrilled to be working as a co-counselor at GRP this summer! Having spent 4 years at base camp and expeditions, he can’t wait to share his love for the natural world with the campers this year! In addition to the outdoors, Tyler also has an avid passion for visual art, theatre, and foreign languages—he is currently learning French, Spanish, and Vietnamese.


sammybellamy_mugThis will be Sammy’s second summer working at the Green River Preserve! Because she was a camper and expeditioner for more than five years, camp has been an essential part of  her life. She plans on attending Elon University next year for Business. Her interests
include getting lost in the woods, Harry Potter, and spending time outdoors. She cannot wait to spend her summer at the Green River Preserve!


emilyking_mugEmily is rather pumped about her first year of working at GRP, as she was a BRXer last year and thoroughly enjoyed her amazing time in the woods with some of the best people ever to be found on earth. She really cannot wait to experience the wonders she has heard of base camp and find herself truly happy among fantastic friends and the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains! Emily is a rising senior at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama and genuinely hopes that everyone’s summer is going to be as magical of an adventure as hers will be!


zacwilson_mugZac is a rising senior at Cary Academy where he is a member of the wrestling, track, and debate teams. Zac has spent four incredible summers with GRP (two at base camp and two at OBX) and is now looking to giving back to the amazing summer program from which he has gained so much. Zac enjoys surfing, hiking, capturing flags, and being outside in general. Other interests include Chinese language, culture, and food, making ninja stars out of paper, and impersonating ducks. Zac will be working for the first two summer sessions and can’t wait to begin.



carsonellis_mugCarson grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, but currently spends most of her year in Massachusetts, where she is a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College. The Fall of 2010, she took three months off from school to travel and farm in Ireland, an experience that inspired her to pursue an Environmental Studies major, with a concentration in sustainable development. Having spent many wonderful summers at the GRP as a camper, expeditioner, co-counselor and counselor, she is very excited to have the opportunity to return this summer as the camp’s farm intern!



catherineschenck_mugCatherine just graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in history. After a summer spent in Vermont she is excited to head back to the GRP for the whole summer as a summer program assistant. She is looking forward to getting to see familiar faces, play capture the flag, and just be back at GRP!


beccashareff_mugBecca graduated from Washington University in St. Louis last May and has spent the past year exploring the globe and honing her passions, thrilled that it ultimately led her back to the Preserve. After many years as a counselor, she will take on a new role this summer as a Program Assistant, and cannot wait to start! She hopes to spend the summer driving buses, playing her Bolivian charango at council fires, making campers laugh and basking in the magic that is the GRP.



mackenzierobison_mugMackenzie, a native of Mt. Pleasant, SC, is a rising junior at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She is studying Marine Science and Biology and is so excited to return to GRP to be an OBX leader for the summer. Mackenzie was a camper at GRP for three years and an OBXer for two. Some of Mackenzie’s passions include, but are not limited to, surfing, kayaking, sea turtles, sailing, and spending time in the beautiful outdoors. She is counting down the days until summer and is ecstatic to share her passion for the ocean and its wonders with the campers!


robinweeks_mugRobin is delighted to celebrate her sixteenth summer as a member of the Green River Preserve family.  This will be her sixth summer as an expedition leader and she is pretty sure it is one of the best jobs in the world.  Robin grew up in Charlotte, NC and discovered the GRP at a young age.  She attended Oberlin College and graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies.  After graduation, Robin spent several years teaching at the Barrier Island Environmental Education Program in South Carolina.  Then she moved west!  Robin lived in Aspen for the last four years and worked as an educator and naturalist for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.  Robin will begin graduate studies in Counseling Psychology at the University of Colorado Denver this fall.  Robins loves to snowboard, snowshoe, kayak, climb, hike, bike, paint, and take photographs.


brianrocheBrian is thrilled to lead OBX for a second year after a long, snowy winter in the mountains. A native of Statesville, NC, Brian graduated from Oberlin College in 2005 with a BA in Environmental Studies. His subsequent ramblings took him to many different places and employments, including being a naturalist on a barrier island in South Carolina, a mentor at the fall Little Tree program at GRP, and a ranch hand in Colorado. He now spends his winters teaching snowboarding, his summers kayaking, and the time in between wondering how he got so lucky.



elizabordley_mugEliza will be returning to the GRP this summer for her third year on staff.  This will be her first summer working as part of the Blue Ridge Expedition team!  She enjoys sleeping outdoors, fly fishing, playing in waterfalls and eating pita pizzas over a camp fire.  Eliza is a recent graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in Studio Art and a double minor in Environmental Studies and Religious Studies.  She is originally from Durham, NC but is looking forward to sleeping in the woods all summer!